After graduating in 1957, attended Phillips University for one year then I transferred to Oklahoma State for the remaining time graduating in 1962 with a chemistry degree. In the same fraternity at OSU with Jim Butts, Don Pierce and Tom Sailors. In 1962 I started training as a Navigator in the Air Force and flew T-29, KC 135 and B-52 aircraft. Applied for pilot training and assigned to Vance AFB, OK. After training I was assigned to the new F-111 at Nellis AFB NV, but when the aircraft was grounded returned to Vance and flew in the T-38. Next went to Florida to train on the A-1 “Skyraider” with end assignment at Pleiku Vietnam. After one year returned to Webb AFB in TX and flew the T-38. At Webb also served as the Executive Officer to the Operations Commander. Next selected to attend school at Maxwell AFB, AL and also completed work on my Masters degree from Auburn University. Next was a move to Sheppard AFB, TX where I was the Director of Stan Eval and a squadron commander. In 1978 we moved to Elmendorf AFB AK and I was the Director of Safety for Alaskan Air Command. I was attached to the 43rd Tactical Fighter Squadron for flying while stationed in AK. Recall flying several sorties where we could see Russia and would make a turn to avoid entering their airspace. In 1981 reassigned to Vance where I flew in the T-37 aircraft again and served as the Deputy Commander for Operations. In 1984 moved to Keesler as a Group commander and later the Wing Vice Commander. In 1988 we moved to Randolph AFB, TX and served as tje Major Command Director of Training Programs. Retired from the Air Force in 1991 and went to work as a T-37 simulator instructor pilot at Vance AFB, OK for Northrop Grumman. In 1995 the company changed to LSI, but work stayed the same–in 2005 I converted to the new T-6 Texan II. In January 2016 retired from civil service and started working as a volunteer at Vance AFB in the retired activity office. Married to my wife Sharon since 1961 and while in the Air Force we have lived in 25 different homes in 29 years. Sharon took care of our two kids when I was on temporary duty assignment or on a remote overseas assignment. Our son (also and OSU Grad) is an architectural engineer and runs his own business in San Antonio TX area. Our daughter (also and OSU Grad & OU certified legal assistant)) works for the Law Firm in Enid OK.
Some of you may remember me from elementary school, or junior high…..Unfortunately, I have not kept up with any classmates since moving during my Sophomore year from Enid to Great Bend Kansas……In Enid I attended a couple of grade schools (plus a country grade school in the 3rd grade), and both junior high schools (at that time we only had two…you may have more by now)
Jim reached me by phone the evening we returned to Topeka after both Bill’s and my high school 50th reunions. I had not been aware of any communication within our class until then. Such a happy coincidence to have had all 50th reunions on that same weekend.
So I will try to do a quick overview of these last 60+ years….I finished high school in Great Bend and attended Emporia State Teachers College…never really intending to teach… I just wanted to go to a school with my new friends and I did not know much about Kansas colleges….Bill and I met in our freshman year at Emporia and were married 2 years later. We have one daughter and one son…..happily we all ended up coming back to Overland Park/Leawood /Mission Hills, Kansas. Each of our children and their spouses have 4 kids….the last two just now leaving for college in August. It’s been a great ride…
Bill went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad in Emporia and I started out doing ‘babies’. Within 2 years he began to be transferred and I pretty much loved all of it. We lived in Iowa, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, back to Kansas. The Midwest is a very nice place to raise children…in our book!
My job was to do the kids, run our social life and find friends…I jumped right on that assignment!…Along the way in our moves I was a Welcome Wagon Hostess, American Lung Association of Kansas special event fund raiser, Freedom from Smoking non-smoking program…. American Heart Association of Kansas special event fund raiser, Naperville Heritage Society special event fund raiser. I have put on 5K runs, 10K runs, Civil Wars, Cider Days arts and crafts festivals, Nations Fest, a Victorian Christmas & misc. I was a Secretary during 4 Kansas State Legislative sessions (annual 3 month sessions at that time). I used to love politics and I learned a lot with every job/event/activity I ever took part in.
I recently realized I had been too deeply involved in Duplicate Bridge for the last 30 years…since downsizing/rightsizing into our new home a couple of years ago I pretty much gave up bridge and I am making new friends, learning about flowers, going through ‘stuff…..etc. We have been richly blessed with family, good friends and our faith!
I fear I have rambled on way too long…..You may have to shorten this…..
