Lives well lived
Each year, TulsaPeople remembers some of its most distinctive citizens, special people who gave of themselves to make Tulsa a better place. Here are a few of these remarkable individuals as described by their colleagues, friends and family.
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Founder of Mazzio’s Corp.; May 12, 1936-May 12, 2012
Ken Selby was one of Tulsa’s greatest entrepreneurial success stories. In 1961 he opened Pizza Parlor across from TU. By 1965 one location grew into two, donned a new name, Ken’s Pizza, and eventually grew into hundreds of locations under Mazzio’s Corp. Selby also served on several civic, social service and health-related boards.
“Ken Selby was my science teacher in sixth and seventh grade at Lowell Junior High … He was not only an amazing schoolteacher but also an extraordinary teacher of life. When Ken transitioned from his teaching career to being a pioneer in the pizza business, he continued his life’s work of setting examples for those around him. Ken’s zest for life lives as an inspiration to all who knew him. The important lessons that he taught us will remain ingrained in our hearts forever.”
— Mike Barkley, longtime friend
Former executive director of Tulsa County Medical Society; Dec. 23, 1919-July 16, 2012
As executive director of the Tulsa County Medical Society for 44 years, Jack Spears guided the organization from a time the city offered good to great medical care and from a small group of 100 physicians to 1,000 by the time he retired in 1985. He helped the society become an involved force in the city, urging the society’s involvement in professional and community projects from mass polio immunizations to the establishment of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa medical school. He also was a well-known film historian who wrote two books on classic cinema, providing him the opportunity to talk to some of the industry’s great stars.
“Jack Spears put Tulsa County Medical Society on the map through his innovative initiatives. Other medical society leaders from across the country visited TCMS to learn more about our progressive organization. Jack was very dedicated to the work of the medical society and the physicians it represented.”
— Dr. Rollie Rhodes, longtime member, Tulsa County Medical Society
Phillip “Phil Stone” Riddle
Longtime radio personality; July 30, 1955-Nov. 21, 2012
Most Tulsa-area radio listeners knew Phil Stone as one-half of the popular “Phil and Brent” KMOD morning show. It was there he and broadcast partner Brent Douglas birthed the Roy D. Mercer character, who epitomized the raucous chronic complainer. The prank call segments, voiced by Douglas as Roy D., eventually turned into 17 albums. Stone and Douglas then earned honors as 2006 Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters’ Personalities of the Year and were honored in 2007 as Tulsa Press Club Media Icons. But along with all the fun, Stone, whose legal name was Riddle, also had a kind side. In particular, he was instrumental in ensuring the success of the CAN Radiothon, a fundraiser for the Child Abuse Network begun by Clear Channel Radio.
“Phil Stone was an unsung hero for abused children, a champion for these kids, someone who advocated behind the scenes for a cause that was near and dear to his heart.”
— Barbara Findeiss, executive director, Child Abuse Network