OPSU News

Dennis and Gladys Schneider —Courtesy photoDennis and Gladys Schneider —Courtesy photo Jack Strain —Courtesy photoJack Strain —Courtesy photo
**For Immediate Release** Alumni Meeting and Banquet April 5 Released by OPSU Campus Communications on 03/26/2014 Goodwell, Okla. — The Panhandle State Association of Alumni and Friends 2014 Annual Meeting and Banquet is April 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Noble Center on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus. A meet and greet reception will begin at 5 p.m.

Reservations are $25. For more information, contact the Alumni Office at 580-349-1390 or Segundo@opsu.edu. Dennis and Gladys Schneider and Jack Strain will be honored as this year's Ambassador Hall of Fame Inductees.

Dennis Schneider was born and raised on a farm in Ellis County, Okla., and attended all his early years at Arnett Public Schools. Gladys Burton was born and raised on a farm in Cimarron County, Okla., and attended all her early years at Felt Public Schools. Both attended what was then known as Panhandle A&M College. Gladys attended during the years 1960-1963, and Dennis from 1958-1962, and both of them majored in music education.

They were very active in many campus activities and organizations during these years (Gladys worked at the University library; Dennis was student body president in 1961-1962). After teaching a semester at Cimarron, N.M., and driving buses a summer at Philmont Scout Ranch, Dennis returned to Oklahoma, and he and Gladys were married on August 25, 1963 at Felt, Okla. Returning to teach two years at Cimarron, the couple saved their money and spent the following year attending Eastern New Mexico University, where Gladys finished her degree while Dennis added a master's degree.

For the next four years Dennis and Gladys taught on the Navajo reservation at Shiprock, N.M. After their first son was born, Dennis taught one year on the Jicarilla Apache reservation at Dulce, N.M. before the family returned to Cimarron, N.M. Dennis taught band, choral, and general music for 28 1/2 years before retiring, and Gladys taught elementary and general music classes for over 30 years before retiring. The two have remained active in many things over their years together. Dennis has driven buses for schools and Philmont Scout Ranch for over 50 years, and Gladys has over 30 years experience in this endeavor. They are both actively engaged in this occupation at the present time. Gladys remains active in Sorosis club, Antique club, and church work, teaches piano, directs the community chorus, quilts, and takes Tai Kwon Do classes (she is working on the black belt series).

Dennis has been a Church of Christ minister for over 40 years, NRA life member, and secretary of the Masonic lodge for over 25 years, and EMT with Cimarron Volunteer Ambulance for over 30 years, Crime Stopper board member and paymaster for over 20 years, etc. Dennis and Gladys are both life members of the Santa Fe Trail Association, and members of the Bent's Fort, Cimarron Historical Society, and are both officers in the Corazon de los Caminos (Dennis-president, Gladys-secretary). Both are members of the state and local retired teachers associations, and life members of the OSPU Alumni Association, where they have served as either a board member or advisor for over 20 years.

OPSU is near and dear to their hearts. Gladys and Dennis had two sons named Clay and Zane. Zane was killed at age 14, and Clay became an EMT at age 17. He pursued a degree in emergency medicine, became a paramedic, RN, ER charge nurse, Medical Flight Technician, and is currently studying to become an NP. He is married and has two sons, James and David (ages 12 and 7). Dennis and Gladys celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last August, and they truly cherish all their friends and loved ones they have been blessed to have in their lives.

Jack Strain was born in Guymon, Okla. and has lived his entire life in Goodwell. He is the son of the late Gene Strain and Rita Rexroad Strain. He has one brother, Rex, who also lives in Goodwell. Jack attended Goodwell Schools for 12 years. During this time Jack would either help at Strain Brothers Service Station or do what he loved to do most, helping his dad and uncle Dean on the family farm. Graduating from high school in 1973, he enrolled and started classes at Panhandle State College that fall. Jack was part of the third generation to attend Panhandle State College. Jack's grandmother, Lela Alexander Rexroad attended PAI, and both his parents attended PAMC where his mother, Rita, graduated and later taught at the high school in Goodwell for 30 years.

While attending his first year of college, Jack tried to continue his late father, Gene's, and his late Uncle Dean's farming operation. Jack felt he wasn't doing a very good job of either, so it was then decided that the family would get out of the farming business allowing Jack to continue working toward a degree in accounting as well as rodeoing for Doc Gardner and Phil Martin on the Rodeo Team. The year 1974-75 was a time of change. PSC was changed to Panhandle State University, team roping was introduced as a regular event by the NIRA, and Jack and Rocky Zollinger were the year-end team roping champions in the Central Plains Region and went to the CNFR in Bozeman, Mont. That was also the year Jack met his future bride, Gwen Weatherford, who attended PSU on volleyball and softball scholarships.

One week after Jack graduated from OPSU in May of 1977, he and Gwen were married in Dumas, Texas. They made their home that first year in married student housing on the OPSU campus as Gwen had one year left in school to obtain her degree in education. Jack went to work immediately following graduation for what is now Hitch Enterprises in Guymon. His first job for Hitch was with Western Trio Cattle Company, and he was later transferred north of Optima to Master Feeders, now known as Hitch Feeders I. Upon graduation, Gwen taught elementary school in Yarbrough, Texhoma, and then 23 years in Goodwell. She retired after 30 years in Oklahoma, but did not give up teaching. She is now a secondary Rti math teacher in Spearman, Texas.

In 1982, after working for Hitch Enterprises for five years, Jack and Gwen along with other community members formed a corporation to open Community Grocery on Main Street in Goodwell where the former B&G Grocery had been located. With the help of many friends and family, Jack and his cousin, Max, operated the grocery store until 1997. During this time, Jack and Gwen started a family. Their daughter, Kali, was born in 1984 and their son, Jake, was born in 1987. They were both raised in that grocery store where they grew up not knowing a stranger. Kali and Jake continued the tradition by being part of the fourth generation to attend OPSU by taking concurrent classes while attending Goodwell High School. Kali went on to earn her Bachelor's degree of Finance from the University of Oklahoma and then her Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Tulsa University in 2009. She now works for the District Attorney's office in Tulsa as an Assistant District Attorney. After Jake graduated from GHS, he continued his education at OPSU on a basketball scholarship. He played basketball for two years and then started playing golf for OPSU on a golf scholarship. After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from OPSU, Jake enrolled in the Langston University School of Physical Therapy. He graduated from Langston with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in May of 2013 and now works with Eric Johnson at Elite Physical Therapy in Guymon.

Upon closing Community Grocery in 1997, Jack went to work for Harvey Hale at Texas County District 3 in Texhoma, Okla. where he drove a truck and operated a motor-grader until the untimely death of Mr. Hale in September, 2005. A special election was held to fill his unexpired term. Jack and Gwen decided it would be in their best interest for Jack to run for the office of County Commissioner. Jack won that election in December of 2005 and has held the office of County Commissioner for District 3 of Texas County since that time. "It is an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Texas County and District 3 and I hope to continue doing so for many more years to come," says Jack.

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