Harold Victor Sare, passed peacefully from this life surrounded by his loving family on March 24, 2018. A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church. Strode Funeral home is in charge of the arrangements.
Harold Victor Sare was born to Bertha Vickers Sare and Lucian Victor Sare in Yates Center, Kansas, August 8, 1928. He attended a one-room country school near Chanute, Kansas, before moving to Oklahoma with his family in 1934. His dad was a small farmer, and his mother was an elementary school teacher. He grew up near Bartlesville along with his two younger brothers, Dale Irving Sare and Clyde Webster Sare.
Harold was a long-time Stillwater resident, where he happily invested a lot of labor and love. His passage from a young man on the farm to the wide world began after graduating from Bartlesville College High School. He entered the U.S. Army at the end of World War II and served in South Korea with Military Government. As the war was drawing to a close, the older men were being sent home, and the young men were given unusual responsibilities. Initially, Harold served at an outpost which dealt with civil unrest in Masan, and later was assigned to the Legal Division of Military Government and became special investigator for Kung Sam Namdo Province. He coordinated the provost courts for the province.
Harold returned to the U.S. in 1948 and entered Oklahoma A&M College to study political science and pre-law. In his first class (a logic class) he met Mary Lou Rector. He always said that it was love at first sight. They married in Stillwater in 1950 and happily celebrated 67 years together.
A few days after marriage, and 12 hours short of his Bachelor's degree, Harold was recalled to the Army to serve in Military Intelligence in the Korean War. He was sent to Hokkaido, northern Japan, where his job was Russian surveillance. He later was transferred to the XVI Corps in Sendai, Japan.
When his tour was completed in March of 1952, he returned to Mary Lou and OAMC to complete his degree. He then went on to graduate study in political science, with a focus on Asian studies and a goal of an academic career. After completing the MA degree at OAMC in 1954, he entered Harvard University to pursue the PhD in government.
1956 was an eventful year for Harold and Mary Lou. Their daughter, Victoria, was born the day Harold taught his first class as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emporia State University in Kansas. He joined the political science faculty at OSU in 1963. He was dedicated to his students and worked tirelessly to give them the best education he could muster to enlighten them about the workings of the government of their own country, as well as governments of other countries, particularly India and Japan.
In 1975, he became Head of the Department of Political Science and served in that position until 1982. In 1975, he was honored with a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award.
Harold retired from OSU as a Regents Service Professor in 1986. For several years after retirement, he continued to teach his specialty courses in Asian studies and U.S. foreign policy. Along with Mary Lou, he taught fulltime during the 1991-92 academic year at OSU's branch campus in Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan. He taught American government to Japanese students and Japanese government and politics to American students. In addition to his classes, he gave several public lectures on the U.S. political system.
While pursuing his professional life, Harold had opportunities to travel widely around the world. These work-related travels included Europe, East Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia and also Australia and New Zealand. In 1967, he served as a Rockefeller Lecturer in Ethiopia, after a short time doing research on India at the British Museum and India House in London. He went on to India and spent the remainder of the semester on research in New Delhi, India. He returned to India in 1979, after a brief period in Pakistan, to acquire an on-site update of politics in India. In 1984, he spent a sabbatical leave in East Asia, traveling in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China. He lectured in Korea and gave seminars in the Republic of China. In the Republic of China (Taiwan) he was a guest of the government and was given official tours throughout the country.
During his academic career, Harold worked with the OSU Areas Studies program, helped create and work with the University Academic Appeals Board, and held University-level committee positions focusing on the international programs of the University. Also, during his academic career he worked with the education and training of public school teachers. He generated special academic programs for teachers and from time to time chaired committees on education requirements for teachers. He taught evening courses several semesters for officers at Vance Air Force Base in Enid. He also served as president of the Oklahoma Political Science Association, and president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He was the third President of the OSU Emeriti Association, and he served as president of the OSU Emeriti Investment Club.
In the course of his academic career, Harold had occasion to meet and visit with Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford. He was in a New York audience when President Lyndon Johnson spoke, and assisted the Secret Service during appearances of Presidents Nixon, Ford, and George H.W. Bush at OSU. He also met and visited with Vice President Hubert Humphrey and observed Vice President Alban Barkley presiding in the U.S. Senate (during the Truman administration). He also observed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi presiding over the Parliament of India in New Delhi. In Tokyo, Japan, he met and visited with Prime Minister Ito. He saw Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia on one of his visits to OSU.
While teaching at Emporia State University, Harold attended a meeting of the Kansas Political Science Association in Wichita, Kansas. Alf Landon, Presidential candidate in 1936, was the main speaker at the meeting. Fortunately, he and Harold both arrived early. He introduced himself to Harold and they visited for about an hour before the meeting. He talked about running against President Roosevelt. He was a gracious loser and was complimentary about President Roosevelt’s efforts to bring the Great Depression under control.
Harold also studied under some world-renowned professors at Harvard University. Professor Rupert Emerson (professor of nationalism, imperialism and political development), Professor Carl Friedrich, (Professor of constitutionalism and political philosophy), Professor John Kenneth Galbraith (Professor of Economics), Professor McGeorge Bundy (Dean and Professor of U.S. foreign policy), Professor Samuel Beer (Professor of American Politics and Chair of Department of Government), Professor and Dean of the Faculties of Arts and Sciences Henry Rosovsky. Harold was in Professor Galbraith’s class when Professor Galbraith received a call from President Kennedy asking him to become the Ambassador to India. That created some interesting conversation in class. Interestingly, when Harold, Mary Lou, and daughter Vickie visited Kashmir, India, in 1967 they dealt with the same agent, Mr. Butt, and stayed in the same houseboat that the Galbraith’s occupied when they visited Kashmir.
