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In Memory

Dale Leroy Hall

Dale Leroy Hall, set designer, lighting designer, technical theater professor, builder and painter, died at the age of 84, on Oct. 30, 2021, in Pueblo, Colorado.

Dale was also an avid bird watcher, outdoorsman, gardener and explorer. Most importantly, he was a loving husband, father, uncle, granddad and great-granddad to the family he leaves behind.

Born in 1937 in a small Oklahoma town to Clyde and Ivy Hall, Dale’s childhood was spent helping in the family creamery, delivering papers and running after his older brothers: Don, Eldon and Delbert.

It wasn’t until college, when he met the love of his life, Danelle Tucker, during a production of “The Monkey’s Paw,” that he realized theater was his calling.

The two eloped, were married in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and moved to the east coast. After summer theater in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and Brockport, New York, and several years in Wallkill, New York, teaching at the high school, the couple returned to Oklahoma with their two toddlers. Dale earned his MFA in theater design at the University of Oklahoma and began his career at Oklahoma City University, where he taught technical theater. He also worked with the local theater organizations in the area, building shows for the Civic Center, the Stage Center Theater, Lyric Theater and Ballet Oklahoma.

On the OCU campus, he mentored and taught several generations of students the intricacies of technical theater (the first lesson he taught every student who worked with him in the scene shop was the correct way to sweep the stage). Many students commented that Dale taught them not only about theater, but about life and being adults.

Dale was a big man with a big voice suited to the stage. His commanding presence, charisma, and sense of humor left an impression on all who knew him. One performer said, “I so remember my first ‘Dale’ sighting as he strode down the center aisle at the theater. I thought: ‘If that’s not what God looks like...he should.’”

Dale and Danelle traveled to New York several times a year to see as many theatrical productions as possible. On those trips, whenever he was in the theater district, his tall form and trademark cowboy hat were frequently recognized by past students, actors, singers, dancers and technicians, who were thrilled to see a little bit of home in the big city.

Dale retired from Ballet Oklahoma at the age of 74 and moved full-time to Silver Cliff, Colorado. He and Danelle used the historic mining town as a home base while exploring much of the Southwest, tracking bird migration patterns, and following the trail of their favorite fictional characters, always coming home to their view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Irene Elizabeth Phillips

April 30, 1946–Jan. 24, 2022

Irene Elizabeth Phillips, 75, of Oklahoma, formerly of Mercer, Pennsylvania, passed away in January.

Phillips was born April 30, 1946, in Mercer, to David C. and Willa Mae (Sorrels) Phillips. Irene was a nursing professor in the Kramer School of Nursing since 2006.

She graduated from Mercer High School in 1964, received a diploma in nursing from Sharon General Hospital in Sharon, earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and a master’s degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany.

Irene worked at Shenango Valley Osteopathic Hospital in Farrell, Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Sewickley Valley Hospital in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and both the Mercy Hospital and Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh. She later moved to Oklahoma in 1980 to work at the Saint Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City and the Midwest Regional Hospital in Midwest City. She was employed as a nursing instructor at Platt College from 2005 to 2006.

Since 2006, she was employed as a nursing instructor at OCU as a full-time faculty and then as adjunct faculty. She was a contributing sponsor of the nursing school’s Meinders Simulation Center. Irene was a member of the Midwest City Church of God of Prophecy.

Robert Noel Sheets

June 16, 1954–Dec. 8, 2021

Robert “Bob” Noel Sheets was born June 16, 1954, in St. Louis to Robert Lee Sheets and Betty Sue Read Sheets. He passed into life eternal on Dec. 8, 2021.

Bob graduated from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1979 and was later a law professor there.

Bob grew up in Florissant, Missouri, where he was active in DeMolay. He graduated from McCluer High School and Washington University in St. Louis before OCU. He married Mary Patricia Flanagan in 1981.

Bob was a founding partner of the original law firm McFall, McVay, Sheets, Lovelace and Juras. The firm is known now as Phillips Murrah. Bob retired from the firm in 2020, and since then was an adjunct professor of law at OCU.

