After graduating from Enid High school, my academic life continued at the University of Oklahoma. I graduated with an engineering degree in 1963 and began working for Boeing that same year. Throughout the 60’s and the 70’s, I worked in the military division of Boeing; principally upgrading B-52 and KC- 135 avionics systems. These included integrating the B-52 low light level TV and Forward looking Infrared systems as well as the Offensive Avionics System required for air launch of cruise missiles. I helped develop and test an autonomous (robotic) air vehicle in the 1980’s (A vehicle designed to enhance survivability of U. S. attack aircraft by disabling enemy ground radar fire control systems). I enjoyed an interesting career at Boeing and took early retirement in February, 1995.
In June of 1966, I married Claudia Jane Coon of Muskogee, OK. We are parents to one son, John, born March 24, 1968. Jane and I have no grandchildren. Our son, John, is divorced. He continues to live in Wichita. He was owner of TriMech, Inc. which specialized in design and installation of automatic heating and air conditioning control systems. He recently sold his business, but continues in charge of TriMech until May of this year.
At age 11, I “joined” Central Christian Church in Enid by “accepting Christ as Savior”. Others my age had previously “accepted” Christ as Savior and, as members of the church, were taking communion every week. I wanted to join my peers in taking communion so I made a “confession” of faith and was baptized. I did not truly trust Jesus Christ as my Savior until the summer of 1973. This came as a result of participating in a “Memorize the Word” class conducted during the lunch hour one day a week at Boeing. I memorized three verses a week over the period of one year. My association with the teacher and ‘mature believers’ in the class was an encouragement and incredible learning experience: I came to an understanding of many Biblical truths as well as the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Beginning in 1974, my wife, Jane, and I were privileged to attend the Institute in Basic Life Principles Seminar instructed by Bill Gothard. These seminars increased my faith and continued to improve my understanding of the Bible. Jane and I were inspired to attend at least ten times over the next 17 years. Finally as a result of many years of church attendance, the Basic Life Principles seminars, church revivals and daily Bible intake, I came to realize the Word of God…the Holy Bible…is absolute truth. The Word of God gave me a set of instructions and principles to live by. It helped me to know Jesus Christ and to develop His thinking. As I have been able to grow in His knowledge and apply it to circumstances of my life, I am better able to please and honor Him. I began to live my life in light of eternity. I know that my life in the flesh is temporary – basically a preview of The Life to come when I am joined with Jesus and His church in paradise. Since I have come to know Him, I have peace with God and with myself. Having peace in the midst of the storms of life is wonderful. I want to spend the remainder of my life serving Him.
Even though I can still remember almost every face in the 1957 Quill, I was acquainted with only 4 or 5 of the 1957 EHS classmates who have passed away. I regret I didn’t even try to at least get acquainted with everyone in the 1957 class. I blew a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t help but wonder where my deceased classmates are; i.e. forever with the Lord? or forever separated from the Lord?
The free gift of eternal life is available to everyone. All that is required is a simple act of faith. One must ask forgiveness to be “born again” and become one of God’s children. This is done simply through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Simply call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, confessing your sin, and ask Him to save you. Just pray this simple prayer, “Lord, please have mercy on me a sinner, and save me”. At that moment, the righteousness of our Lord is imputed to you and you are acceptable to God….You will spend eternity with Him in paradise. This will mean good news for me also since I’ll have the privilege of spending eternity with you in paradise. The alternative is eternal separation from Him….an eternity of torment and suffering. If you have not trusted Christ Jesus as Savior, and would like to make that decision, I would feel privileged to help you. It’s my desire to see all my fellow classmates accept His free gift.