Obituary for J.C. “Jerry” Trotter

Ponca City Now - July 1, 2022 6:07 pm

Dr. J.C. Trotter

December 6, 1934 – June 27, 2022

Dr. J.C. Trotter, resident of Ponca City since 1966, community leader and optometrist, passed away on June 27, 2022. Jerry was a very young 87 years old, often joking his birth certificate was wrong.

Jerry was born December 6, 1934 in Pryor, OK. He often spoke of his humble beginnings. Jerry began working by washing car windows when he was just six years old and continued to work at any job he could get his entire childhood so as to financially take care of his mother and his sister. He worked before school, at lunch, and after playing sports in the evenings and every weekend. When Jerry was young he talked of staying in school so that he could play sports to ‘level the playing field’ with the other kids. Jerry was such a skilled athlete he would draw and entertain audiences with his humor and basketball skills and was frequently compared to a ‘Harlem Globe Trotter.’ Jerry was drafted to play high school sports when he was in just 8th grade and played varsity quarterback for four years, five “unofficially.”

After graduating Pryor High School in 1954, Jerry turned down athletic scholarships to continue taking care of his mother and his sister and began attending Northeastern State University in Tahlequah before joining the Marines. He was stationed on El Toro base in Tustin, Orange County, Calif., where was his platoon leader and made Buck Sergeant in just a few short months. The Marines pressured Jerry to become an officer, but he had his sights set on obtaining a college degree and attended one semester at Orange Coast Junior College in California.

Jerry married his high school sweetheart Sara Mae Samuels and their first of four children Robert Clay was born in Santa Ana, California in 1958. After discharging from the military, he moved the family back to Pryor where he again attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah while Sara obtained her teaching certificate. After obtaining a teaching position in Kansas City, they moved there for one semester where they had the worst winter in 49 years. The family moved back to Oklahoma where Jerry attended the University of Tulsa and Sara taught school at Franklin Elementary. Upon being accepted to The University of Houston, the family then moved to Texas where their second son Robert Kyle was born. Jerry worked construction around the area and roofed houses in Galveston while attending school. It took him eleven years, but with Sara’s help Jerry accomplished his goal of obtaining an undergraduate college degree, but went further and received his professional degree as well; a Juris Doctorate in Optometry from The University of Houston.

The Trotter Family made their home in Ponca City, OK and established his optometric practice where he would practice for over forty years. With his generous heart, Dr. Trotter’s first patient paid him a dollar a week for several years until he paid his bill in full. Sara taught at Trout Elementary until their third child and first daughter Trey Lynn was born. Fifteen months later, they welcomed their fourth child, a second daughter, Tana Lee. During this time, Jerry was an active member of the Lions Club, the YMCA, was President of the Jaycees for a term and a half and long-term member and supporter of Quail Unlimited, Quail Forever, and Pheasants Forever. Jerry sat on the Kay County Council for Retarded Children, was a member of the Ponca City Country Club, and donated his time testing children’s eyesight at Kildare Elementary school.

The Trotters moved to Hillcrest in 1970 where they enjoyed a Ponca City historical home for twenty five years. Jerry was an avid bird hunter and took trips to Colorado to elk hunt with his buddies and annual bird hunting trips to Nebraska and with sons and family for almost forty four years, the last trip being November of 2021. He played basketball at the YMCA at lunchtime three times per week until he was 70-years old. Whoever’s team Jerry was on, always got the ball first due to his seniority and he was always the referee. The next oldest player was actually over twenty years younger.

Jerry often spoke of having “his childhood” with his family, spending time at their cabin at Grand Lake, traveling, water skiing, fishing, snow skiing, boating, hunting and was the head consulting mechanic for “Team Trotter.” Jerry lost his beloved Sara 2014.

In 2016 Jerry married Ann Kinsinger and they spent the next six and a half years keeping up with their children and grandchildren. They loved traveling to visit family and friends and counting red-tailed hawks. Jerry continued his hobbies of fishing and bird hunting and he loved to “piddle,” which consisted of building things, fixing things, working on countless projects and inventing things. He and Ann ran circles around the rest of us and were a beacon of hope to everyone who knew them. His Wit, Wisdom and Depth of Character, Ann would say, were what heroes were made of. He loved God, Family and Country in that order.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Fannie Mae Anderson and Burl Buren Trotter, his wife Sara Trotter, his son Clay Trotter, his stepsons Dr. Bill Kinsinger, Tim Kinsinger and, of course, his hunting dogs. He is survived by his wife, Ann Kinsinger Trotter of Ponca City, OK, his son Kyle Trotter of Ponca City, OK, his daughter Trey Trotter of Ponca City, OK, his daughter Tana Trotter of Colorado Springs, CO, his sister Alice Williams of Phoenix, AZ, David and Angela Kinsinger of McKinney, TX Tracy Kinsinger of Beaufort, South Carolina and his grandchildren Sidney, Seth, Cole, Cory, Cort, Collin, Camdon, Libby, Jake, Joseph, Abby, Alex, Amelia, Olivia, Ben, great grandson Simon, and of course, Freckles and Nitro.

Two services are scheduled for Friday, July 8, a funeral mass at 10:00am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fairfax, OK and a funeral service at 2:00pm at Trout Funeral Home in Ponca City. Those unable to attend the Funeral Ceremony, may attend virtually on the Trout Funeral Home website, and click on the live-stream or toolbar icon on the top right corner after 1:45 PM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Opportunity Center in Ponca City in Jerry’s honor. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory, 505 W Grand Ave, Ponca City, OK 74601.

Source: Trout Funeral Home