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September 5, 1923 - October 29, 2012 OKLAHOMA CITY JOHN BELAND BICKFORD, 89, of Oklahoma City, died October 29, 2012, in the care facility at Epworth Villa in Oklahoma City. Born in Guthrie on September 5, 1923, to Warren F. and Esther (Beland) Bickford, he moved with his family to Blackwell, Oklahoma at the age of 12 when his father, a newspaperman in Oklahoma since before statehood, became the managing editor of the Blackwell paper. John graduated from Blackwell High School in 1941. Following graduation he suspended further education to enlist in the United States Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served his country in the Pacific Theater, mainly in Saipan and Guam. Following an honorable discharge after WWII, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma in 1946 and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Upon graduation and work on a Master's degree at OU, John became a Certified Public Accountant and took a job with an Oklahoma City public accounting firm. In the early 1950s, he returned home to Blackwell and practiced as a private public accountant in his own firm with many partners for over 50 years, including the firm of Bickford, Bellah and Dale. In 1957, he married his wife of 55 years, Harlene Walker. In Blackwell, John served in many civic and community roles, including nearly thirty years as the Blackwell City Treasurer. John was an avid golfer, bowler and singer. He won the Blackwell Country Club Golf Championship several years and once missed bowling a perfect game by a single pin in the 10th frame. He sang wherever he found a piano. After semi-retiring in 1994, John returned to Oklahoma City and continued to practice public accounting until shortly before his death. Survivors are his wife, Harlene of the home, son, Mike and wife Kathy of Oklahoma City and daughter, Patricia and husband Kenneth Gosnell of Weston, Connecticut. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Michael, Will and Jack Bickford; Meredith and Charlie Gosnell; and one nephew, Warren F. Bickford IV and wife Cindy of Oklahoma City. Preceding John in death were his parents, his brother and sister-in-law, Warren F. Bickford III and wife Margaret, and nephew, Bruce Bickford. Memorial services are pending and will be held in the Blackwell Cemetery. A memorial has been established in his honor with in c/o Roberts and Son Funeral Home, 120 W. Padon, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631. On-line condolences can be made at www.robertsandsonfh.com www.robertsandsonfh.com
Published in The Oklahoman from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 2012
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