Short JHSilver Bio for EHS Alum Site I was born in Enid, OK on February 9, 1939 at about 2:30PM on a Thursday. However, being very small at the time, I don’t remember very much about that day or the first year or so. But, there are some vague memories of when I was about two or maybe three. Anyway, most of my early memories take place not in Enid, but in Columbus, OH, where my family spent most of WW II. My dad worked for Failings and was liaison with the Army Corps of Engineers. One of the things my brothers and I like to do, that you couldn’t do in Enid, was walk two blocks to the Columbus Army Depot and watch the German prisoners on the other side of the fence. After the war, we returned to Enid where I remained until high school graduation. And since many who might read this were part of my experience from grade 1 to grade 12, no need to go into details. In fact, in the interest of keeping this short than the reader’s attention span, I will only mention a few episodes from the last 60 years… Just one week after graduation, I was off to Marine boot camp in San Diego, which was a different experience for an 18-year-old, and, especially for a relatively undisciplined 18-year-old. As it turned out, I had many interesting experiences as a Marine including time in Southeast Asia where some guys in black pajamas had a bad habit of shooting at us… Anyway, after leaving the Marines, I returned to OK, eventually got my math degree from OU and settled down to working in the real world. Over the years, I was fortunate enough to have a number of interesting jobs. Here are some in no particular order. These included working for the National Sever Storms Lab in Norman where I was somewhat involved in helping build the world’s first doppler weather RADAR, providing computer programming support for weather research, and building circuits for the proto-type of what eventually became the rainbow weather RADAR that you now see on every TV weather report. One of the more interesting jobs was working for North American Rockwell in Anaheim, CA, where I ran a test and development lab for the Minuteman III ICBM guidance system. This was very interesting and very classified. Mostly, over the decades, I worked on large mainframe computers. This included working for IBM, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and consulting for the State of California in Sacramento. After retiring from IBM and Intel, I retired for the third time in 2010. This time I stayed retired, and in 2015 my wife and I moved from Sacramento to Santa Rosa, CA to be near our grandchildren. Mostly, I spend a lot of my time reading and writing, with an occasional round of golf. Currently, I am working on my second book, and my first book is out there on Amazon and few other places. On a more personal and emotional level, I have to say that the 60 years since high school graduation went way too fast, but overall it has been a good life, and like many, if not most, sometimes tempered by tragedy, but always blessed.
After graduating in 1957, I went to school back east for one year. ( Phillips
University ) Then I transferred to Oklahoma State for the remaining time
graduating in 1962 with a business degree. ( I guess I just ‘thought’ I wanted
to be some sort of engineer or dentist ) With the Vietnam War starting and my
student deferment running out, I applied for Air Force OTS. ( Officer Training
School ) I became a 90 day wonder and went directly to pilot training at Vance
AFB. I joined the Air Force to see the world and wound up in my home town.
After pilot training I got married to a local girl, Sondra Hadley Hawk.I spent
six years in the Air Force flying C-130s, the last three years stationed at
Tachikawa AB, Japan. My son, Ryan, was born at Tachikawa. ( Made in Japan )
Most of my time at Tachi was deployed to Cam Rhan Bay, Vietnam. It was the Air
Force way of getting two years of ‘ in country time ‘ with a three year peripheral
permanent duty assignment. ( Mar 1963 to Feb 1969 ) After returning to the
states in 1969 and leaving the Air Force I joined Continental Airlines
flying B-707s and later B-727s until 1983 when Continental Airlines went
into bankruptcy. ( Thanks to the old leveraged buyout days ) Oh, during
the Continental days I managed to get a divorce. I did not go back to work
for Continental as I got a job with USAir in Pittsburg, PA. I flew DC-9
and MD-80 aircraft until I retired at age sixty on Dec 31, 1999. ( Y2K )
I got remarried in 1982 to a wonderful girl from El Paso, TX as I was starting
anew with USAir. I had met her in El Paso while with Continental. Anyway, we
have been retired since 2000 and have a wonderful home in Prescott, AZ for the
past sixteen years. We both are in good health and we love to travel. We have
done 27 cruises and about 15 country tours either by bus or on our own. We
travel the world. ( I wish I had paid more attention in history class ) I
do my three mile walk everyday and a few years ago I did a Grand Canyon Rim
to Rim hike. ( 26 miles ) Both of us are staying on the right side of the
grass. We are blessed. I have been very fortunate. I have enjoyed a great
career in the military and airlines flying their aircraft. I can not think
of anything I would have rather done. Now it is time to enjoy our Golden
Years with our spoiled miniature Schnauzer. ( The daughter we never had )
ROYAL C. SMITH was born June 28, 1939, to Reva Prince Smith and Arthur Cliff Smith, in Enid, Oklahoma.
The Smiths divorced in 1942, and in 1955 when Reva married Harold L. Edwards of Crescent, OK., she and Royal moved to Crescent with him.
