Delbert Wayne Fair Sr. Obituary
Delbert Wayne Fair Sr., resident of Ponca City passed away Wednesday morning, Oct. 4, 2017, at Via Christi Village. He was 94 years of age.
Delbert was born Oct. 26, 1922 in Dilworth, Oklahoma, the son of John and Lola Fair. Delbert grew up around the Beaver Creeks outside of Webb City and Kaw City, Oklahoma. He attended schools in Kaw City, graduating from high school there in 1940. His family were farmers who enjoyed the rewards of hard work, discipline, and family unity in a country setting. His parents, John and Lola Fair were country folk who worked hard to provide for the family. Wherever they lived, John and the family farmed, raised crops of wheat, corn, and oats. When they weren’t working the fields, they raised chickens, turkey, geese, and tended dairy cattle and hogs. In addition to farming, John maintained a team of horses where he hauled drilling pipe to and from the oil fields. Lola was a great cook, her fine meals enjoyed by many an oil field worker at the noon meal. Although life was hard, they enjoyed a great family-centered lifestyle working, hunting, fishing, visiting kinfolk, playing games and musical instruments.
Following his high school graduation, Delbert met Joy Marie Eaton in Sept 1941 at a Cherokee Strip Celebration in Ponca City and knew right away that he wanted that beautiful young lady. A month later, he went to work for Lockheed-Vega Aircraft Co. in Burbank, California, returning to Ponca City in May 1942 because he couldn’t stand being away from Joy Marie. Hiring on with Boeing Aircraft Co. in Seattle, Washington in Aug 1942, he asked for Joy’s hand in marriage, soon thereafter marrying her on Aug 16, 1942 at the Prairie Chapel Church northwest of Ponca City. Following their marriage, they moved out to Seattle where they had the time of their young lives just enjoying each other.
Delbert began his military career in 1943 as a Cadet in basic training, then in January 1944 he attended Texas Tech University where he underwent Pilot Training. He then went to Yucca Flats for Gunnery School, then to Albuquerque, NM for Bombardier School till January 1945. From July to September 1945, Delbert went through B-29 Crew Training to prepare for overseas duty during WWII.
When WWII came to an end in Sept 1945, Delbert joined the Air Force Reserves, then began college at Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University) in January 1946. He studied Electrical Engineering there for 3.5 years, working and raising a family while taking 21 credit hours per semester. After graduating in 1949 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Delbert went to work in the oil fields at Duncan, Ok. While continuing in the Air Force Reserves, he earned his triple flight rating (Pilot, Navigator, Bombardier) at Wichita Falls, TX.
Delbert was called to serve his country in the Korean Conflict in June 1951, flying 55 missions over North Korea as a Navigator/Bombardier in the 13th Bomb Squadron, the “Grim Reepers.” He was a highly respected and requested Navigator for his uncanny ability to get his flight crew over target even in zero visibility weather conditions and safely back to home base. He remained in the Active Air Force Reserves following his assignment to Korea. When the family moved from Arizona to Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1954, Delbert continued his service while assigned to the Ponca City Air Force Reserve Unit and was the last Squadron Commander of that unit. He retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1975.
Delbert went to work for Conoco in 1954 and was assigned to the Exploration Research Division. He retired as Group Leader of Exploration Research in Ponca City in 1985. While working with Conoco, he was awarded 29 patents for designing a variety of oil exploration research/vibroseis equipment.
Delbert is survived by his son Delbert W. Fair, Jr. and wife Beverly, Ponca City, Sherry Marie Williams and husband Gilson, Pawhuska, Debbie A. Kelley, Ponca City, Kevin Z. Fair and wife Patricia, Oklahoma City, and Nathan J. Fair, Salina, Kansas; and his sisters-in-law, Charlene Vap and husband Jerry, Ponca City, Mary Freeman, Stillwater, and Kathie Armstrong, Ponca City; 20 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren; and several other extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Joy Marie, one daughter Diana Kay Foy, one son-in-law Roy Steve Kelley, his parents, one brother, three sisters, three brothers-in-law and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 10am Monday, Oct 9 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with Pastor Cindy Riedel presiding and Pastor Robert Montgomery assisting. Interment will follow at the Newkirk Cemetery with a final Grave Dedication to be given by his son, Kevin. Arrangements are under the direction of Grace Memorial Chapel.
Casket bearers will be his grandsons Roy Steve Kelley Jr., Delbert William Fair, Matthew Fair, Charles Kilpatrick, Ted Foy, and James Ryan Ledbetter. Honorary casket bearers will be Taylor Fair, Jeffery Koch, Cameron Fair, and Tyler Knight.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 455 Fairview Ave., Ponca City, Ok 74601 or to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1904 N. Pecan, Ponca City, Ok 74604.
Mr. Fair’s online guestbook may be signed at www.gracememorialchapel.net.
Delbert has been a long-time friend and fellow employee at Conoco. We always
enjoyed visiting with Delbert and Joy.... always very pleasant to be around.
Condolences to the family.
Jay & Millie StaffordPonca City, OK
Prayers to the family from Todd White and the Men of Serenity House.
Todd WhiteSalina, KS
On behalf of my mother, Mary Freeman, our family sends our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Fair family.
Karri FreemanStillwater, OK
We are so very sorry to hear of Delbert's passing. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time.
Prayers for Peace,
The Winter Family
Winter FamilyPonca City, OK
Grandpa fair was such a wonderful man. I am sure going to miss you! Thank u to u and grandma for giving me such a wonderful mother and aunts and uncles! Fly high grandma and grandpa! God bless the whole family! Love you all!
Kim knightPonca city, OK
Delbert was our neighbor for more than 30 years. It was always fun to visit with him. He had a great sense of humor and a fantastic memory of days gone by. He will always be missed and will never be forgotten.
Frank RogersPonca City, OK