The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 19, 2013

Enid loses long-time educator Jack Webb

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A longtime Enid educator who retired in 1987 as assistant superintendent of Enid Public Schools left several legacies for the community.

Jack D. Webb, 87, died Thursday after lengthy health issues. He was part of Enid’s public schools for 31 years.

Garland “Kem” Keithly, former EPS superintendent, remembers Webb as sharp, fun to be around and a good problem-solver.

“He was a joy to work with, a lot of fun,” Keithly said. “He was very perceptive. … The kids really liked Jack and he really liked the kids.”

Keithly remembers Webb for always having a joke.

“I could tell a lot of stories about Jack Webb, but some of them are best left untold,” Keithly said. “Jack will be missed. He was one of a kind.”

After growing up in Galena, Kan., Webb served in the Marines. Then he got his bachelor’s degree from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan., and master’s degree from Colorado State College, Greeley.

He was a history teacher and coach at Wellington, Kan., from 1953 to 1956, then was teacher and coach at Enid High School from 1956 to 1959. He was assistant principal at the high school from 1959 to 1964, and principal from 1964 to 1967.

In 1965, Webb created the Pride of the Plainsmen Award.

He was EPS director of secondary education from 1967 to 1983, then assistant superintendent from 1983 to 1987.

Webb also was a metal artist whose work is on display in the lobby of the News & Eagle. Another of his sculptures is in the Nelson Rockefeller art collection. That is a sculpture of wheat, to represent Oklahoma, said his wife, Gayle Webb. Webb was commissioned to do the work, and it was presented to Rockefeller when he was vice president and visited Enid.

In 1998, Webb was inducted into the Oklahoma Education Hall of Fame.

Webb was past president of the Northern Oklahoma Education Association and the state athletic association, served on the executive board of the North Central Association and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and was chairman of the Enid Metropolitan Area Planning Commission for 15 years.

Webb’s first wife, Gloria Fyler, preceded him in death. He later married Gayle Wofford.

Webb is survived by his wife Gayle, three sons, two stepdaughters and one stepson.

Gayle Webb said Webb’s stepchildren were very close to him.

“They really looked to Jack as their father,” Gayle Webb said. “Jack had such a wonderful way with young people. That was his career.”

His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Christ United Methodist Church, under the direction of Brown-Cummings Funeral Home. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials can be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or the Horn of Plenty. Condolences may be made online at brown-cummings.com.