Lives well lived
TulsaPeople remembers some of the leaders we lost in the past year.
Photos courtesy family and friends.
Lindsay Lee Alexander
Nov. 23, 1928-March 4, 2015
Banker and community volunteer
His love of the arts earned him an honorary lifetime membership with Tulsa Ballet, a board membership with Theatre Tulsa and director emeritus status with Gilcrease Museum, an association that inspired him to create his own artwork. He and his wife, Rosalie, also gave time to Tulsa Opera, the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Cancer Society and others. An avid tennis player, he founded the Scissortail Tennis Invitational but also worked on U.S. Open and PGA tournaments.
“My wife, Polly, was close to Rosalie because of their charitable activities. After (Rosalie’s) memorial service, Polly told Lindsay that he looked so sad … that she would have liked to give him a hug but thought it might embarrass him. Lindsay told her it would not have — always give the hug when you feel the urge to show affection and concern.”
— Don Hamilton Jr., longtime colleague
Aug. 31, 1922-June 19, 2015
She co-founded the Bartlett Regatta, a longtime event that has raised more than $2 million for The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges in Tulsa. With her husband, she also was a dedicated donor to numerous Oklahoma State University programs and projects.
“If I had to sum up Pat Bartlett in one word, it would be ‘example.’ She lived her life as an example of what she had been taught, and to provide an example for others.”
— Lori A. Long, MHR, CFRE, executive director, The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges
May 19, 1931-Aug. 22, 2015
General chairman, 2001 U.S. Open and 2007 PGA championships
For a number of years he was the ambassador for Southern Hills Country Club, and he carried the torch, advocating and promoting Southern Hills as the best venue to conduct a U.S. Open or PGA Championship.
“Al was a dear friend, mentor and father figure to me and many others. Al was compassionate, engaging, strong-minded, persistent, and he would be your biggest fan, encouraging and supporting you every step of the way.”
— Nick Sidorakis, general manager and COO, Southern Hills Country Club
July 28, 1951-June 28, 2015
Tulsa County District Presiding Judge
With a reputation for careful preparation and ethics, he served on numerous boards and commissions. He did not begin his legal career until his 30s, working first in private practice and later serving as a special judge, district judge and presiding judge. A member of Central High School’s 1969 championship basketball team, he was a devoted fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the University of Oklahoma Sooners.
“From the first day I met Carlos Chappelle in law school through his last days on earth, I was struck by his optimism for the future, his compassion for the individuals who crossed his path and his warm demeanor that drew everyone to him.”
— Doris L. Fransein, District Judge, juvenile division, Tulsa County District Court
Aug. 29, 1923-April 8, 2015
Former president, Philbrook PACers and Women’s Division, Tulsa Philharmonic
She was a leader who wasn’t above dealing with the humblest tasks. The night before a huge outdoor sale at Philbrook, a storm hit. Dunn did not wait for security or administration calls. She went to the museum. Working in the tent, she covered everything she could with plastic sheeting. And the sale was a great success.
“Mary Dunn was my mentor, not only at Philbrook Museum of Art, but in showing me ways to work with others, to teach and lead by example, no matter where and when in life.”
— Joan Hoar, longtime friend
July 26, 1937-May 26, 2015
A man of varied interests and talents, he was an early promoter of the Tulsa Sound. He played with a wide range of musicians but was known well for his collaboration with fellow Tulsan JJ Cale. He worked in radio, was a racecar driver and appeared in commercials and in films.
“Rocky was one of the great characters of the scene. The red jacket, the black hat, the silver and turquoise, the sly demeanor and gentle barroom piano style lended to his mystique as a Tulsa Sound original.”
— Paul Benjaman, Tulsa musician
Sept. 14, 1931-June 23, 2015
Former football coach
Beginning as a player at the University of Tulsa (1949-52), Hudspeth had coaching jobs at TU, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas at El Paso and for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. He spent his last years as a member of the TU athletic department development staff. He was inducted into TU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
“He lived and breathed Golden Hurricane athletics for nearly his entire life. Anyone who had the pleasure to know Tommy Hudspeth knows how dedicated he was to his family and to TU. Tommy always had a smile on his face and would help anyone in any way he could.”
— Dr. Derrick Gragg, TU vice president and director of athletics
John “Mickey” Imel
Aug. 4, 1932-Dec. 25, 2014
Former U.S. attorney, municipal judge
He was the youngest U.S. Attorney to date when appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. A former University of Oklahoma football player, he put his athletic skills to use when he once played an informal game against Robert Kennedy. Later, Imel would go into private practice. A loyal Sooner, he served as a member and then chairman of OU’s board of regents. Additionally, he was past president of the Rotary Club and Tulsa Club and was involved in Democratic politics for many years.
“He was a family man, raising four daughters, and enjoyed life with a gusto that few could match. He was fun loving and always ready to help out with a worthy cause. He had many friends and very few people who did not like or respect him. I am proud to call him my friend and mentor. I miss him and will always remember his sense of humor and his laughter.”
— Kurt G. Glassco, district judge
John B. Johnson Jr.
