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May 19, 2014

Letter writer finds old pen pal

(Continued)

NORMAN —

They were bundled together and made several moves with her over the years but are now lost. Yet the memory remains and would come to mind often during the ensuing years.

While doing genealogy research online, she searched for his name and found him through a link on the website of Military Officers Association of America. They have since corresponded through email and phone calls and he remembers her letters.

Now residing in Winston Salem, N.C., LTC (Ret) Cone said in a phone interview that he remembers the letters he received from Stanlick while he was serving in an advisory unit to the South Vietnam.

Hers was not the only letter that he received from students but she was the only one who continued the back-and-forth correspondence over the next two or three years.

“I thought it was important that people understood what we were doing there, even though we didn’t succeed in doing it,” LTC Cone said.

And what about the teacher who made that letter-writing assignment? That was Molly Griffis, who Stanlick describes as “the one teacher that you never forget.”

Griffis taught at Central and then West and some of her former students were going to war.

“I wanted my students to know what was going on and to feel connected,” Griffis said.

Stanlick, whose father, Gene McPherson, owned the John Deere dealership in Norman for many years and served as mayor of Goldsby for 15 years, stayed in Norman through college. Then she moved around with a career in nursing home administration while raising a son and daughter. She returned to Oklahoma in 2009 and resides in Purcell.

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