The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Obituaries

July 10, 2014

George W. "Bill" Athey

Published 7-10-14

ENID, Okla. — The funeral service for Mr. George W. “Bill” Athey, 76, of Enid will be 10 a.m., Friday, July 11, 2014, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The Reverend Dr. Douglas Johnson will officiate. Burial will be in Memorial Park.  Visitation is 5-7 p.m. today at Brown-Cummings Funeral Home. Services are under the direction of Brown-Cummings Funeral Home.

He was born on Oct. 5, 1937, to George W. and Elizabeth E. (Cansler) Athey in Enid, Okla., and passed away on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Bill Athey was a family man, a visionary and an avid believer in the Enid community. He attended Enid schools and graduated from Enid High School in 1955. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his degree in business. He married Linda Gholston in 1963.

Bill put his degree to use and became the principal owner in two thriving Enid businesses, Security National Bank and Athey Lumber Company. In 1959, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Security National Bank of Enid and began working as a bank teller the following year. In 1979, George W. Athey was named president and CEO of the Security National Bank of Enid. At the time of his death, Bill was the chairman of the Security National Bank board of directors.

Along with wife Linda, he has been a true philanthropists and many organizations have benefited from their dedication to those less fortunate, including the United Way, CDSA, YMCA, YWCA, Youth and Family Services, Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center and Leonardo’s. They helped begin the Keeper of the Plains Scholarship for college-bound Native Americans and purchased the Keeper of the Plains statue that is located on the east lawn of the Garfield County Courthouse.

He began the revitalization of downtown Enid in the 1970s when he purchased the multilevel dilapidated buildings on West Main, South Independence and South Washington and turned the area into a banking center.  His vision led other individuals to take pride in Enid’s historic downtown area.

He believed in the Enid community and whole-heartedly supported the many employees who served with him through the bank and lumber company.

He encouraged good community stewardship and allowed employees to give of their time and energy during working hours to civic organizations and improvement campaigns.

He was a leader who led by empowering his employees and those around him. He rejoiced in their accomplishments both professionally and personally.

He himself had a commitment to the Enid Family YMCA and served on the board of directors for nearly 50 years. He served as president of the Enid Family YMCA in 1975.

In 2003, Bill was honored as the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and was inducted into the Oklahoma Bankers Association 50 year Club, for his 50 years of service to the banking industry in 2010.

Bill was a lifelong member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church and served as acolyte, as a vestry board member and senior warden for three years.

He was an athlete at heart and raced competition style boats for many years. He was an outdoorsman and loved getting back to nature.

Wanting to remain connected with his fellow graduates Bill was an active force behind many of his EHS 1955 high school class reunions.

Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda, of the home; four children, Mark of Grand Lake, Pam of Austin, Texas, Diane of Enid and Scott and his wife Molly of Enid; and three grandchildren, Tanner, Anna-Beth and Ashlyn.

Memorials may be given to the YMCA or St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church with Brown-Cummings serving as custodian of the funds. Condolences may be shared online at Brown-Cummings.com.

(Submitted by family)

 

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