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Don Roe (Big Don)

February 23, 1939 — April 3, 2024


Don Roe (Big Don)

Don Roe passed away on Wednesday evening April 3, 2024, surrounded by his loving family.

Donal Ray Roe was born February 23, 1939, in Asher, Oklahoma, to William Clyde Roe and Myrtle Irene Roe. When Don was four years old, his parents moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma. It was there that he began his scholastic career while also playing basketball. Reaching a staggering height of 6 foot 9 inches, Don was a standout player for Shawnee High School.

While in high school, he caught the attention of a young woman. During a football game in 1956, she seized the moment to sit down next to him. She invited him to the party after the game where they spent some time together. He married the love of his life Sandra Jeanne Munday on May 28,1960.

Don and Sandy would go on to have two sons, Gary Don Roe (Born September 30, 1961) and Michael Ray Roe (Born October 19, 1963).

Don graduated high school in 1957 and received a scholarship to play basketball for Oklahoma City University. He later transferred to Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) where he continued his basketball career along with his studies. He graduated from OBU in 1963 with a bachelor’s in business administration and a minor in economics.

After graduating college, Don would go to work for Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E). During his time at OG&E he served as the Sales Manager in Oklahoma City and Muskogee. He also became the District Manager in Ardmore, responsible for the activities in southeastern Oklahoma. During this time, he and his family moved to many different places throughout the state.

Don enjoyed fishing, camping, working on classic cars, and spending time with his family and friends. Don was well known for his artistic abilities as well.

The biggest hurdle that would come in Don’s life would begin on Thanksgiving Day in 1995. Don would have his first heart attack at the age of 57. This would put him on a path to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he would go on to receive two artificial hearts. During this time, he had to overcome many obstacles to recover and learn to live again. He accredits his ability to do all of this through God, his family, and most importantly his wife Sandy. Together they worked to get him back on his feet.

All the while, he waited for the right solution, a new heart. On February 28, 2002, he received the news he had been waiting for. A young man named Mathew Phillip Tyner had tragically passed away in an auto accident. His organ donation saved Don’s life and a few others too. Through this Don would go on to share his story and share the miracle that God had provided him with many people.

During his life, Don was a hard worker and gave back to his community. Anything from giving out candy at Halloween in outrageous costumes, to volunteering at the sheltered workshop. He was a friend to all and had a heart big enough to share. His involvements include: Southern OK Memorial Foundation Trustee (1995 & 2000), Mayor (1996-1997) and Commissioner (1991 & 1997) of Ardmore, OK, President of Bethel Acres Lions Club (1976 & 1977), Chairman of Ardmore Chamber of Commerce (1990), President of Sunshine Ind Sheltered Workshop (1990 & 1995). He was also a member of Ardmore Rotary, Salvation Army Board, United Way Board, and Muskogee Kiwanis Club.

In his lifetime he received numerous awards for his contributions including: OK State Dept of Commerce Main Street Board Member of the Year (1994), Bob Cypert Leadership Award (1996), Outstanding Chamber Supporter (1996), and City of Ardmore Service Award (1998).

Don’s family has grown to include 5 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. All of whom he loved dearly. His legacy of hard work and determination combined with a heart for others will be felt for many years to come. He will be loved and missed dearly.

He is proceeded in death by his father W. Clyde Roe and mother Myrtle Roe. He lives on through his wife Sandy Roe; sons Gary Roe, wife Tammie, and Michael Roe, wife Dana; grandchildren Cody Roe, wife Karina, Cory Roe, wife Sidney, Christy Roe, Kendal Roe, and Brandon Roe, wife Sarah; and great-grandchildren Lilly Roe, Aubrey Clifford, Kinley Clifford, Paxton Clifford, Brandon Roe Jr., Michael J. Roe, and Marnie Roe.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2024, 11:00 a.m., at Sharon Baptist Church, 19002 S. Gordon Cooper Dr., Shawnee, Oklahoma 74801.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Don Roe (Big Don), please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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