Oklahoma SCS/NRCS Retired Employees met at the Golden Corral Buffet at 520 South MacArthur Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Thirty-two people were in attendance. Many attendees arrived early for visiting before the meeting was called to order.
President Chris Shepherd called the meeting to order. Randy Freeland had borrowed a portable speaker system for use during the meeting to assist those speaking to the group. Even though many were reluctant to use it, it helped those who did. Chris asked if anyone knew of a retiree needing prayers. Everett Cole and Bill Petermann and his wife were mentioned. All of them have health concerns which keep them from attending the meeting. Chris Shepherd provided the blessing for the meal and everyone enjoyed the buffet meal.
Following the meal, President Chris Shepherd again called the meeting to order. First time attendees introduced themselves: Phil Perryman retired as District Conservationist in Anadarko 10 years ago. He was accompanied by his wife Lana. Ron Goedecke retired as District Conservationist at Okmulgee three years ago. Mike Goforth is currently the Civil Engineering Technician at Perry. He previously had worked in watersheds. He brought his dad, Gayle Goforth, who has been retired from watersheds more years than he worked. Everyone in attendance introduced themselves and their spouse or guest in attendance.
Randy Freeland passed around forms for retirees to provide information about their retirement activities (i.e. volunteer work, travel, part-time work, activities, etc.) This information is used for the Oklahoma Retired SCS/NRCS Employees Association newsletter along with the minutes of the meeting. Many retirees have expressed their appreciation for the information presented on the website www.joepad.com . When they are not able to attend the meetings, the website provides pictures, list of attendees, etc.
Secretary/Treasurer Sandra Hough read the minutes of the April 27, 2018, meeting. They were approved as read. The treasurer’s report showed a balance at the last meeting of $630.96 with $170.00 dues deposited for a beginning balance of $800.96 Expenses for this meeting were $211.60 and a $50 membership to the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society working to establish a conservation museum, etc. leaving an ending balance of $539.36. There were 306 notices mailed, 4 returned with 3 updated. Correct addresses are needed for: R. C. Brinlee, Wilburton; and Nancy Wyckoff, Nowata.
Members were reminded that we collect $10 per year from each member for expenses for the Association. They can be paid in April or October each year. Dues are collected from members only during the current year. Dues are not collected for prior years.
Fred Fortney read a list of recent retirees: John Mueller, State Conservation Engineer, Texas, 7/31/18, 35 yrs service, engineer in Oklahoma previously, served 4 months in 2013 as the Acting Oklahoma State Conservationist; Mike Sheik, DC, Enid, 7/31/18; Becky Hickman, Ecological Science, State Office, 8/31/18.
Fred Fortney also read a list of retiree deaths since April 2018. They were: John Wilkinson, 83, retired contracting officer, State Office, 6/1/18, 36 yrs service, retired 7/02; Bill Ellis, 76, retired SCT, Seminole, 7/28/18, retired 12/02; Don Jackson, 88, retired DC, Stillwater, 7/12/18; Pansy Schneider, 83, wife of Joe Schneider, Grove, 7/29/18; Wendell Morton, 83, retired CET State Office design section, 8/14/18, retired in 1990, 31 yrs service; Glen Mullen, 93, retired AC, Perry, 9/16/18, retired in 1980. Glen & his wife Eunice had attended 19 of 21 meetings from April 2008 through April 2018. Fred asked for a moment of silence in their memory and provided a prayer.
At the April 2018 meeting, Larry Caldwell reported that the Oklahoma State University Oral History Program had completed 11 interviews with conservation leaders that will be preserved in their permanent oral history collection website (https://library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/digital/). Wayne Fjeseth, who serves as the Vice-President for the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society, reported that interviews with former Oklahoma State Conservationists are being conducted. Roland Willis and Bud Fountain are among those completed. Memberships with the Oklahoma Conservation Historical Society are being accepted. Membership categories are: Individual ($25), Family ($40), Organization ($50), and Founding ($100).
President Shepherd asked those in attendance who would like to share with the group a brief reflection of someone who had made an impression on their career with SCS/NRCS. Those volunteering to share included: Chris Shepherd, Phil Perryman, Randy Freeland, Fred Fortney, Jim McCampbell, Otho Lamar and Carolyn Webb. Their stories were very interesting. Come prepared to share next meeting.
Carolyn Webb and Keith Vaughan birthdays were celebrated by singing “Happy Birthday”. Several retirees are experiencing health issues and cannot attend the meetings but have expressed their appreciation for the website (www.joepad.com) which is updated after each meeting to include lists and pictures of attendees, minutes of the meeting, etc. Randy Freeland coordinates this information with his brother Joe Freeland who does the updates. Thank you Freelands!
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Golden Corral on MacArthur Boulevard in Oklahoma City. The Golden Corral opens at 10:00 AM so there is extra time for visiting before the meeting starts at 11:30 AM.
There was no other business to bring before the group and the meeting was adjourned.
The newsletter following this meeting can be found here: Newsletter October 2018
The minutes from the meeting can be found here: Minutes October 2018