Hall of Fame
Gene Little arrived at the OMA Campus in fall 1951 and he went on to complete three years in High School and two years at OMA Junior College before graduating in 1956. During his time on ‘The Hill,’ he received numerous honors including Best Drilled Platoon, Best Drilled Company and Best Drilled Cadet, Distinguished Military Student, Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk and was OMA Marching Band Commander. He also was selected as Battalion Commander for War Board.
He went on to attend Oklahoma A&M College and the University of Tulsa, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy after he was offered a spot in its “A” School, where he earned a Special Electronics Technician rating. He said his five years at OMA made the Navy boot camp experience “a breeze” and he earned the American Spirit Honor Award at Final Parade.
His first duty station was at the Naval Air Station Alameda in California, where he was assigned to a P2V “sub hunter” squadron. The following year, he was assigned to a new AWACS squadron in Hawaii. These “Super Connies” would routinely fly from Midway Island to Alaska, which was a 15-hour flight. During these flights, they would serve as “the Pacific Barrier” for any aircraft coming from Russia. Two years later, he was assigned to the radar shop on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state.
After his Navy service, he worked for Teledyne Semiconductor designing and building integrated circuits for 17 years, then joined Philips Semiconductor as a fabrication planning manager for the U.S. plant in Orem, Utah. He also served at fabrication facilities in Caen, France and the Netherlands. After 21 years with the company, he retired in 2001.
In 2003, he moved back to Oklahoma, and shortly afterwards was asked if he would like to take over as Curator of the OMA Museum at Rogers State University. His work with the museum has been transformative, as he has helped renovate the Museum from top to bottom to best display OMA memorabilia, including items donated by alumni. Little also has been instrumental in efforts to provide frames for photos of all OMA students who were killed during WWII, Korea and Vietnam, as well as the displays for Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame honorees.
Walter Edwin Price passed away September 11, 2015 in his Stillwater home.
A descendent of two pioneer Tulsa families, the Prier Lee Prices and the Walter E. Broaches, he attended Tulsa Public Schools and graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy, a horse cavalry ROTC unit.
Upon turning 18 in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, but soon earned an appointment to the United States Military Academy. After graduation he completed Jump School before his combat deployment as a rifle company commander.
Upon his return from Korea, the Army sent Walter to Columbia University in New York City where he received a master’s degree in psychology in preparation to teach Military Psychology and Leadership at the Academy. While at Columbia, Walter met his future wife, Jane Ezell, a fellow Oklahoman.
After Walter completed Army Ranger training, they were married in April 1955 and he began teaching at West Point. Jane and Walter welcomed their first two sons while stationed at the Academy – Stuart and Douglas.
After teaching, Walter completed the Infantry Advanced Course and he and Jane began a three-year assignment in Germany. While in Europe, they had their third son, Roger.
Returning from Europe, Walter attended the Command General Staff College followed by a Senior Staff position with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Walter later served as an active duty ROTC instructor at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. It was here that he and Jane realized they had finally found their home and Jane gave birth to their youngest son, John.
Walter’s next assignment was a combat deployment in Vietnam as an Infantry Battalion Commander with the 101st Airborne. Walter considered this the height of his military career because of the brave soldiers under his command. Following one final assignment at Ft. Leonard Wood, the Price family returned to settle permanently in Stillwater.
Walter continued to work, serving in the administrations of two governors and later finishing his career in the banking industry. Walter participated in multiple civic and service organizations. Walter was active in the OMA Alumni Association for more than 30 years and was named an OMA Distinguished Alumni in 2007. He was a cofounder of the Stillwater Humane Society, a city commissioner, and a proud supporter of a number of other organizations including St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Walter said, “When you’re almost ninety, only four things matter: God, Country, Family and Friends.” He claimed to have the best “roster of friends” a man could ask for.
Walter is survived by his wife of over sixty years, Jane, son Stuart, Stuart’s wife Beverly, granddaughter, Kelsey Case, sons Douglas and Roger, son John and daughter-in-law Suzee, and their children Quentin, MacGregor, Payton and Ellery.