Royal had attended Enid High School, but graduated from Crescent High, where he was on the football team. In 1957 he married Kveta Royce Yenzer of Crescent. He attended the University of Colorado, and received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Wyoming. He spent 21 years in the United States Air Force, and the couple lived in or visited many countries during that time. He was a navigator on C-141 and C-5 planes, and served in Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force as a Major, they settled in Guthrie, and he became Kveta’s caregiver until her death in 2012. He was active in veterans’ organizations and the church.
He is survived by one sister, Shirley Meech of Los Angeles, and two brothers, Barrie Smith of Fairway, Kansas, and James Gauldin of Oklahoma City.
Services were held Monday, October 20, 2014 at the First Christian Church, Guthrie, OK.
Bob Atkinson Bob was born to Ed Atkinson and Ruby McNatt Atkinson January 8, 1938. Bob always loved the fact he shared his birth date with Elvis Presley. Bob attended Garfield Grade School, Longfellow Junior High, and graduated from Enid High School. Sports have been a central part of Bob's life. In 1946, he started his sports career playing little league baseball, football, and basketball, with baseball being his passion. By the age of 12, Bob began his 52 years of working with the young people at the ABC Park through coaching and umpiring. In 1959, Bob met his future wife, Carol Kay Richert, at ABC Park. Bob's sons, Lance and Garry, as well as his grandchildren, Lucas, Emily, and Raymond, also played at ABC Park. The ABC baseball fieldswere renamed the Bob Atkinson Field in honor of Bob. Bob was a left-handed pitcher and first baseman. He worked out with the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox. The Kansas City Athletics offered him a baseball contract. Bob pitched batting practice at Enid Professional Baseball Park, home of the Enid Buffaloes and the Enid Giants. Baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Harmon Killabrew were among the players to whom Bob pitched. In the 1970's, Bob scouted for the Cincinnati Reds profession baseball team. Bob has had a lifetime association with the YMCA, where he was a childhood member, volunteer, and later served as sports director. Bob finished his career at the Enid YMCA where he helped many children and their parents in difficult times. Of all the coaching, umpiring, the countless hours spent volunteering for youth and adults in Enid, probably his greatest gift was his ability to make people better. One of the ways he accomplished this was by simply giving someone a chance -- a chance to be on a team and, more importantly, a chance to play. His direction for you would be to have fun, enjoy your life, work hard, volunteer your time, and when you have the opportunity -- and you will -- improve yourself and someone else by giving them a chance. Bob received numerous awards in his lifetime. He was especially proud of the Booker T. Washington Award for Appreciation, the Pride of the Plainsmen Award for Community Involvement, and his induction into the Enid Public Schools Foundation Hall of Fame. Bob wanted us to remember, "I've had a great life with my family and the people of Enid and surrounding towns. I love people, and I've always tried to give them my best." CLASSMATE COMMENTS--- Donnie Karns Dallas, Texas 75225 Stories about the life of Bobby Atkinson. I remember when everybody first got TV. I would stay at Bobby's house, which was just north of Garfield. We would play one-on-one basketball till 12:00, and then we would go in and watch a midnight Frankenstein movie on Saturday night. Our treat was a quart of Pepsi each, and we would stuff the bottle with peanuts after we drank some. Can you imagine if we had seen one of our kids or grandkids now doing that? Oh, how things have changed. When Bobby got his Cushman Eagle, we went everywhere on it. The only time I got to drive it was wintertime, as Bobby did not have a wind-screen as it wouldn't look cool. So guess who served as the wind-screen. We would drive around singing, and Bobby could carry a tune. I couldn't sing a lick, but you wouldn't know it as the way we would belt out "The Great Pretender," and Bobby would sing the high part solo. I will tell you the most dangerous thing we did was when his parents got that new 1955 Pontiac. That was the year GM introduced the V-8 into their auto line. It was fast, and you could floorboard it and it would drop down into passing gear and really accelerate. We would approach a red light but could see the amber light from the other direction. Bobby would time it so that he would hit the passing gear while our light was still amber and hit the intersection just as ours turned red. How stupid and dangerous, but we had a blast. One night we were southbound on the street that runs in front of St. Mary's at the intersection where the old steam engine was. An eastbound Bobtail fruit truck ran the red light, and we broadsided it in the back wheel location. I remember the truck going up on two wheels, and I thought it was going to run in that creek, which was just east of the intersection. Of course, we totaled the car, but the other guy had run the light. I remember I had a ball bat and was bouncing the bat on the floorboard. No seat belts. No air bags. I was not hurt, and the only injury was Bobby's right knee broke off the key, which was at knee level, and he received a small cut. We were scared we were going to get in trouble with his parents, but laughed about how it scared the hell out of that driver when he went up on