Very sorry to report the passing of Lena J. (White) Sapp - Burks, 94, formerly of Lawton. Lena passed on November 23 in Prague, OK. Originally from Walters, Lena was mom of LHS classmates Donnie Sapp; Kenneth Sapp; and Patricia Sapp Mewborn.
Graveside services will be at Highland Cemetery in Lawton, 1:00pm on Friday November 26.
Extended obit and guest book at: www.beckerfuneral.com
And sadly, we have lost more classmates:
Stephen Keith Parris '64, classmates say we knew him in high school as Keith Gaskins. Keith passed October 1 from complications of liver cancer. Per his request, no funeral services were held. Keith had been a physician in Ontario, Oregon, for most of his adult life. From the Times-Record:
Dr. Stephen Keith Parris, formerly of Grandfield, Okla., died at his home in Ontario, Ore., on Oct. 1, 2010. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl; daughter, Mollie M. Parris; son, Elliott N. Parris, all of Ontario; his mother, Marjorie E. Parris Gaskins and sister, Karen Parris Vandiver, both of Wichita Falls.
Pat sent this item.........."Geraldyn Smith, class of '49 passed. She was sister to Barbara Smith, '55.She was retired and living in Prescott, AZ. She was a long-time friend."
Pat (Gray) Jones, '50; Norman, OK
Also, received news of the passing of Mary Jane (Steele) Byrn, 75, who passed November 17 in Virginia where she has lived the past 32 years. She is class '53. Services were November 20 in VA. I have contact info for her son - James Byrn - should anyone need it.
Extended obit and guest book at: www.claytorrollins.com
And a lady I personally knew, Kathleen Speer Peace, 101. Kathleen was living in Houston when she passed. She graduated LHS in about 1927 and was captain of the LHS women's basketball team that year winning the National Championship in Wichita, KS. Kay also won her first - of three - All-American basketball awards that year. In early '30's she moved to Dallas and while working there, was on her companys basketball, track, and softball teams - the Golden Cyclones. With friend and team-mate Babe Didrikson Zaharias, they led the team to the AAU All-American basketball championship in 1931. If Babes name sounds familiar...she was BIG golf star in years following.
I knew Kay from some local art classes and she wrote poetry. Very quiet, genteel lady. Would never have suspected her being a power house in sports! She never married. Services for Kay were November 15 here in Lawton.
Interesting obit and guest book at: www.beckerfuneral.com
Our sympathies are certainly with those who have lost loved ones.
I reported the passing of Bea (Watters) George in last news and mis-spoke by saying she lived in Texas. Actually she lived here in Lawton. She was also cousin of Cherie (Weightman) Willis.
From the eMail bag:
Happy Birthday - Dee (Vanderpool) Glass, '52; and George Gill, '63 - both on 24th!!!
Some one has asked who..??? is keeping records for class of 1966? Anyone??
On the Whittier reunion....
..."just a note to tell you the Whittier reunion [November 7] went very well. We had 12 people with lots of pictures of those years. I had brought some news clippings and full sheets of newsprint from the Tatler. Lots of pictures were taken, and I told them if I didn't see some of those pic's in your newsletter or on FB very soon, I was gonna "name names", so you should be getting them soon!!! Thanks for all you do to keep us informed.
Bob Lacy, '62 (honorary)
No pictures yet!!!!
From Washington School alum - Robert (Dr. Bob) Crumpton. Was great to see Bob last fall for 50th reunion class '59 even though he had to move before graduation:
"I loved seeing the old pictures of Doe Doe Park. It brought back some fond childhood memories. I hope you are doing well. I am so glad that I made the effort to come and see my old grade school friends. If you see them tell them I said hello. Bob."
"Georgia, Hola, from Baja, Mexico:
I look forward, to your newsletter, and love to relive some of the great memories I have of Lawton. Class of 1951. Your article and video, on Doe Doe Park, really sparked my memories of the times we had at the Park. Most, I can't discuss. (:-)
Harold "Mac" McNiff, Bobby Mansell and I were life guards there for many summers. We worked from 10 AM till 10PM every day. We made the big money of $1.00 per hour. Bobby was the head guard and Mac and I were his assistants. Bobby was an excellent diver.
