Stuteville-Huitt, Catherine-Cathy

Catherine Sue Stuteville Huitt
May 31, 1938 – January 29, 2023

Catherine “Cathy” Sue Huitt, age 84, died on Sunday, January 29, 2023,
at her home in Midvale, Utah, due to complications related to systemic scleroderma.
Cathy was born on May 31, 1938 to Mattie Stuteville (Jaide) and Dan Stuteville on her family’s farm outside of Seiling, Oklahoma. She married Earl L. Huitt on October 2, 1955 (divorced July 24, 1995). Cathy worked as the Vice President of the Claims Dept at
Pension & Group Services (insurance industry) in Portage, Michigan. She loved to travel, work in the garden, and was an avid reader, having read over 400 novels within the last year. Cathy was a devoted Christian who volunteered at her local food bank, drove senior citizens to doctor appointments, delivered meals on wheels, and valued her family and friends above all else. She also volunteered for the Red Cross and participated in several disaster relief missions. Cathy is survived by her daughter, Sheryl “Sherry” Donohue (Richard), grand-daughter,
Rene’ Smith, grandson, Sean Smith (Alison), and great grandson, August Smith. She is preceded in death by her brothers Mike Stuteville and Mickey Stuteville. At Cathy’s request, there will be no funeral service. However, in lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Cathy’s honor to your local food bank.


Oberlender, James D

James Donald Oberlender passed away peacefully on May 26, 2023 at his home, surrounded by family. James was born on March 14, 1939 in Lucien, OK to the late Roy and Lillie Oberlender. Jim’s early years were spent on their 80-acre farm near Covington before moving to Enid with his brothers, Fred Almon Oberlender and Garold (Gary) Dee Oberlender until finishing high school.

James started working at a Pepsi-Cola bottling company. From there, he worked at several filling stations in the area and S & Q Clothiers. In the summer of ’58, after his freshman year of college, he joined a wheat harvester crew starting in Texas up to Canada with his youngest brother, Gary, who was only 16 at the time. They slept in a school bus and worked their way up the Wheatbelt driving combines. Jim attended a trade school in Oklahoma City for mechanics and then decided to enroll at Oklahoma State University. He graduated in the fall of 1964, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

After college, Jim moved to Texas, and took a sales job with an electrical component manufacturer and designer, Thomas & Betts. He then was transferred to Elizabeth, NJ, where he would eventually become the Executive VP in 1985. After retirement, Jim was recruited as CEO to turnaround Insilco Technologies Group which brought him to NC. Following his success at Insilco, Jim led an investment group that acquired Fulton Bellows in 1999. Fulton was sold in 2003 and Jim went on to start a successful local transportation company, XpressOne Transport, with his son, Kerry Oberlender. Jim was an inspired business strategist and took pride in the many positions he held throughout his career.

Jim had many passions such as cars (especially the fast ones), trout fishing, tractors, boating, riding horses, and trips to his farm in Chase City, VA. He loved nothing more than sharing these experiences with his family and friends. Throughout his life, he made lasting impressions on those around him. He was a charismatic and unforgettable man. He will be truly missed by all.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his beloved oldest brother, Fred Almon Oberlender. He is survived by his younger brother, Gary Oberlender, as well as his children, Kimberly Ann Carrigan and husband Jason Carrigan, Kerry Oberlender and wife Lisa Oberlender, Karen Stark, John Giampolo and wife Diana Giampolo, and Elaina Shipman and husband Cory Shipman. Jim is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.


O’Neill Nelson, Donna Faye

Donna Faye Nelson died on July 25, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was born in Enid, Oklahoma to John O Neill and Mamie Catlett. She met the love of her life, Jim Nelson, early in life, but they lost touch when their families moved around the Midwest. They found each other again and married on June 15, 1957 shortly after her graduation from Enid High School. They eventually settled in Oklahoma City to raise their children, where she was involved with girl scouts, band boosters and school activities.
She loved working with the ladies at Putnam City West High School Cafeteria for many years. She also thoroughly enjoyed her time as a clerk at J.C. Penney, which provided new friends and the chance to visit with her many customers. When Jim retired, they both worked as greeters at J.C. Penney. She always enjoyed the social benefits which came with the job, more than the income she received. She continued working there for many years following Jim s death. She also enjoyed the weekly ladies luncheons until dialysis prevented her from meeting with her cherished friends. She also loved being able to follow the growth and adventures of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on Facebook.
Donna was an avid reader, and a book was never far from her reach. She also loved cooking. Holiday celebrations were always a special time filled with an abundance of family favorite foods. She loved watching movies and sewing. The thing she enjoyed most, was spending time with Jim, until his death in 2005.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and brother, Pat O Neill.
She is survived by her sister, Rose Stursa of Choctaw, Oklahoma; brother, John O Neill (Annekelley) of Denver, Colorado; daughter, Shelly Baggett (Kent) of Katy, Texas; son, Mike Nelson of Oklahoma City; son, David Nelson (Jeana) of McKinney, Texas; nieces and nephews, six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 30, 10:00am in Bethany Cemetery.


Walters Dierksen, Sandra L.

Sandra Lee Walters Dierksen
January 5, 1939 – August 5, 2022

A Memorial Service for Sandra Dierksen will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 11, 2022, at Enid First Church of the Nazarene, with Pastor Bruce Johnson officiating. Cremation arrangements and services are under the direction of Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home.
Sandra was born January 5, 1939, in Enid to Lester and Genevieve (Ludwick) Walters, and passed away August 5, 2022. She loved flowers, canning and gardening. Sandra took great pride in her yard and enjoyed being outside tending to God’s creation. She was an exceptional cake decorator, cookie-maker, and cook. Most of all, Sandra was a DEVOTED mom and wife. She loved Jesus and her church family. Sandra dedicated her life to activities involving the church.
Sandra is survived by her husband of 60 years, Donovan; daughter, Carrie Rudd and husband Chad; son, Casey Dierksen; siblings, Rose Marie Bectold, Gary (Butch) Walters, Karen Kay Curtis, Patricia Griffin; and a host of nieces, nephews and loving friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Doris Quarve.
Memorial donations may be made to Enid First Church of the Nazarene, with Ladusau-Evans serving as custodian of the funds.


Faulkner, James

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 bachelors degree in chemistry. In the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at OSU with Jim Butts, Don Pierce and Tom Sailors. In 1962 I started training at James Connally AFB (Waco) TX as a Navigator. As a navigator I flew the T-29, KC 135 and B-52 aircraft. Applied for pilot training and assigned to Vance AFB, OK. After pilot training I was assigned to the new F-111A at Nellis AFB NV, but when the aircraft was grounded we 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 in Southeast Asia 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 (F-4E and T-33) for flying while stationed in AK. Recall flying several sorties where we could see Russia airspace. In 1981 reassigned to Vance (after pilot instructor training in San Antonio TX) 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 as the Director of Training Programs. Retired from the Air Force in 1991 and went to work for Northrop Grumman as a T-37 simulator instructor pilot at Vance AFB, OK . 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. While in the Air Force, we 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.


Bondurant Barnow, Loiuse

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…..


Silver, John

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.


Scott, Larry

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 )


Smith, Royal C.

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.


Atkinson, Bobby

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."


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