two wheels. We were lucky we survived our teenage years, but what wonderful memories. The last one I would like to share with you occurred on Halloween night. For some reason, I wasn't out with Bobby that night. There must have been a hundred of us guys and girls gathered at the Champlin mansion in the south intersection in front of mansion. It had been snowing, and we all were having fun: no fights, no drinking, just fun. I saw Bobby on the far side of the crowd, and I was on the other side. We were all under a big streetlight that lit up the whole intersection. I made up a big snow ball, packed it tight, and then threw it high in the air at Bobby, only hoping it would come close. Kay, I hit him solid on his chest. As you know, we all had a lot of testosterone flowing. Bobby yelled out, "Who in the hell did that I'm going to whip your ass." He started wading through the crowd trying to find out who hit him. He saw me and said, "Karns, did you see who threw that?" And I responded, "I haven't seen a thing." Kay, I didn't have the nerve to tell him until our tenth high school reunion. If he would have found out that night, I thought I would have been a dead man. One other thing happened to us. We used to drive out on the country roads with our lights out bushwhacking. We were trying to find people parked and drive up beside them, turn on our lights and honk and yell. Everybody had their windows down as there was no air conditioning. This one night we did this, and two 30-year-old guys pop up out of the front and back seats and say, "Are you going to kill us?" Bobby and I take out, and these two guys start chasing us. We are going 80 miles per hour down the country roads with our lights out, but, of course, they can see our brake lights. We finally lose them back in town, but Bobby and I are afraid we are going to get the hell beat out of us. Kay, again, what a wonderful friend I had in Bobby. With his passing, the reunions aren't the same to me. I miss him every time I think of Enid or EHS. Don. October 2, 2014 -- To Kay Atkinson, Enid, OK 73701 Dear Kay: I have enclosed a photo copy of a team picture that will become the beginning point of some thoughts of, actually, the beginning of the friendship between Bobby Atkinson and me. The picture was taken at the very beginning of the summer of 1955 “opening day ceremonies”. Two things are apparent from this picture. Bobby is on the team, top row left and I am not. Notice the Ray Gene Robertson is in the picture between my brother, Bob, and Bill Scherich. At the time this picture was taken I was on the roster of the Exchange Club Little Giants as a catcher. Ray Gene Robertson was the Legion team’s backup catcher to Alan Livingston, front row third from the right. Then, after about the Little Giants second or third game, Ray Gene showed up on the Little Giants team and was given the bulk of the catching duties and leaving the Legion team without a backup catcher. So, I approached coach Provist to see if I could join the Legion team’s backup catcher. I guess my thinking was if I wasn’t going to play regularly, I might as well be on a better, relatively older, team. This “move” is actually how I became acquainted with Bobby. Why 1955? As you well know, the way that the Enid school system was set up at that time, a person was well acquainted with the kids in their neighborhood and they attended the same grade school. Then, Enid was divided at the junior high level between Emerson and Longfellow, finally funneling into Enid High School. Most Enid kids, if they were interested in baseball, began playing in the little leagues when they were in third grade, basically playing for their grade school team. Businesses would sponsor a team which was pretty much limited to a T-shirt for each player and, sometimes, a treat after games. Each year, through the sixth grade, I played for the Jefferson grade School team. I’m pretty sure bobby played for Garfield. Garfield always had a good team, but, honestly, I do not remember anyone who played for them, by name. Our big rival seemed to be Adams grade school, and a very good pitcher named Kenny Sparks, also in the picture, top row, second from right, who had turned into an excellent third baseman. At the grade school lever, most of the games were either played on the school grounds or at a little ball park, no longer in existence, that set just east of Boggy Creek on the east side of Government Springs Park. However, once in Junior High the venue changed predominately to Exchange Park. Often, my little league team would have an early game there which would be followed by a game featuring the Exchange Club Little Giants (named after the Enid Giants, Class D professional “farm” team) and that is when and where I became aware of Bobby Atkinson. As I recall, when the Little Giants played, Bobby pitched, period. If they had another pitcher, I can’t remember who he was. Everyone became familiar with Bob’s parents, who never missed a game, Ed and Ruby Atkinson. Bobby looked older than his age. It is said that his mother always carried his birth certificate should it become necessary to prove his age to the opposing team. A necessity when an outstanding pitcher, of fifteen, sported a five o’clock shadow! An ardent baseball player and fan, I cannot count the games I saw the Little Giants play the years that Bobby was with them. Of special interest was their rivalry with the George E. Failing team, of the same age group. These are games one would not want to miss. Both teams had Enid’s “elite” players, great coaches and excellent venues to play. About this time, anyone in Enid, who was a