Roland Moore Pryor Jr.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from April 4 to May 4, 2011
Roland Moore Pryor,
Jr., 87, of Bartlesville, OK died Friday, April 1, 2011 at the Jane Phillips
Medical Center. Roland was born July 28, 1923 in Pottsville, Arkansas,
son of Roland Moore Pryor, Sr. and Faye (Rackley) Pryor.
Roland grew up in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, graduating with the
Little Rock High School class of 1942. Following his high school graduation,
Roland furthered his education and dream at Mississippi State University.
Roland's talent, as a right-handed pitcher, afforded him the privilege
of attending Mississippi State on a baseball scholarship. However, as
many of the greats did at that time, Roland left his dream of the baseball
diamond and bright lights behind to enlist in the military and serve his
Roland joined the U.S. Air Force in 1943 where he was initially trained
as a pilot. Soon, he transferred to the U.S. Army where he served as a
Rifleman for the 78th Division. Roland entered the war just after the
Invasion of Normandy. He, along with his Division, deployed to Germany.
During this time, Roland became injured with severe frostbite and was
honorably discharged in 1945, being awarded the Combat Infantry Badge
along with three Campaign stars. One of Roland's greatest memories of
both the military and baseball occurred during his military service, as
Roland, during Army training, pitched against the great Joe DiMaggio in
the Army Baseball League.
Following his service in WWII, Roland was offered a professional baseball
contract with the St. Louis Cardinals which he turned down.
Subsequently, he pitched in a semi professional baseball league for a
period of time but the injuries Roland sustained as part of his military
service kept him from pursuing a career in baseball. Thus, Roland went
back to school, attending Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and attaining
a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1947.
Roland joined Phillips Petroleum Company in 1950 and moved to Bartlesville
in 1953. It was in Bartlesville where he met the love of his life, Nancy
M. Martin. Roland and Nancy were united in marriage on May 19, 1956 in
Roland was employed with Phillips Petroleum for a total of 35 years, working
primarily as a Corporate Safety Director. One of the tasks assigned to
Roland was Safety and Loss Prevention Coordinator on a twelve year North
Sea Oil and Gas project leading a team to design the oil & gas Platforms.
Roland retired from Phillips in 1985.
Roland was a member of: the First Presbyterian Church of Bartlesville,
where he served as a former Deacon and Trustee; the Masonic Grand Lodge
of Oklahoma and Hillcrest Country Club. He was also a Certified Safety
Professional and was an active member of the ASSE, Tulsa Chapter.
Roland enjoyed: traveling with his wife and family, playing golf with
his friends, fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Roland is survived by: his wife of 54 years, Nancy Pryor of Bartlesville;
daughter, Holly Caskey and her husband Dan; son, Martin Pryor and his
wife Megan; 5 grandchildren: John and Joe Caskey and Justin, Lauren and
Mitchell Pryor; along with a host of other relatives and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Roland and Faye and brothers,
David and Tommy.
A memorial service to honor Roland's life will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday,
April 5, 2011 at the First Presbyterian Church of Bartlesville. A private
interment will be observed by the family. In lieu flowers, contributions
may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 505 S.E. Dewey, Bartlesville,
OK 74003 or to a charity of your choice.
Services are under the direction of Neekamp-Luginbuel Funeral Home. Online
condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com.