Charles C. Ingram (C.C. Ingram)
BY Staff Reports
Friday, November 30, 2012
Charles C. Ingram, born December 10, 1916, was a native of Henryetta, Oklahoma, where he grew up a grocer’s son playing competitive sports that he loved. He was accepted to the University of Oklahoma receiving a scholarship to play football for the Sooners and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering. Before graduation in 1939 he met his wife Maxine. “Everybody had her on their dance card,” he said. “I didn’t have a dime in my pocket and I couldn’t dance a lick but she picked me.” They fell in love and he whisked her away, hitchhiking back to her hometown of Hobart, Oklahoma to marry one year before their graduation. Following graduation C.C. began his career as a laborer at Oklahoma Natural Gas Company in 1940. He would say “I had a sheep’s skin in one hand and a shovel in the other digging ditches for 25 cents an hour.” He learned the gas business from his fellow laborers. Those early experiences and relationships provided him with the foundation needed to build a successful gas company. Like so many other young Americans, C.C.’s career was curtailed by the advent of World War II. He entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant of Ordnance. After 5 years serving both in the United States and the Philippines, he was discharged in 1946 as a Major. Upon his return, he was surprised to find a job waiting for him in ONG’s Engineering Department in Tulsa. One of Oklahoma Natural’s early challenges was achieving the ability to expand the company’s gas reserves. C.C. initiated the Gas Purchase & Supply Department in order to retain gas reserves so that Oklahoma Natural could begin aggressively securing long-term contracts. These actions would propel the company to substantial future growth. After serving in numerous positions at the company, in April of 1966, he was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. When Oklahoma Natural Gas Company’s corporate name was changed, he was the one who coined the name ONEOK. In 1987, he retired after 47 years of service but remained active as Chairman of the Board Emeritus. As a consultant he retained an office at the Company headquarters until the day he died. C.C. considered it an honor to serve as Chairman of the American Gas Association. In this position he and Maxine traveled the world representing 300 gas companies operating in all 50 states. In one year they traveled 113,000 miles com- pletely around the world meeting in various countries including China. C.C. was a civic leader who earned the respect of his fellow Tulsans. He valued the contributions made by the company’s employees for whom his door was always open. The strides he achieved through Affirmative Action and the advancement of women in the work place set him apart as a business leader. While C. C.’s success in the gas industry is apparent, Grandfather’s love of family is the legacy he leaves behind. He loved coaching his boys in baseball when they were young and supporting them throughout their golf careers. He was a true sports fan passing much time watching various sports and watching Oklahoma play football. He followed the St. Louis Cardinals listening on radio or watching on TV every game for over 89 years. For his 90th, birthday his sons took him to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals win the World Series. His most favorite past time was playing golf. There was a standing tee-time after Sunday Church for he, his wife, his sons and his seven grandchildren. His love of the game, led him to take his family to the Broadmoor Golf Tournament where they vacationed every summer for 20 years creating memories that would last a lifetime He spent countless hours filming baseball games, golf matches, cheerleading competitions, holiday celebrations, birthdays, vacations, chronicling many happy and memorable family traditions and life events. C.C. “Charlie” was a longtime member of Brookside Baptist Church where be served as a Deacon. He was a member and past president at Southern Hills Country Club, as well as serving as Chairman of the Women’s U.S. Open at Cedar Ridge Country Club in 1983. C.C. died November 27, 2012 at 95 years of age. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Clark Ingram, Sr. and Winnie Alice Edwards Ingram; his wife of 72 years, Maxine Waterbury Ingram; his daughter; Vicky Ingram; and his son Jack R. Ingram. He is survived by his son Jim Ingram and his wife Marcy Ingram; daughter-in-law, Deanna Ingram; and his seven beloved grandchildren: Kyle Ingram, Errol Ingram, Kristen Ingram Johnson, Brooke Ingram Houston, Cara Leigh Ingram, Mindy Ingram Kelly, and Eli Ingram along with 19 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brookside Baptist Church. Services will be held Friday, November 30th, 2012, at 1P.M., at Brookside Baptist Church. Moore’s Southhlawn 918-663-2233 share memories at www.moorefuneral.com This obituary was published in the Tulsa World on 11/30/2012.