The Norman Transcript


March 31, 2013

So long to my friend and father-in-law



Norman was home to them in the 1970s, then again 30 years later in a second retirement. They made many friends here at University Lutheran church, in the River Chase neighborhood and following the Sooners.

n n n

Like my own parents, Jack was a child of the Depression. He worked hard and never wasted money. It was in the Navy that he decided working in personnel was to be a life’s career. The GI bill put him through Ohio State University. He began his personnel work at Westinghouse, living in numerous cities where the company had plants. He rose through the hierarchy, building a reputation as a human resources director and a fair negotiator with labor unions. He witnessed slashed tires, not-so-idle threats from labor bosses, plant strikes and a co-worker gunned down.

He encouraged his five children and 13 grandchildren through college, jobs and families. Success at work, he once told me, involved the right education, the right opportunity and good references — all at the same time.

Labor began to flex its collective muscle here and Norman’s plant called in the mid 1970s. The family got out the map and moved west, to Oklahoma, and a new opportunity.

Later, the headquarters in Pittsburgh needed him badly and the hills of Pennsylvania became home. But corporate life didn’t suit him. Too much paper shuffling. He missed the plants and the interaction with workers building things together. Retirement came early. A U-Haul picked him up from that last day as a lake home and docks, built with his own hands and tools, beckoned.

n n n

A return to Norman was his second retirement. He loved his ham radio buddies, volunteer work at Norman Regional Hospital, Sooner basketball games and Mexican food. In June, he celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014