McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

October 24, 2012

Philanthropist James T. 'J.T.' Collier dies at 72

McALESTER — On Sunday, co-founder of Pride In McAlester and area philanthropist James T. “J.T.” Collier died at 72 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

“J.T. (Collier) was a great friend to both myself and the city of McAlester,” former Mayor Kevin Priddle said Tuesday afternoon. “He was actively involved in the community and will be greatly missed.”

Priddle has been named as honorary pallbearer for J.T. Collier’s gaveside services set Thursday at 10 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester.

“We were friends in school,” said  Ward 1 McAlester Councilman Weldon Smith said. “We’ve been friends for over 60 years.”

Smith said Collier left the area after he graduated, but when he moved back, Smith made contact with Collier to get his help with starting Pride In McAlester.

Smith said in the first year and a half, Collier took Pride In McAlester and made it a 40-plus hour-a-week job.

Smith said Collier worked on many local improvement projects such as the OKLA Theatre restoration and served on boards such as the McAlester Board of Ethics and the McAlester Regional Health Center Board of Directors.

“He never forgot his home town,” Smith said. “And always looked for ways to improve it.”

Collier was also an active member of the Friends of the Library with the McAlester Public Library, assisting with the ongoing relocation and building project.

Collier graduated from McAlester High School in 1957 and served as an officer in the United States Air Force as a navigator from 1961 to 1962. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1966 with a master of degree and worked as an architect.

He co-owned and operated  Brooks-Collier from 1976 to 1995 and then owned and operated James T. Collier Associates from 1996 to 1998, all in Houston, Texas.

“It was because of J.T. Collier’s enthusiasm I became involved with Pride In McAlester,” friend and long-time PIM member Gwenn Tittsworth said. “He didn’t take no for an answer.”

Titsworth said he would take the things people would say were impossible and make them possible.

“For about two years, I worked with him on a daily basis,” Titsworth said about working with Collier at PIM. “He was a man who got things done.”

Former president of PIM and friend Mark Wilket said he met Collier when Collier came back to McAlester after retiring and saw the town in dispair.

“He and Smith came to Triad (Hazardous Waste Transportation Company) and inspired us to help and do the things we have done,” Wilket said. “Not only did he never take no for an answer, but no project was too big or too small.”

“He was the first president of PIM,” Wilket said of his experience with Collier and PIM. “And I had some big shoes to fill when he left.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 07 30 SOUTH AVE 1.jpg 'Road Closed' means just that

    No road.
    No kidding.
    For months, signs placed along South Avenue and Country Club Road read “Road Closed Ahead” — although the roads were still open.

    Now though, the “Road Closed Ahead” signs on South Avenue, along with those on Country Club Road and Peaceable Road, mean exactly what they say.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg City extends 17th Street construction deadline to mid-September

    A Stillwater company working on the Seventeenth Street Capital Improvement Project for the city of McAlester now has until mid-September to complete the job.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Devin Mitchell McAlester man facing rape charges has hearing date set

    A preliminary hearing date has been set for a man who is facing charges of rape in the first degree (victim under age 14) and sodomy, victim under the age of 16.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish County to decide on liquor sales

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish Election set to decide Sunday sales of liquor by the drink

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.
    Pittsburg County commissioners have called a Nov. 4 Special Election date for voters to decide if they want to approve the sale of liquor by the drink on Sundays.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Randy Green Judge rules in Green case

    A Pittsburg County judge has ruled the city of McAlester acted improperly in amending former City Manager Randy Green’s retirement plan to eliminate an “additional benefit” of $1,764.49.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road closed ROAD CLOSED

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mhrc Okla. State student observing at MRHC

    An Oklahoma State University student is observing at McAlester Regional Health Center as part of the rural medicine track offered at the university.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Detective's Dispatch

    The McAlester Police Department responds to domestic violence calls on a daily basis. Many times when our officers arrive, we get very little cooperation.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • lungdoctor.png Hospital hires lung specialist

    McAlester has a new lung doctor, the first since 2008.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.