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Obituary for Harold “Hal” Wimsett

Ponca City Now - March 29, 2018 3:15 pm

Harold “Hal” E. Wimsett

March 10, 1927 – March 28, 2018

Harold E. “Hal” Wimsett. age 91, Ponca City resident, passed away Wednesday, March 28, 2018 in Ponca City.

Friends and loved ones may pay their respects at the funeral home from 10am – 8pm Friday, March 30 with family present to greet friends from 6-7pm. A graveside ceremony to celebrate his life will be held at 10:00am Saturday, March 31 in the Hope Chapel at Odd Fellows Cemetery with Reverend Valerie Austin of Community Christian Church officiating. Please wear casual clothing to the ceremony at the family’s request. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory.

Hal was born March 10, 1927 in Oilton, OK to Charles O. and Bessie M. Woodin Wimsett. He came from humble beginnings in the town of 5000. One of six children, Hal was born into a family of oil field workers. Hal grew up in the country outside of Oilton and attended a small country school. He attended Oilton High School but, just before graduation, he joined the Navy. He served on the USS Mississippi and was on that ship in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 when General Douglas MacArthur signed the surrender of Japan about the USS Missouri, anchored Nearby. Hal returned to the United States via Hawaii, the Panama Canal and New Orleans. After his discharge in Virginia, he returned to Oilton and received his diploma.

Hal began his tour of duty with the Navy at Camp Shoemaker near Dublin, California. After the war, Hal decided, “California was the place to be.” So he settled down in the Bay area, ready to make his fortune. Driving north on San Leandro Street one morning, he spotted and American Tractor sign and turned in the driveway they shared with a pump company to apply for a job. As Hal left his car, thinking he had parked in the American Tractor’s lot, he met Dick Drexler from the pump company and, after a short conversation, was hired on the spot. He said, “I reported to work the very next day. I never made it to American Tractor.” Hal was excited! They offered to pay him a whopping $1.15 per hour. With that salary, Hal was able to save enough to buy a brand new 1949 Chevrolet for the tidy sum of $2,300.

Working his way up to department head, Hal was transferred to the Los Angeles Branch in 1957. He spend two years doing public bidding, inside sales and troubleshooting. In 1959, he was sent to Dallas, Texas to help set up PACO’s first office and warehouse in the South. There he was able to draw on his past experience fulfilling his sales, bidding, and troubleshooting duties and serve as the assistant manager. As the company grew, so did the demand for a field technician who could handle warranty work and quality assurance issues. Hal was pressed into service and favorable reports returned to the company. Because of Hal’s knowledge and winning personality, customers were always trying to hire him away from PACO. But Hal was faithful to the company that gave him a chance at such a young age. During his tenure with PACO, Hal enjoyed traveling to every state in the Union plus Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Alaska.

When Hal moved to Ponca City, he made the Senior Center his gathering place for leisure, visiting with friends, playing pool (which he was quite skilled), and spending time with his dear sister Charlene. Hal loved dancing and would cut a rug whenever he could. He also kept a close eye on the stock market. Hal’s faith was shepherded by Community Christian Church where he was a faithful member. In more recent years, as his health began to deteriorate, he still enjoyed playing dominoes with his sister and watching football, especially his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.

Survivors include his beloved sister Charlene Mock as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Hal was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Orville, Bill, Clyde, and Claude.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Community Christian Church, 2109 W. Grand Ave., Ponca City, OK 74601 or Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 445 N. Fairview, Ponca City, OK 74601.

Source: Trout Funeral Home