The Norman Transcript


January 18, 2013

James Durante ‘Jimmy’ McWater

NORMAN — James Durante “Jimmy” McWater, 74, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Norman. He was born Jan. 1, 1939, in Fort Smith, Ark. to James Wyatt McWater and Mildred Virginia “Bobbie” Croom.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m., Saturday in Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel, with interment following in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Wapanucka.

He married Thelma Lucy Taylor in Norman on Nov. 18, 1961. They were married 42 years until her death in 2003.

He was a graduate of Bokoshe High School in Oklahoma, where he was salutatorian of the class of 1956. He went on from there to graduate from the University of Oklahoma in 1960. Jimmy was an industrial engineer and began working at Tinker Air Force Base after college. He would work there his entire career. He was promoted to GS-13 at a very young age.

After arriving in Norman in fall 1956 to attend school, he lived in Norman his entire life, except for a few years recently when he moved to Oklahoma City to be closer to his granddaughter. He was an avid collector of pre-war toys, metal cap guns and western items, and he was an expert on tanks.

He was a regular at garage sales, flea markets and auctions in the Norman and Oklahoma City areas. He was frequently asked to appraise items from estates for auctioneers.

He was, for many years, a member of the University of Oklahoma chess club and was known for his sharp intellect and his self-reliance.

He was preceded in death by his spouse, Thelma Lucy Taylor McWater; his half-brother, Roy Gene McWater; his half-sister, Sue Jane Kuykendall Hays; and his best friends Frank and Gert Virgilio.

He is survived by his son, David Patrick McWater and his wife Laura Hinsberger McWater; his daughter, Mary Celeste Cochran, wife of Charles Christopher Cochran; one grandchild, Grace McKayla Cochran; a host of in-laws, nieces and nephews; and most notably his sister-in-law, Donna Sue Couch and his nephews Donovan and Jacob Jones, all of whom he had a meaningful avuncular relationship with during his life.

Donations may be made in Jimmy’s honor to the OU Foundation, Thelma Taylor McWater Scholarship, c/o OU Foundation, 100 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019.

Arrangements for Jimmy and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at Havenbrook Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be shared at

Norman Transcript, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dr. Tibor József Herczeg

    “The ancient order opens to readmit me. I lean out on the windy stars.” — János Pilinszky. Apocrypha Dr. Tibor József Herczeg, 87, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Oklahoma, died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 22, 2014

  • Elbert Don Idlett

    Elbert Don Idlett died Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Noble at the age of 60 years, 4 months and 14 days....

    July 22, 2014

  • Johnny Allen Cossey

    Johnny Allen Cossey, 55, of Noble, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service to honor Johnny’s life will be 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Noble Assembly of God Church, 100 W. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Steven Matthew Sparks

    Steven Matthew ‘Matt’ Sparks, 34, beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. Matt was born Feb. 7, 1980, in Elk City. After living abroad in several countries during his childhood due to his ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Donald Leon Conn

    Donald Leon Conn was born March 12, 1937, in Lexington to Harvey and Wilma (May) Conn. He passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at his home in Noble....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thomas Joseph ‘T.J.’ Cotrone

    Thomas Joseph “T.J.” Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 18, 2014

  • Pamela ‘Pam’ Ruth Deen

    Funeral services for Pamela “Pam” Ruth Deen will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Midway Hill Baptist Church, with Pastor Willard McCartney Jr. officiating....

    July 17, 2014

  • T.J. Cotrone

    T.J. Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 17, 2014

  • Karen Kealy Peak

    Karen Kealy Peak, 63, of Fort Clark Springs, Texas, formerly of Norman and Tampa, Fla., was born Nov. 23, 1950, in Dallas and died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 17, 2014

  • Harry Lee Sinnett

    Harry Lee Sinnett, 72, of Harrah and Newalla, passed away Saturday, July 12, 2014. He was born July 16, 1941, in Rago, Kan., to Harry D. Sinnett and Opal L. Robinson. Harry was employed by the city of Norman for 32 years....

    July 17, 2014