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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Former Oral Roberts University basketball coach; Aug. 30, 1933-Dec. 4, 2012
As two-time coach of Oral Roberts University’s basketball team, Ken Trickey had a run-and-gun playing style that brought national attention to the small Tulsa school in the early 1970s, when the team came within one win of a Final Four slot.
“He was so supportive of me and my time here. When you talk about the history of ORU athletics, the first person you think of is Ken Trickey and what he meant, not only to the men’s basketball program, but the athletics department in general. His success in such a short period of time was remarkable. To take a team that is less than 10 years in existence and take them to within a game of the Final Four is amazing.”
— Scott Sutton, ORU men’s basketball coach
Founder of Mother Tucker Ministries; Jan. 4, 1919-Aug. 27, 2012
She was one of Tulsa’s unique givers. “Mother” Grace Tucker fought for the homeless, the poor and the lost, providing food, shelter and guidance to thousands through a ministry that lasted 50 years. During it all she and her husband raised 16 children. It was never easy. Challenges included fires and financial problems, and even her own homelessness until friends came to her aid. But all the while, she worked to meet others’ needs. For her selflessness, she received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from ORU and the dedication of eight blocks of Main Street as “Mother Tucker Boulevard.”
“Mother Grace Tucker was a pillar of kindness and hope in the Tulsa community. Her ministry to the poor and homeless changed lives and brought countless people to the Lord. Mother Tucker’s faith and support for the less fortunate, even during times of personal hardship, serve as a reminder that there is hope for everyone through God.”
— Dr. Mark Rutland, ORU president
Director of the Tulsa Run; Jan. 27, 1951-Sept. 11, 2012
Many run, but few embraced the race as fervently as Jack Wing. He and his wife, Sharon, even met and fell in love while training together. Moving to Tulsa to work for American Airlines, the all-around athlete became an icon not only to his fellow runners but also to Tulsans who only followed the sport from the sidelines. For 16 years, his distinctive Boston accent could be heard at the Tulsa Run, nine of which he directed, as well as Route 66 Marathon and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
“Jack Wing became the voice of the Tulsa Run and a lot of other runs. We all laughed, ‘Don’t give him a megaphone because you can’t get him off.’ But the thing we loved most: he’d been here 30 years and never lost his Boston accent. Those were the things that made Jack unique. ... He promoted running and he promoted good health. You knew Jack was going to be there at the start and at the end to encourage people to have a good run.”
— Sue Neil, longtime friend and fellow runner