The Norman Transcript

Local news

April 21, 2008

Longtime Norman physician Hal Belknap dies

By Carol Cole-Frowe

Transcript Staff Writer

Longtime Norman physician Dr. Harold “Hal” Belknap was remembered Monday as a man who spent his life working to inspire young people and never stopped caring for his patients and the people around him.

The 73-year-old Norman native died Sunday after a short illness. Services are planned at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Alameda Church of Christ.

His close friend Dr. Gerald McCullough helped convince Belknap to return to Norman to practice after he got out of the military in fall 1967.

“He’s been here all that time,” McCullough said. “We worked closely together.”

McCullough said Belknap was always there for his patients, unless he was tending to his other love — the Boy Scouts.

“It was great, just watching him (with the Scouts),” he said.

Belknap’s enthusiasm for Scouting was contagious and he often coerced his medical colleagues into speaking to the Boy Scouts or letting them watch surgery.

Belknap and his wife JoAnn founded the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 777 at the Alameda Church of Christ, which went on to graduate 68 Eagle Scouts. And he created Medical Explorer Post 901, sponsored by Norman Regional Hospital.

One of the Scout leaders, Don Carter, said he worked with Belknap for more than 17 years on the pack and troop. Carter said when the troop started out, it had fewer than 20 members.

Now it boasts about 50 members in the troop and about 40 to 50 members in the pack.

Norman Regional Health System President and CEO David Whitaker said the hearts of the Norman Regional staff are with Belknap’s family and extended family during this difficult time.

“Dr. Belknap touched the lives of so many different groups of people including patients, physicians, employees, medical students and those connected to the Boy Scouts; the list is nearly endless. Those of us who knew and worked with Dr. Belknap are truly blessed and honored to have had the privilege of that time with him,” Whitaker said.

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