The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 11, 2014

Enid says goodbye to community leaders Herman Hackett, Ruth Freeman, Olin Unruh

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid recently said goodbye to three community leaders.

Herman Hackett, remembered for his humility, kindness and charity in our community, passed away Monday at the age of 80.

In 1992, Herman and his wife, Gail, purchased Burgundy Inc., which contains 66 apartments for independent living for retirees. In 1996, they built Greenbrier Residential Assisted Living on the same campus as the nursing home.

Ruth Wiles Freeman, the founder of the Heritage League of Enid and the Keeper of the Plains Foundation, died Tuesday at 85.

Freeman is remembered for her activism to preserve Enid history.

“Ruth Freeman really was the mother of historic preservation in Enid,” said Becky Cummings, of the Kenwood Historic District.

Olin Unruh, a longtime Garfield County commissioner, died Wednesday at age 80.

Unruh is recalled as a seasoned public servant with a sense of humor. He served a dozen years as a county commissioner, retiring in 2002.

Thumbs up to the legacies of Hackett, Freeman and Unruh.


When you’re exposed to extremely cold temperatures, you’re prone to sickness and even frostbite on exposed extremities.

Thumbs up to the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County’s mitten tree, which helps kids stay warm this winter by collecting donations of new hats, gloves and scarves.

Collected items were to be distributed to elementary school children in Enid, Chisholm and Pioneer-Pleasant Vale school districts.


Thumbs — and paws — up to Furever Friends, an animal rescue program that can’t survive without donations.

Veterinary bills currently total around $9,000, after the group recently rescued six puppies all with canine parvovirus.

Founder and current president Melba Evans began the rescue-foster program in June 2011. The group has no actual shelter location, using a network of around 23 foster families to temporarily house rescued animals.

Since then, the group has rescued and adopted out about 600 animals.

Donations to Furever Friends can be mailed to 902 W. Broadway or made in Furever Friends’ name to Wheatland Animal Hospital, the Cat Clinic or any Bank of Kremlin. Donations also can be made online through PayPal. The group also accepts pet-care items such as food, leashes, dishes, collars and blankets.


Finally, thumbs up to the 29th annual 4-H Day at Oakwood Mall.

The recent daylong event offered informative displays on woodworking, electricity, safety, care of animals, environmental awareness, clothing, foods, leisure arts, computers, fitness and photography. It also featured a speech contest, talent shows and fashion shows.

There are as many 4-H’ers who live in towns and cities with populations more than 10,000 as there are 4-H’ers living on the farm or small towns. 4-H is for youths 9-19 years of age, but many counties have a Cloverbud Program for youths under 9.