Former Oklahoma State Senator Gene Stipe (D-McAlester) passed away Saturday Evening after a long battle with illness.
Stipe was born in October of 1926 in the Pittsburg County town of Blanco. Stipe served as an Ensign in the Navy during World War II. He was honorably discharged at the end of his military service.
When Stipe returned stateside, he was elected to the State House of Representatives where he served until 1956. That year he successfully ran for State Senator, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2003. He was often referred to as the "dean of the senate." At 53 years, Stipe held the distinction of being the longest serving senator in state history.
In addition to his service to the people of his district, Stipe was also a defense attorney and a well known entrepreneur. He owned radio stations, newspapers, convenience stores and multiple oil and gas holdings
Stipe was surrounded by his family at his home in McAlester at the time of death.
Services will be held at the First Baptist Church of McAlester. A date has not yet been announced.
Campgrounds along the Illinois River, like Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, pack out around this time, every year for Memorial Day weekend, but this year may be different.More >>
Campgrounds along the Illinois River, like Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, pack out around this time, every year for Memorial Day weekend, but this year may be different.