Paul Johnson Ingersol, 91, died January 31, 2020 in Ponca City. Family visitation will be Friday, February 7, 5:30-7:00 PM at Strode Funeral Home, Stillwater. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 8, 10:30 a.m., at St. Luke’s Church of the Nazarene, Ponca City. Interment will be at 1:15 p.m., Fairlawn Cemetery, Stillwater, where Paul will be laid to rest beside his grandparents, Emily and Ezra Johnson, and niece, Carol Emma Price. Strode Funeral Home handling arrangements.
He was born June 19, 1928, in Stillwater, OK, the eighth and youngest child of Charles and Ada Faye (Johnson) Ingersol. He adored his parents and enjoyed being an "only child" in his high school years. He graduated from Stillwater High School in 1946.
An enterprising youth, he bred "fancy chickens" to show at the county fair and began working in his teens. He was active in Stillwater First Church of the Nazarene's youth group and was still a teen when he was elected Sunday school superintendent. The pastor stated forty years later that Paul was the best person he had ever seen function in that role.
He attended Bethany Nazarene College and Oklahoma State University, majoring in American history, and received his B.A. degree from OSU in 1952.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps, expecting to be sent to the Korean War, but hostilities ended, so he was deployed to Japan, where he was a squad leader. He remained a proud Marine throughout his life.
He received his M.S. degree from OSU in 1956 and earned 35 additional graduate hours.
As students and later as teachers, Paul and another brother painted houses to put themselves through college and supplement their salaries. Paul painted Coach Henry Iba’s house in Stillwater “more than once.”
Paul moved to Ponca City in 1957 to teach social studies at Ponca City High School, and he assumed other roles: counselor to junior and senior boys, student council sponsor, Cat-Tail sponsor, and audio-visual program coordinator. He then served many years as Assistant Principal. In that role, he evaluated senior transcripts, served as college admissions and scholarship counselor, and observed classroom instruction. He retired in 1995.
He was a member of OSU Phi Delta Kappa and president of the Kay County OSU Alumni Association. He was vice president of the Oklahoma Association of Journalism Advisors and was Ponca City's "Teacher of the Year" in 1969. He was the first person to receive the Student Council Advisor of the Year Award from the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils, where it was noted that "Mr. Ingersol is an inspiration to all that work with him," and "he has been a vital and stabilizing force within our organization."
In 1978, Paul organized the first high school Bloodmobile in Oklahoma.
The Paul Ingersol Outstanding Teacher Award was established in 2015 to recognize a teacher committed to the betterment of students, staff, and community. This past December, the Po-Hi Student Council dedicated the luminaries decorating the high school lawn to Paul, a tradition he helped students establish 52 years ago.
He was active in local and state politics. He enjoyed mentoring young people and maintained a relationship with Don Nickles, U.S. Senator, who had been one of his students. Paul read widely but especially enjoyed political and military history.
Like others in his family, Paul was a dedicated, experienced gardener who delighted in growing things. His yards, with flowers and other plants in abundance, were like sanctuaries.
Until his mother’s death, he returned to Stillwater nearly every weekend to mow her yard, help with other jobs, enjoy her cooking, and connect with siblings, nephews, and nieces.
He attended St. Luke's Church of the Nazarene in Ponca City but always remained connected to his childhood church in Stillwater.
Though he never married, Paul had a rich social and family life and was a general favorite at gatherings. A congenial raconteur, he enjoyed family, former students, colleagues, and neighbors and liked swapping gardening tips, stories, jokes, and homemade ice cream. He always participated in his neighborhood's Fourth of July Parade before joining his family's annual reunion later that day.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters Bessie Brensing (Oliver) and Emma Price (Bob), Stillwater; his brothers John (Fern), Bartlesville; Freeman, Lebanon, MO; Henry (Dorothea), Oklahoma City; and Robert (Jacque), Springfield, MO; sisters-in-law Lillian Ingersol and Evelyn Ingersol Wright; and six nephews and nieces.
He is survived by brother Carl Ingersol, Broken Arrow; nephews and nieces John (Ellie) Ingersol, Bartlesville; Don (Mary Anna) Price, Topsham, ME; John (Elizabeth) Price, Georgetown, TX; Faye Ann (Glade) Presnal, Stillwater; Stan (Cheryl) Ingersol, Overland Park, KS; Stephen (Cindy) Ingersol, Monument, CO; Chris (Karen) Ingersol, Mount Vernon, OH; Rhonda (Greg) Carr, Bartlesville; Robert Singletary and Carol Singletary White, Fresno, CA; W. M. Ingersol, Shawnee, OK; and many great-nephews and great-nieces.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com