Dr. Gene Douglas McPhail, PhD was born to Omer and Allinette McPhail in Mountain Park, Okla. Gene was the oldest with three younger brothers Willis, Paul and Don. He grew up farming and picking cotton while living in a humble, one room home at the foot of the Wichita Mountains.
After graduating from Mountain Park High School, Gene received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southwestern State and began his teaching career in Cyril. After two months, during the Korean Conflict, he was drafted into the United States Army, serving as an officer in counter intelligence. One of his responsibilities was to fly over the German border to track troop movement. Gene's dream was to return home, continue his teaching career and start a family.
While teaching in Davenport, he met Margaret Jean Bezinque. Due to the fact that he was the principal and she was the home economics teacher, their courtship remained very private, spending a lot of time dating in Shawnee, Okla. Gene and Margaret were married in 1954.
Gene continued his education earning his master's degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State College and Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. Gene's teaching career took him to Meeker, Roosevelt, Cordell, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Cameron University.
In 1969, Gene accepted a teaching position at Central State University, now University of Central Oklahoma. Gene served as chairman of many different departments and taught teacher education, administrator school law and school finance. Gene taught many teachers, principals and superintendents throughout his career and brought passion into his classes. He will forever be considered "The Sage" among his colleagues Recently Gene was honored to have an office suite named for him at UCO's newly remodeled "Old North" building.
Gene has served his community as a member of the Crescent School Board, Lion's Club, American Legion and the Gideon's International.
Gene is survived by Margaret, his wife and soulmate of 63 years; their children Allen, Lane, Bryan and Janene; daughters-in-law Cheryl, Joy and Kelley; grandchildren Adam, Ty, Brett, Ryan, Blane, Alesa, McKenna, Jana and Jake; great grandchildren Adalynn, Addyson, Hunter, Gage, Wesson, Karlee and Raegan; two brothers Don McPhail and Paul McPhail and many beloved nephews and nieces.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents Omer and Allinette McPhail; brother Willis McPhail; son-in-law Bruce Fisher and numerous family members.
Services will be 10 a.m. March 7, 2017 at Crescent First Baptist Church. Burial will be in Mountain Park, OK.
Donations in Gene's honor may be made to The Gideon's International, P. O. Box 54, Guthrie, OK 73044.
Published on March 3, 2017