It was standard procedure, for us, to bring dates and climb over the fence, at night, to go for a swim. We also went, for a swim, every valentines day as a ritual. It was usually not too cold but the water was of course freezing. I think it was a guy thing.
Interesting note, of all the people we pulled out of the water, when they were in trouble, most got mad at us and almost none ever said thank you. I guess they were embarrassed.
Needless to say we did enjoy the attention the gals gave us when we were guards. Nuff sed.
When I was not working a the pool I was strapping on skates a the rink. Doe Doe Park was a big part of my life when I lived in Lawton. I, too, am sorry it had to be closed."
Eddy Jones, '51
Note: When this was taking place, I was about 6th, maybe 7th grade. My dad didn't allow 'us' to go to Doe Doe....but mom did. Not a lot but every once in a while. I remember Eddy and Bob quite well...both really cuties!!!! I don't really remember 'Mac' but met him years later at a reunion or two. Sadly 'Mac' passed away not all that long ago. Bob Mansell is still in Lawton & I just visited with him & wife Deloris (Pannell) few days ago.
..."Thank you so much for the video of Doe Doe Park! I spent the better part of my childhood there. I became quite the accomplished skater and also swam in that pool sooo many times. It may have been what started my love of swimming. Later on in life I got my Life guarding and WSI. I was 32 and it was great. I used to think a lot about those happy times at Doe Doe Park. I also wanted to comment on the Vaska theatre discussion. My Dad was in the service at Ft. Sill, but he also moonlighted at the Vaska. I thing I saw every musical created, over and over again. God bless you all in Lawton. I love you guys and gals."
Laurie Ann (Abshire) Patterson, '56
"Thanks for sending the videos of Lawton, Doe Doe Park, etc. There was an article in my tribal newspaper ( I'm a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Okla), that might be of interest to our classmates. Each year AARP recognizes 50 members of Oklahoma tribes as AARP honored elders. One of those honored was Barthell (Buddy) Little Chief. He would have been in the class of 1960. He represented the Comanche Nation and was honored for his art work. I last saw Buddy at the first Michael Martin Murphy Westfest at Copper Mountain, CO. in the late 70's or early 80's. It was a Cowboy and Indian art and music festival and Buddy and a friend had a booth selling Buddy's artwork. He said he was living and working in Cement, OK but had a studio in Taos, NM at one time. I have two of his paintings that my dad bought from him early in his career."
Phil Wilder, '59
"I really enjoyed watching some of these on the mountains and Rose Bianco. I've known her all those years and always go in to have lunch or dinner."
Frankie (Ingraham) Kinderman
Appreciate classmate John Mercadante for sending Boston Globe story to me and David Dom who sent link as did Murdoch Matthew along with this interesting note.....
"I once mentioned Meers to Olga Litowinsky, a book editor friend of ours in New York City. Olga was from New Jersey; her family was from the Ukraine. I think I was mentioning the fried okra at Meers and she said matter-of-factly that she'd been there. She had been giving a talk at Cameron College (as it was in my day) and the reception committee had taken her to Meers. Small world."
Sam Hamra, '55, was in Lawton for the class '55 reunion back on October 9. He sent this picture (above) along with note:
"Was so much fun and a wonderful gathering of friends. In this photo Alvin (Skeeter) Winham and I are standing (admiringly) with the three fastest humans in Oklahoma in 1955---Ronny Jones, Jimmy Butemeyer, and Dee Givens, three of the championship 440 yard relay team, still looking sleek."
Sam is right! The trio, along with classmate Norval Locke (sadly deceased), set all kinds of records and won numerous awards in their day.
On a personal note.... life always takes unexpected turns at unexpected times. My Mom fell on 13th & was in hospital for 3 days (fortunately nothing broken) but doc said she cannot stay at home alone anymore. My dad has been gone 19 years this Thanksgiving. So, frantic set in, but, we managed in very quick order (much help from sister-in-law and brother-in-law) to get a place, items from home, etc. & took her kicking and screaming to her new 'assisted living apt' which is very nice. Actually she handled it better than expected. Been trying to do this for several years, so was taken care of in way that took some heat from us kids! I know many of you have had the same situation with your parents and/or spouses so you know what I have been doing.
I want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We do have so much for which to be thankful........Georgia
Photo above: L-R: Sam Hamra; Jim Butemeyer; Ron Jones; Alvin Winham; Dee Givens.