Harold served and worked closely with Henry Rosovsky in U.S. Military Intelligence during the Korean War. Rosovsky visited Stillwater in the early 1980’s and gave a major lecture and held seminars at Oklahoma State. Harold had the privilege of introducing him. Dean Rosovsky invited Harold to spend a year at Harvard as a visiting scholar. The invitation included an office, a desk in the Widener Library, and membership in the Harvard Faculty Club.
As a graduate student at Harvard, Harold did considerable research in the Littauer Library. From time-to-time Professor Henry Kissinger worked at the same large library table that Harold did. Later in Harold’s career, he had the privilege of meeting and briefly visiting with Professor Kissinger at two meetings focusing on U.S. foreign issues sponsored by the CIA.
While Harold was in classes with Professor Friedrich, he visited twice in the Friedrich home by invitation to graduate students from Professor and Mrs. Friedrich. Also, while at Harvard, Harold and Mary Lou were fortunate to accept an invitation to a Christmas party at President Nathan Pusey’s home. Harold also had the privilege of an invitation to a meeting in Topeka, KS where he had an opportunity to discuss Harold’s research on the academic background of social studies teachers in Kansas with former President of Harvard James B. Conant.
In Harold’s classes he met and got acquainted with several world figures, including Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Rajamohan Gandhi; the famous Oil Minister Sheik Yamani of Saudi Arabia; the Planning Minister of Pakistan and the Royal Princess of Nepal.
Harold was always willing to serve—both the University and the Stillwater community. He served for nine years on the Stillwater School Board and was president for two separate terms. Harold served as Treasurer of the Stillwater Public Schools and was one of the founders of the Stillwater Education Foundation. He later served on the Foundation Board and as its president. He also served a term on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma State School Board Association. He was appointed chair of a planning committee to establish a Sister Cities program for the City of Stillwater. A Sister Cities Council was established by the City Commission and Harold became its first chair. He served as chair of Sister Cities Council for several years.
Harold was active in the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.
In 1994-95 he served on the Board of Directors of the Chamber and also on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Treasurers Committee, and he was chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He was one of the founding members of Leadership Stillwater and served as chair and also as chair of the Curriculum Committee.
He served on the Stillwater Medical Center Board of Trustees for several years beginning in 1999 and became chair of the Board in 2005. For several years he served as chair of the SMC Facilities Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation.
A lifelong Methodist, Harold was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater for more than a half century. He served on the Administrative Board, as chair of the Missions Commission, and chair of the Church Council.
Harold was a long-time member of the Stillwater Rotary Club. He served on the Board of Directors, as secretary, and as president 1996-97. From 2002 to 2004 he was Assistant Governor of Rotary District 5750. He also served as Chair of the World
Community/Sister Clubs Committee. He helped establish a Sister-Club relationship with the Rotary Club in Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan. He enjoyed weekly meetings and other events with the Kameoka Rotary Club when he was in Japan in 1991-92. In June 2005 Harold was inducted into the Stillwater Hall of Fame.
During 1997-98, Harold was president of the Payne County Retired Educators Association. For about 10 years, he served in an unpaid position as the State Legislative Chair for the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association. He traveled widely over the State (usually accompanied by Mary Lou) speaking to and working with retired educators regarding retirement issues. During legislative sessions, he worked long hours as a volunteer liaison (often with Russell Conway and/or Chuck Hopkins) with the Oklahoma State Legislature on education retirement issues.
Harold, with the editorial assistance of Mary Lou, wrote numerous articles on politics and U.S. foreign policy for the Stillwater News Press.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents and both of his brothers.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou of the home and daughter, Victoria Sare Philbrick (Gene), Wichita, KS; grandson, Marcus S. Klika, Olathe, KS, Kathryn Klika Balsley (Stephen), and their new joy, great grandson Bowen Balsley, McKinney, TX.
Others surviving are sister-in-law Pat Sare and nieces Crystal Sare and Angela (Billy) Rigg of Bartlesville; nephew John Sare of New York City, niece Diandra Sare, Houston, TX; nephew Terry Sare (Emma), Pflugerville, TX; niece Gay Lynn Ross (Harry), Lawton, OK. Other family includes sisters-in-law Shirley Steincamp, Stillwater, and Jean Sutton, Kaneohe, HI; nieces Linda Moore (Wes), Grove, OK, Marsha Odell, Westfield, MA; Jane Martin, Edmond; Dawn Levasseur, Broken Arrow; and nephews John Sutton and Adam Sutton (Amanda), Kaneohe, HI.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests some of Harold’s chosen local charities: Our Daily Bread, P. O. Box 1721, Stillwater, OK 74076; Stillwater Medical Center Foundation -- Harold and Mary Lou Sare Nursing Scholarship, P. O. Box 2408, Stillwater, OK 74076; and Stillwater Public Education Foundation, P.O. Box 286, Stillwater, OK 74076.