In Memory

Ralph Van Horn

Ralph Van Horn

Ralph Van Horn married Donna Bradley (Harding HS, 1962) in 1962. They had three children, Kevin, Terri, and Vicki. Donna passed away in 2004, and Ralph in 2008.

After attending OSU and UCO, Ralph graduated from OCU with a degree in accounting, He worked for Amoco Oil in Oklahoma city and Tulsa for five years, for King Resources in Denver for  one year, and then for American Airlines/Sabre in Tulsa for 30 years.

Ralph was particularly proud of his two grandchildren. They are the children of his daughter Vicki and her husband, Patrick Magness. Both of the grandkids were class officers in their school in The Colony, Texas, and both are straright-A students. His granddaughter,  at the age of 13 years, was named State of Texas Female Athlete of the Year by the Texas Amateru Athletic Federation (TAAF). She participates in several sports and excels in swimming and soccer. The TAAF represents about 15 summer sports for ages 8-18.

Ralph had two brothers who also graduated from Harding: Bob (Harding '61) and Steve (harding '66).


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08/26/09 10:19 AM #1    

John Couch

Ralph had a happy outgoing disposition, and it was fun to be around him. He helped plan our 40th reunion, coming over from Tulsa for the meetings.

He was proud of his connection to Putman Heights, where he was known as Duane.

12/17/09 10:42 AM #2    

Dennis Kizer

Fifty Two Games

I knew him as Dewey. He showed up on my doorstep at 36th and Indiana at Christmas time with a wrapped gift. Must have been about 1949. I opened it right there. It was 52 Games. Every game you could imagine from (spell check says) Parcheesi to Chinese checkers. It must have been his sweet mother’s original idea. So, Dewey was my first friend even before Frank Brainard.

I met Frank walking down from Shadid’s Grocery with a sack of Bazooka bubble gum and Lik-M-Aids. He picked up something from the street and told me it was a church key. I learned from these guys. Frank stuttered a little, like my dad. One time when we were asked at a Cub Scout meeting, some reason, how old our father’s were. Frank said f f f almost sixty. See what I mean?

How to put playing cards on your bike, from a Bicycle deck I suppose, with a wooden clothes pin to make it sound like a Cushman Eagle, I guess ... Dewey always had his right jeans leg rolled up to keep from getting tangled up in the chain. That was cool.

In grade school Dewey and Danny Martin and I used to take the bus downtown on Saturdays and one of our prime stops was the Black Hotel Magic Shop. The owner called us Hewey, Dewey, and Louie. That’s how Dewey got his name. I forget which one of Donald’s offspring's namesake I was. Magic Rings, Disappearing Rice Bowls, Rope Tricks, that metal thumb, hide anything in it, you name it. My mother gave me a traveling vanity case to carry my magic act around.

As we got older we ditched school together a lot, spent the day at Roman Nose Park, usually. Juke box at the lodge, french fries in butter. Ralph always had a pretty cool car. One time he was driving a Corvette convertible. Get out of here. I don’t think anybody missed us too much. We were kind of on the C team. At least I was. Danny for sure. Ralph was a great student.

Brought a snake back and put it in someone’s locker. That wasn’t very nice. Had weekly poker games. Little brother Bob was part of that group, one of the first to join the Peace Corps. We all watched Alan Shepard go into space at a birthday poker party on our screened-in back porch. We used to hang out at Ralph’s dad’s used car lot on May Avenue, thus the cool cars. (Remember the term catmajat) He taught us how to play Gin. All we did was watch. Wow! He knew what you had in your hand. Games. A lot of games.

Out of chronology but just a thought floats through, one time, Danny, when we first started driving, parked his car right in the middle of a downtown street, pulled up the hood, left it parked while we went somewhere for a sandwich. Now, that was genius.

Dewey got me a job at the root beer stand and then at the Orange Julius. I think Danny worked there too. We all worked there. Don Haggard. Dewey was always working inside, a managerial type, making chili dogs and pouring drinks and taking money. I was a car hop. We used to go to the driving range and hit golf balls. Last time we were all together Haggard brought his clubs and we went out to a range near Lake Tahoe. Ralph asked if I could still drive the heck out of a golf ball. I took the dare, picked up an old club from the trash bin and sent one out three hundred yards I think. It was amazing. I should have stopped there. Of course Duane was a real hot tennis player and very modest about it.

Well, I will stop there, but with the caveat that I want to update this little memo as things come to my mind about our gang leader. As long as there is space. And time.

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