The oil boom in Oklahoma back in 1914 brought Emery and Jane Bailey to the Glenpool area with five children in tow. Once settled in Glenpool, they welcomed another daughter in 1917 and then their surprise baby, Bill, was born on December 23, 1924! Bill’s childhood took a different look when his mother, Jane, became ill and died when Bill was only five and a half years old. That’s when his older sisters took the place of mother to him. His father continued working for the Texaco Oil company, which also meant moving around a lot. Bill experienced many different school systems, Sperry, Turley, a lonestar school outside of Sapulpa, and Ramona.
Floyd and Myrtle Prather were hard at work during the 1914 oil boom and brought 2 boys and 1 girl into the world. Little Rose being the youngest child was loved and protected by her two brothers, William and Earman. Rose was born at Cromwell in Seminole County and fortunate to stay in one location her growing up years. She remembers fondly her childhood. It was the best time of her life as the children were innovatively building, and creating with their hands. They would use discarded oil field equipment to build their creations, like a trolley (her favorite ride), a ferris wheel, boxing ring, and baseball diamonds just to name a few. Her family lived in company houses that were built all the same and in a row, but no bills to pay since housing needs were free. The Carter Oil Refinery that her father worked at blew up and destroyed several company houses killing one person. Rose remembers, “We had to evacuate and folks would jump on the running board of cars to get out. We didn’t know were daddy was till night. Once reunited, we were all relieved and grateful.”
Bill and Rose had a class together in High School, that’s where they started a friendship and eventually decided to go to the Jr./ Sr. Banquet together. Bill turned 18 in his senior year and was drafted, so graduation from High School had to wait for 28 months until he got back from serving.
Bill was being trained to be a radio operator on the planes, but they had so many losses in Europe they needed more gunners in South Pacific and switched Bill over to a B29 Gunner. They didn’t waste any time to get Bill over to fight in battle. During that time, Bill was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal for helping a pilot that had part of his canopy shot away and could not navigate on his own. “We used hand signals and rocked our wings so he knew we were talking to him. Once we got his attention we were able to escort him to his base in Hiroshima.” He also received 4 Oakleaf Clusters on his Air Medal for flying 35 flights over Japan and 3 Battle Stars while in the Asia Pacific Theater.
When Bill returned from serving our country he returned to Oklahoma, finished school, and found Rose. They soon decided to marry and eventually had three boys. As the boys got college degrees and married, their families gave Bill and Rose 5 grandsons! Bill went into business college and eventually went to Arlington State College. He was employed with Amoco May of 1948 which moved his family to Texas, Oklahoma, and Chicago where he retired 38 years later. Rose worked at American Airlines, Central Airlines in accounting, and later in Illinois at The Youth for Christ home office as Assistant Accounting Supervisor. She retired with Bill in 1984 and they moved back to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was important for them to be involved in their community, so they got involved with a weekly food mission giving out food. They also worked at the voting polls. In their free time, Bill would golf and Rose would swim. They enjoyed traveling taking two trips to Europe, two cruises, and many car trips around the United States.
They decided to move to University Village April 15, 2015 and celebrated their 71st Anniversary on January 29, 2017! Bill says he likes the entertainment, but Rose loves it! We appreciate the friendliness of the residents and the employees, everyone is very accommodating. Rose says her favorite Bible verse fits their life here at University Village. “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
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