Dr. Dale O. Roark passed away peacefully on November 27th, 2020, the day after celebrating Thanksgiving and his 90th birthday surrounded by family at the home he built in Stillwater.
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He was born to Raymond Archibald and Martha Elizabeth (Koyle) Roark in Kansas City, MO on November 26th, 1930. Like many families who experienced the Great Depression of the 1930s, Dale’s family moved where his father’s work took them. He lived in Jacksonville, Florida and Compton, California while growing up. In these cities, Dale was introduced to athletics, first as a caddy at municipal golf courses to earn money and then through California’s summer youth programs.
As WWII ended, the family returned to Kansas City, where Dale attended East High School and excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. Attending Oklahoma A&M on a baseball and basketball scholarship, he played for Henry Iba, who greatly influenced the remainder of his life. Arriving at mid-term in 1950, he lettered in basketball and baseball in 1951,1952, and 1953, serving as team captain for both sports in 1953. A consummate competitor known for his toughness and clutch play, he was one of two athletes to letter in multiple sports in 1951-1953. Outside of athletics, he was elected student body president in 1953.
During college, Dale was a member of ROTC, and upon completing his education, he entered active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. During his service, he played on the Warren Air Force Base baseball team that won the Air Force Worldwide Championship. Dale completed his tour of duty in Europe and French Morocco, rising to the rank of Captain.
In 1956, he decided against professional baseball in order to return to Oklahoma A&M, where he became a graduate assistant basketball coach for his mentor. While attending a class he wasn’t enrolled in, he met his best friend and life’s love, Joyce Ann Streeter. The two married on December 21, 1957. After finishing his master’s degree, Dale taught business education courses and coached football, basketball, and baseball at high schools and junior colleges in Oklahoma and Kansas. He was a life-long learner, earning his Doctorate in Education in 1973. In 1976, he was hired as OSU’s assistant baseball coach and first athletic academic counselor. As OSU’s counseling duties grew, he became the Director of Athletic Counseling. Retiring in 1996, he greatly enjoyed his service to Oklahoma State and the student-athletes he served during his career.
Dale loved coaching and imparting the knowledge he gained under Henry Iba, first to his children and then to Stillwater youth through the city’s parks and recreation programs. He built homes in Stillwater during the 1960s and 70s, as well as a cabin in Colorado with his family in the 1990s. Devoted to his family, he cherished every opportunity to be with them and looked forward to outings with his grandchildren. He took up painting, winning honors at local art shows until a few years before his death. He lived a truly blessed life, filled with hard work, humility, love, and honesty.
Dale was a Christian who lived out his faith in Jesus Christ. He was preceded in death by his sister Thelma Ahrensberg and his brothers Sonny, Sherman, and Gary. Dale is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joyce, sons Tim (wife Darci), Chris (wife Leslie), Joel (wife Terri), daughter Dee Dee (husband Russ Muhlbach), and grandchildren Graham, Hannah, Griffith, Chelcie, Kailee, Nate, Sean, Jared, Kyle, Ryan, Addison, Libby, and Jaymee.
The family would like to express their gratefulness to Karman Hospice for their support during the last weeks of Dale’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations are made to Karman Hospice of Stillwater, the Stillwater Art Guild, or University Heights Baptist Church.
A family service will be held on December 19th, 2020 at 2:00 PM and can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=BkCtFJcnHDQ.