Next to the Lord and his family, Bob’s love in life was the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a fan throughout his life. In childhood, he won a game ticket most years for earning straight As in school. He loved taking his family to games and was a regular season-long viewer of Cardinal games on TV.

He was also a history buff, especially about the Civil War. Numerous family vacations were trips to Civil War battlefields. He could spend hours strolling in museums and looking at monuments, and he readily entered discussions with park rangers about history.

Bob was active in the church and community. He held numerous leadership positions at Wesley United Methodist Church and taught the lnspirers Sunday School class. He was a board member for several years with Heartline, and a longtime volunteer in the Oklahoma Bar Association’s education outreach efforts. He taught “The Law and You” short courses for high school students and read to preschoolers at Head Start locations in Oklahoma City. He recently volunteered for TEEM, The Education and Employment Ministry.

Most of all, Bob was a family man. He loved his wife of 40 years dearly, as well as his children and grandchildren, on whom he bragged every chance he got. When his children were young, he coached their YMCA baseball and Little League baseball teams.

Abbey Grace Renner

Aug. 5, 1997–Nov. 22, 2021

Abbey Grace Renner (BS Biomedical Science ’19) was born into this world Aug. 5, 1997, and passed away on Nov. 22, 2021, at the age of 24.

Abbey grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma, attending Deer Creek schools. During her time there she was a three-time state basketball champion, valedictorian, Miss DCHS, senior class officer, national honor society president and Spanish Club president. She participated as a Girls State Delegate and the University of Oklahoma High School Leadership Conference as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Abbey attended college at Oklahoma City University, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Cum Honore with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science and minors in Spanish and chemistry. Abbey was a member of the OCU women’s basketball team for two years during which time the team won the NAIA national championship. She was a two-time academic all-conference player and twice selected as the OCU student athlete of the year. She was a beloved member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She participated in many activities and clubs, including Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (president), Student Athletes Advisory Committee, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Government Association, and OCU Leads Presidents Leadership Class. She was awarded the Petree College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Sophomore as well as the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Award for her research and presentation on “Bacteriophage: A Potential Replacement for Antibiotics.”

After graduating from OCU, Abbey worked as an emergency physician scribe at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City while preparing for medical school. In 2020, Abbey was accepted to Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. In pursuit of her medical dream, Abbey continued to give back to the community. She was selected as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for her study and teaching of diabetes management and education to Spanish-speaking members of the community at Xavier Clinic. She was awarded the Mona Whitmier Scholarship through the Tulsa Medical Society. She continued to participate in student government, was a student ambassador, and a member of the VASSAR research team.

Among other organizations and memberships, she was president of the Student Osteopathic Internal Medicine Association and vice president of American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians. She was recently nominated for the 2022 Student Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine of the Year. She participated in any opportunity to further her medical education and dream to become a servant-centered physician helping those in need.

Our Condolences


Charles E. Mehr (’43)

Albert H. Brooks (’47)


Natalie H. Kopplin (’50)

Wayne H. Edge (’51)

Dickey Campbell (’53)

Raymond P. Manning (’58)

Richard L. Rice (’59)


Willie R. Points (’60)

Ralph Carlson (’66)

James B. Zongker (’66)

R. Kent Zirkle (’68)


Phillip A. Martinez (’71)

Carolyn McAlister (’71)

Arthur L. Woodall (’71)

Thomas E. Barnett (’72)

Wade Ferguson (’72)

Anthony W. Speck (’72)

Chris H. Eulberg (’74)

Robert W. Shockey (’76)

Franklin W. Hobbs (’78)

Mike Y. Dehdari (’79)


Susan J. Rahhal (’81)

Mardea M. Warner (’87)

Deborah J. Bruce (’87)


Joe B. Hobbs (’94)

Jack T. Vannatta (’95)

Perry L. Williams (’98)

Ronald Jackson (’99)


Arden M. Gatlin (’01)

Ashley M. Kellert (’05)


Oscar J. Kincheloe (’12)

Zachary M. Whittaker (’16)

Janet C. Love (’17)

Abbey G. Renner (’19)

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