baseball fan, knew who Bobby Atkinson was, even if they had never personally met him. Of course there was the summer baseball, but, during the school year, Bobby was an outstanding basketball and football player at Longfellow Junior High. Those of us at cross-town Emerson Junior High only rarely got to see Emerson and Longfellow participate in these sports, because , as I recall, the schedules called form them to play only once per season, unlike the huge schedule of summer baseball games. Emerson and Longfellow did not play each other in baseball. Now, back to 1955. My first game with the Legion team found me, as expected, setting on the bench. Someone else, other than Bobby, was pitching, when suddenly Coach Provist summoned Bobby to “warm up”. The bullpen area at Phillips-Failing Park for the home team was down the right field line so Bobby and I proceeded there. After several fastballs Bobby tossed a curve ball that I was not expecting. It curved from my right sharply to my left and I did not get a glove on it and it hit me on the top of my left foot. Although my pain was only temporary, Bobby, I remember well, thought the situation hilarious and about doubled over with laughter. This would be the time to relate, that every pitch Bobby threw had movement, even his fastball. I honestly think that his fastball violated the laws of physics the way it might move one or sometimes two directions on its way to the plate. I’m not sure why, but this initial hitting me with his curve ball seemed to be the initial incident that would cement our relationship. That we could both laugh without blame or ill feelings, showed good humor on both parts. Although my participation on the field with this team was very limited as I explained above, my “career” with Bobby was not. This team did go far in American Legion ball that summer. We swept through the district tournament held in Guymon, Oklahoma which qualified us for the state tournament, held in Hobart, Oklahoma. We made it to the championship game undefeated and played Oklahoma City (basically Capitol Hill High School) for the championship. Bobby had been suffering from a “high” temperature and sore throat for several days prior to the game. Coach Provost determined that Bobby, our “ace”, would be our best chance to win and started him. My recollection is that Bobby pitched the entire game, even in his condition, however, we lost a close game as our batters struggled with the OKC pitcher, one of the McDaniel brothers (Von or Lindy), eventual major leaguers. Each member of our runner-up team received a nice memento including a picture of the team. I, along, with Bobby made that picture. Kay, I am sure that you have that picture among Bobby’s mementos. And, in closing, the future would provide that I caught thousands more of Bobby’s pitches, and, never again, did one hit me in the foot! My love to you and your family; Rick Warren--Longmont, CO 80504
ENID, OK — Funeral service for Brian Tolbert Hinson, 75-year-old Enid, Okla., resident, will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 17, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Andrew Phillip Long will officiate. A private family burial will precede the service in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Henninger-Hinson Funeral Home. Brian was born Feb. 13, 1939, in Enid to Dr. Bruce R. and Elizabeth (Henninger) Hinson and died peacefully Friday, March 14, 2014, at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He attended local schools and graduated from Enid High School
with the class of 1957. He attended the University of Colorado, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. While at the University, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Brian was previously married to the former Janet Jones on Aug. 20, 1960. He attended the Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science, graduating as Valedictorian of his class. He returned to Enid to continue working
at the funeral home that his great-grandfather, H.H. Henninger, founded in 1915. He worked with Jerome Allen, and after his passing, Brian and Jerome’s son, John Allen, became partners for many years. In the late 70s, he also taught restorative art in the funeral service department at the University of Central Oklahoma. All Brian ever wanted to do was work for the funeral home. He loved what he did and took great pride in taking care of the thousands of families he was honored to serve. He was an elder at First Presbyterian Church. He served as past president of United Way, was an Oddfellow and quietly supported numerous local and national charities. He is survived by daughter,
Katherine (Hinson) Jordan and husband Doug of Tulsa; sons, Matt B. Hinson and wife Betsy of Enid and Adam Tolbert Hinson of Tulsa; three stepgrandsons, Cale, Connor and Lane Daughtery, all of Enid; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousin, Dr. Barton Carl and wife Beatrice. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Bruce Hinson; and infant sister, Betsy Hinson.
The family would like to thank the caring staff at St. Mary’s, Dr. Shepherd and staff, his care-givers, Vera, Lauren, Bev, Drena and Naomi for their wonderful care. Also, thank you to the staff of Henninger-Hinson Funeral Home for their support throughout this time. A very special thanks to Tom and Ruth Ann Sailors, Ruth Ann Burnett and Janet Wright for their friendship. Memorials can be made through the funeral home to OMRF-COPD division or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Condolences and remembrances of Brian may be given to
the family online at www.enidwecare.com.