Stillwater News Press


December 14, 2013

John Bowman Cathey

John Bowman Cathey was called home on Dec. 7, 2013, to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at University Heights Baptist Church, with Vic Costa officiating. Burial will follow at Fairlawn Cemetery.  Strode Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.  

John was born in Bearden, Ark., on Dec. 30, 1929, to John and Mary (Nowlin) Cathey.

The family moved to Camden, Ark., where John played all sports, was quarterback on the high school football team, and worked on his father’s farm. John graduated from Camden High School in 1948.

He went on to Oklahoma State University and earned his degree in marketing in 1952.

While attending OSU, he was in ROTC and was president of the Sigma Chi fraternity. John served his country through the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

In 1954, he went to work for Conoco in South Dakota, In 1957 he was transferred to Davenport, Iowa, where he eventually met Nancy (Stover), a third-grade teacher. They married July 12, 1959, in Rochelle, Ill.

While they were with Conoco they lived in Billings, Mont., Minneapolis, Minn., Chattanooga, Tenn., and  Houston.

After 25 years with Conoco, John took early retirement as general manager of marketing and started a second career with the Oklahoma State University Foundation in 1982.

In 1990, he was asked to direct and organize a corporate component of the National Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. and facilitating petroleum industry prayer breakfasts throughout the U.S.

John loved spending time with family and is remembered as a proud devoted husband, father and grandfather to his four children and nine grandchildren. He is also known as being a surrogate parent to several young people who lived with them as students. John was an active member of Stillwater Community Church and throughout the Stillwater community. He also enjoyed his time as President of Old West Trail Foundation in the Rocky Mountain area.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy; three sons: Mark, Jeff and Brian; a daughter Cindy; and nine grandchildren, Mark and wife Melinda and their children Danielle, Micah and Breanne, Cottage Grove, Minn., Cindy Bankston and husband John and their children Kyle and Ryan, Cypress, Texas; Jeff and his wife, Anita and their children Rachel, Meg and Jacob; Edmond; Brian and his wife Cindi and their son Bryson, Broken Arrow; and brother, Sam and his wife Lu of Oklahoma City in addition to many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, six brothers and four sisters.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider making a gift to the John B and Nancy S Cathey endowed scholarship through the OSU Foundation. Gifts can be sent to OSU Foundation, PO Box 1749, Stillwater, Ok 74076 – note scholarship name in the memo line or in memory of John Cathey.

An obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family by visiting


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