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Oklahoma State University

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University

In Memoriam Fall 2016

In Memoriam

Victor Wolfram served as an artist-in-residence and professor of music at OSU. For many years, he was the coordinator of keyboard studies in the department of music, and he served as acting department head. Born in New York City in 1920 and educated at the Juilliard School of Music, Wolfram served as a chaplain’s assistant in the Navy during World War II and lived in New York, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska and Maryland before coming to OSU in 1960. At OSU, he was recognized for the harpsichord recitals he offered each semester. Wolfram retired from OSU in July 1982. During retirement in California, Wolfram continued to perform actively. He died December 12, 2015, in Walnut Creek, California. He is survived by his wife Esta Wolfram. 


Carl Frederick Meyerdirk, ’49 journalism, died January 19, 2016, at the age of 89. Meyerdirk was the retired director of media relations at Amoco Corporation, a television talk show host in the 1960s in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a U.S. Navy veteran and a past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. He is survived by his brother Harold Meyerdirk; longtime business partner and friend of 46 years, Thomas R. Tocalis; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and June Brown Meyerdirk, and his brother Howard Meyerdirk. Donations may be made in his name to the Michiana Humane Society, 


Fred L. Thompson, ’50 human resources management, died January 5, 2016. Thompson was honorably discharged from the Air Force as a captain. He was an early innovator in FM radio and owned and operated KRSL in Russell, Kansas, and KYFM in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He also served his alma mater as national president of the OSU Alumni Association, president of the OSU Foundation and by establishing an academic scholarship. Thompson was also an OSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.


Delbert O. Black, ’55 agriculture, ’59 master’s degree and ’69 doctorate in agriculture, died January 16, 2016. He was a member of the 1953 Intercollegiate Poultry Judging Team Contest and managed the OSU Poultry Farm from 1956 to 1960. He is survived by his wife, Billie June Black. Memorials may be sent to NARFE – Alzheimer Research, Bill Braden, Treasurer, 1806 Medina Drive, College Station, Texas 77840 or First Baptist Church Building Fund, 3100 Cambridge Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802.


Kathryn Tate, ’55 vocational home economics, died at age 82 on February 12, 2015. She was born on January 13, 1933, to Earl and Esther Splawn in Leveland, Texas. She graduated from Fredrick High School in 1951 and earned graduation honors from Cameron Junior College in Lawton, Oklahoma. She married Billie Dean Tate on June 26, 1955. She taught home economics until May 1988 and was named Teacher of the Year in 1985. In 1997, she was elected to the Carnegie City Council, where she served until 2013, including as mayor from 2000-05. The Kiowa County Farm Bureau named her Farm Woman of the Year in 2004. She was an active member of the OSU Alumni Association Caddo County chapter and Carnegie First Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband, Bill Tate, ’55 geography, son, Lynn Tate, daughter, Deana Sims, five grandchildren, a niece and a nephew. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Robert Splawn.


Leslie Newkirk Johnston, ’56 doctorate in veterinary medicine, died November 4, 2015. He was born on October 9, 1928, to Leslie Newkirk Johnston Sr. and Lottie Johnston. On December 22, 1951, he married Ada Sue Ruff in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Johnston served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Hawaii. Following his military service, he started veterinary school at OSU. After graduation, Johnston established a veterinary practice in Tulsa. He was a member of First Baptist Church, the Agape Sunday School class, American Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association and the Northeast Oklahoma Veterinary Group. Memorials may be sent to the Agape Sunday School class to further mission efforts (First Baptist Church, 403 S. Cincinnati Ave., Tulsa, OK 74103).


David Holle, ’59 geology, died on March 13, 2016. He was a loyal Cowboy fan. Funeral attendees wore orange in honor of him and OSU.


George Michael Thomas, ’62 animal science, ’68 doctorate in veterinary medicine, died October 18, 2015. He was born on March 20, 1941. He practiced in Temple and Ninnekah, Oklahoma, for over 40 years. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Thomas,’63 business administration, daughter, Michele Flanagan’91 management, son, Joe Thomas, and five grandchildren.


Brooks Thompson, ’01 political science, died June 9, 2016. Thompson, 45, is regarded as one of the best guards in OSU history. He earned All-Big Eight selections in 1993 and 1994. He is one of just eight Cowboys to record a 500-point/100-assist season, and only Marcus Smart (2.9 steals per game) tallied more steals per game over his career than Thompson (2.7). He was a 43.1 percent shooter from 3-point over his career.


A native of Littleton, Colorado, Thompson was taken with the 27th pick of the 1994 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic and played a combined four seasons with Orlando, Utah, Denver, Phoenix and New York. Following his NBA career, Thompson returned to Stillwater as an assistant coach from 1998-99 and once again in 2001-02. He later served two seasons at Arizona State and spent the last 10 seasons as the head basketball coach at the University of Texas– San Antonio, where he led the Roadrunners to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.Thompson is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three daughters: Ryan Michelle, Brooke and Addison. 



Oklahoma State University mourns the death of Cowboy Basketball forward Tyrek Coger. The 22-year-old junior college transfer from Elizabethtown, North Carolina, died July 22 after collapsing during a team workout. He arrived on the OSU campus July 5. Cowboy Head Basketball Coach Brad Underwood said, “Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy.”


Coger is survived by his mother and father, Tomeka Collins and Michael Coger Jr. of Elizabethtown, North Carolina; four brothers, Michael Coger III of New Jersey, Rodney Purvis of Connecticut, Miguel and Zach Coger of Elizabethtown, and godmother Shanda McNair of Raleigh, North Carolina.


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Uploaded on September 1, 2016