The Duncan Banner
Ernest Harding Muncrief
March 1, 1922 — Sept. 12, 2012
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.”
John Wesley (1703-1791)
Ernest Harding Muncrief, 90, born to Dolly Bell (Hutchinson) and George W. Muncrief, March 1, 1922, in Shay, Oklahoma, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, at the family’s Double Rocking M Ranch in Marlow.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in the Marlow First Baptist Church, with Dr. Gene Nease officiating. Burial will be in the Marlow Cemetery under the direction of Callaway-Smith-Cobb Funeral Home in Marlow.
Ernest and Helen G. McElderry were married Feb. 2, 1945, in Kingfisher, and moved to Marlow in August 1945 where Muncrief taught for Marlow Public Schools from 1945 through 1978.
Muncrief devoted his life to public education, and remained active in ranching and community activities through his 90th year. He attended one room schools, East and West Lasiter in Marshall County, and received his high school diploma at age 15 from Kingston High School. After picking cotton and working on his Dad’s farm, he attended Murray State College. He transferred to Oklahoma A&M College (Oklahoma State University) and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Agronomy. Following a year long appointment as Assistant Professor of Agronomy, Muncrief completed teacher education requirements and was hired to teach Vocational Agriculture by John Fisher, Superintendent of Marlow Public Schools. Muncrief had intended to learn about practical problems faced by farmers; however, he got hooked on teaching Vo Ag. In his own words, “My name ... had never been associated with anything of prominence until I found Vocational Agriculture.” Muncrief always recognized others’ contributions to a successful school program (drivers, coaches, cooks, custodians, secretaries, counselors, librarians, board members, and even administrators). He was quoted as saying “A loner can never make it in any career.” Muncrief declined opportunities to assume state level vocational education leadership positions. He often said “I started at the bottom and liked so well, I stayed at the bottom,” where he focused on helping kids be the best they could be. Under Muncrief’s direction, the Marlow Vo Ag program and Future Farmers of America Chapter became national models for learning and leadership. During Muncrief’s tenure, the FFA chapter won the National Gold and Silver Emblems awarded to exemplary programs. Muncrief’s leadership program, vocational programs, for example, public speaking and parliamentary procedure, trained hundreds of students. Mr. Muncrief also trained 50 practice teachers for Oklahoma State University’s Ag Education program. He was recognized for his efforts by being the first Vocational Agriculture Instructor to be inducted into the Oklahoma Vocational Hall of Fame in 1997. He also received the Ciby Geigy award in 1972, being named the United State’s outstanding Vo Ag Teacher. Muncrief was also the first Ag Teacher to be named to the Oklahoma Ag Teachers Hall of Fame. He was recognized as an Honorary Chapter Farmer of the Marlow FFA Chapter, Honorary State Farmer, and Honorary American Farmer by the National FFA Association. He also was recognized as Stephens County Teacher of the year.
Muncrief’s service to the community included Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and governmental service such as NOAH weather observer, Metropolitan Planning Commission, memberships on boards and foundations, and various economic development initiatives. Muncrief logged 66 years of perfect attendance as a Lions Club member and is a past president of the Marlow Lions Club, and served 58 years as NOAH weather observer. He received the NOAH John Campanious Holmes and Thomas Jefferson awards for his service as a volunteer weather observer. Muncrief was named Marlow’s Citizen of the Year in 1965. Muncrief served as director of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, director of OSU Agricultural Education Scholarship program, director of Marlow Senior Center, and director of the Stephens County Soil Conservation District. He also served as chairman of the Marlow Chamber of Commerce. He served as a member of the Stephens County Fair Board and is a past president of the Stephens County Retired Teachers Association.
Family livestock operations began in 1945 when Muncrief and his Dad registered the Double Rocking M Ranch brand. Their ranching efforts soon included 700 acres of owned and rented grassland. Muncrief was a 67 year member of the Marlow Methodist church, where he served as a Lay Leader, Sunday School superintendent, and a board member.
After 32 years with Marlow Public Schools, Muncrief joined Bill Bernhardt’s Sooner Trailers, continued his community service projects, and took up golf. Muncrief and his wife Helen delivered hundreds of Sooner Trailer oil field dog houses and aluminum livestock trailers to most of the continental United States. Muncrief’s volunteer work included Lions Club, Methodist Church, and Marlow Public Schools. He was the long serving “voice of the Outlaws” announcing home football games. He was also well known for his competitiveness on the golf course, maintaining an annual membership at A&L golf course. Muncrief was a baseball fan, played the harmonica and he liked trains.
Muncrief is survived by his wife, Helen, of the home; children, George E. Muncrief of Silver City, New Mexico; H. Jean Muncrief and husband Allen Harrison of Ft. Worth, Texas; Jon B. Muncrief and wife Brenda of Huntsville, Texas; 4 grandchildren, Robert, Lori, Vanessa and Rebecca; and two great granddaughters Juni and Quinnlyn. Muncrief was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Ruby Muncrief Clement.
Pallbearers will be: Jeff Latimer, Kent Boggs, Chuck Murdock, Ray McCarter, DB Green, and David Dickerson. Honorary bearers will be: Jack Gregston, Kent King, Darrell Sparks, all ag teachers, and all FFA members past and present. Although Muncrief supported many charities, contributions to the Oklahoma State Ag Ed Scholarship Program and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation are appreciated.
Online condolences may be made at www.callawaysmithcobb.com.