NORMAN — Larry R. Wade, 72, longtime publisher of the Elk City Daily News and current chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, died Sunday, March 6, 2011, in Oklahoma City.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Elk City Pioneer Center officiated by the Rev. Dan Peil with the eulogy by David Boren, president of the Univeristy of Oklahoma. Burial will be at Fairlawn Cemetery under the direction of Whinery-Savage Funeral Service.
The family has asked that everyone wear something red in honor of Larry.
Larry was born Jan. 18, 1939, in Elk City, Oklahoma to Frances Loraine (Hart) and Paul R. Wade.
Larry graduated from Elk City High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1961, where he'd served as editor of the Oklahoma Daily, the OU student newspaper. After graduation, Larry joined the U.S. Army Reserve where he served at Fort Ord in the early 1960s.
Larry joined the staff of the Elk City Daily News as a cub reporter at age 13. He became co-publisher with his father in 1966 and publisher when his father passed away in 1972. He was married to Mary Jane (English) Wade in Cordell on Aug. 1, 1970. After their marriage, he remained publisher and maintained the tradition of publishing almost daily hometown editorials, one of the few newspapers in the state to do so giving him the title of the "Most Prolific Writer in Oklahoma.” In 1981, Larry was inducted into the Western Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
A longtime supporter of his alma mater, Larry was an endowed OU associate and member of the President's Associates, had received the OU Benefactor Award, lifetime member and served on the executive board of the OU Alumni Association, OU Journalism Alumni Association member and was a longtime member and current chairman of the OU Board of Regents, having been appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2004 to a seven-year term. He has endowed many scholarships for students. He served on OU's Reach for Excellence Campaign board and on search committees for two OU deans and the director of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band. He was a member of the Touchdown Club, the Tip-in Club and the Pride of Oklahoma Alumni Club. Larry also helped many local students obtain scholarships by writing letters of recommendation or intervening in other ways.
Larry demonstrated constant support and interest in the University of Oklahoma's wide scholarship campaign totaling $173,739,325 since it was launched in 2005. Larry established the Wade Pride of Oklahoma Endowed Scholarship (opened December 1997 for the School of Music), Wade Oboe Endowed Scholarship (opened December 1997 for the School of Music), Mary Elizabeth Wade Endowed Scholarship (opened May 2000 for the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts & Sciences), and the Dr. Colbert Hackler Endowed Scholarship for the Pride of Oklahoma (opened June 1999 for the School of Music).
Larry served on many Oklahoma Press Association committees and was OPA president in 1983. He received the OPA's highest honor, the Milt Phillips Award in 1995. He also is to be inducted into the Oklahoma Press Association Hall of Fame in May 2011. He also served as president of the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation.
Larry was active in the community having been city commissioner and mayor, president of the chamber of commerce, United Fund, Kiwanis Club and Arts Council. Additionally in 2003, he was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Commission and was instrumental in the building of the four lane highway from Elk City to Altus and also assisted in securing state assistance in local road projects. His lifelong passion for supporting education included his founding of the Elk City Education Foundation where he raised $1,170,221 since its founding in 1989 to support local schools.
Larry was extremely active in the Elk City United Methodist Church, having served on the church board for many years as well as singing in the church choir and serving as chairman of numerous local committees and councils and on district as well as conference committees.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Jane, of the home; a daughter, Elizabeth Perkinson and husband Jerry of Raleigh, N.C.; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A fund has been established for a memorial in memory of Larry to be placed in the foyer area under construction at the Elk City United Methodist Church. Memorials may also be made to the Elk City Education Foundation, c/o First National Bank or to the Larry Wade Scholarship Fund at the University of Oklahoma.
Condolences can be made online at www.whineryfs.com.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, March 9, 2011