Dec. 12, 1933-May 18, 2015
Attorney, community volunteer
An inductee into the Tulsa Hall of Fame, he was a past president/chairman of the board of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, the Tulsa Chamber, Rotary Club, Southern Hills Country Club and The Summit Club, and he served other organizations. He also was a founder and president of The First Tee of Tulsa. Thanks to him, since 1995, in lieu of speaker gifts, Rotary has purchased books for its Partners In Education school. Because of this simple gesture, the Celia Clinton Elementary Library has more than 1,000 books from Rotary.
“I have known John since his son and I joined YMCA Indian Guides over 50 years ago. John was always even-keeled. He never seemed to get angry, upset or overly excited. He was steady as a rock.”
— Ed Monnet, longtime colleague
Sept. 14, 1938-June 7, 2015
Founder, Capital Advisors Inc.; community volunteer
He and his wife, Sally, created two major Tulsa fundraisers — the Masters Society at the Philbrook Museum of Art and the William Booth Society for the Salvation Army. From 2005-08, the couple co-chaired a Catholic Charities campaign that raised $19 million. He later served as its interim executive director and vice chairman of the board. Also, in 2007, he and Sally were inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
“Rich Minshall literally made Catholic Charities what it is today. His involvement brought new facilities, unbelievable program growth and relationships in the community that would have been impossible without him. He had the ability to laser in on issues and make decisions so fast that we were always on the move. His leadership style was such a gift to the poor.”
— Deacon Kevin Sartorius, executive director, Catholic Charities
June 18, 1947-June 1, 2015
President/CEO, APSCO Inc.; small business advocate
For over 25 years he was an advocate for small business owners statewide and nationally, addressing small business issues and promoting entrepreneurship. He was named the Small Business Administration’s 2013 Oklahoma Small Business Person of the Year, the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s 2014 Small Business Pioneer and the Broken Arrow Chamber’s 2014 Manufacturer of the Year. He led and served on many boards, most recently chairing the Tulsa Community College Foundation.
“Larry Mocha served Tulsa Community College for many years with a sincere passion for our students and a commitment to our mission. But in usual Larry fashion he did more than praise the college; he worked side-by-side with us to provide even greater opportunities and served, ultimately, as chair of our foundation. Larry taught us all that service and support can truly be ‘unconditional.’ He gave to his friends, his employees and his community with an unconditional spirit just to make the world a better place.”
— Lauren F. Brookey, vice president, external affairs, TCC
David G. Murray
Nov. 9, 1919-Feb. 17, 2015
Architect, Murray Jones Murray Inc.
His firm designed the Tulsa International Airport terminal, the Tulsa Assembly Center, Bishop Kelley High School and First Place Tower. He served for over 40 years on the board of Goodwill Tulsa, was twice president of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited and was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Engineering Hall of Fame.
“He helped Goodwill for years, and as far as I know never stopped helping on the architectural side. He made many contributions in a lot of different ways to different charities. We played golf together for many years, and he was unbelievably pleasant to be around. I value our time together and friendship.”
— Vernon Jones, former board chairman, Goodwill Industries
Nov. 4, 1920-Jan. 4, 2015
Former TU art department chairman
Along with his work at TU, some of his proudest achievements were the art classes he developed and taught to prisoners at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Their work was eventually exhibited statewide.
“Brad Place knew no strangers; he was friendly and welcomed everyone into the art department at TU. Brad was a devoted teacher, and his legacy continues to this day with our Gussman Juried Student Exhibition. In the 40 years he was at TU, he inspired and mentored countless students as well as colleagues with his wit and love for the arts and our community. The fact that his former students continued to visit him until the very end speaks volumes of his mentorship because he went to great lengths to make them succeed.”
— Teresa Valero, professor and creative director, TU’s Third Floor Design
Dec. 6, 1943-Jan. 30, 2015
He served in the Oklahoma House and Senate for 32 years. When appointed chairman of the Judiciary Committee by Gov. Brad Henry, it was the first time a Democratic governor had appointed a Republican legislator to lead a major committee.
“Sen. Smith was a dedicated public servant. He put extensive time into seeing that not only his constituents, but all Oklahomans, were well served. He was a true statesman.”
— Ron Peters, Tulsa County commissioner
William “Bill” Waller
Feb. 21, 1926-Oct. 19, 2015
Writer, banker, chamber executive, community leader
A one-time newspaper editor, he also was longtime CEO and chairman of State Federal Savings & Loan Association, and only the second man to have worked for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and then serve years later as its board chairman. He defined “civic leader” — chairman of the Tulsa Economic Development Commission, the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, and American Automobile Association; president of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited; trustee for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center; and Gov. Henry Bellmon’s appointee to Oklahoma’s first Ethics Commission.
“Although he had several careers, Bill’s heart was in writing. Fortunately for TulsaPeople, he brought his vast and varied experience to bear at staff meetings and in his work for Langdon Publishing’s various magazines. Thanks to him, TulsaPeople wrote early on about critical issues like the coming water shortage. Genuine and affable, as a product of small town life, he could shine equally well profiling a rural business.”
— Missy Kruse, former editor
We also remember:
Marge Creager, dedicated American Red Cross volunteer
Susan Fesperman, community volunteer
Shirley Forsythe, co-founder of Tulsa Speech and Hearing Association
Joseph Kestner, TU McFarlin Professor of English and Professor of Film Studies
Charles Malone, former TU dean of admissions
Betty Moses, longtime Tulsa Philharmonic and Tulsa Opera accompanist
Carol Southard, community volunteer