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Thursday, August 5, 2021
Teddy Ray Gillispie

Teddy Ray Gillispie, 75, peacefully entered Heaven while surrounded by adoring family on July 30, 2021 at his home in Prague, Oklahoma.

Ted was born on July 26, 1946 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma to Lawrence and Wanda (Cornwell) Gillispie. As a boy, Ted enjoyed outdoor activities, especially fishing with his father. Ted attended Tonkawa Public Schools, where he played football, basketball, and baseball, and was ultimately named an All-State athlete in all three sports. Upon graduating from Tonkawa High School in 1964, Ted attended Northern Oklahoma College for two years on a baseball scholarship.

He married Glenda Sue Brown of Blackwell, Oklahoma in 1966.

Ted pitched semi-pro baseball for the American Legion and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1968.

That same year, Ted began his career at Tipton Public Schools as a coach and business teacher. In 1969, he moved to Chickasha Public Schools, then to Holdenville Public Schools in 1971.

Ted and Glenda welcomed a son, Shon, on January 9, 1970, and a daughter, Tara, on December 3, 1975.

After receiving his MS in School Administration from East Central University in 1974, Ted landed at Prague Public Schools, where he served as middle school principal and district athletic director. He completed the Standard Administrators Certificate for Superintendents at the University of Oklahoma, was named Prague High School principal in 1987, and served in that capacity until he retired in 1998.

Ted married Jerri Friend in 1990, gaining two step-children: Brian and Aubree.

Ted received numerous accolades for his work in public education, including: the Jane P. Morse Teacher Preparation Award (2013), State Coordinator of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (1997), President of the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (1992-1993), Chairman of the Cooperative Council of Oklahoma School Administrators (1993-1994), OASSP Administrator of the Year (1996-1997), and NAASP State Principal of the Year (1997).

Because he was a lifelong educator at heart, Ted took over as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation after retiring from Prague Public Schools, and held that position at the Oklahoma State Capitol until he retired in 2011.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Wanda, paternal grandparents Lawrence and Martha Gillispie, and maternal grandparents Roy and Edith Cornwell.

Survivors include: his wife Jerri, his children Shon and wife Robyn Gillispie of Prague, Tara and husband Matthew Mitchell of Chicago, Brian and wife Buffy Friend of Perry, Aubree and husband Scott Holsapple of Prague, grandchildren Dalton and wife Keeli Gillispie, Raygan Gillispie, Andrew and Chloe Mitchell, Mackensie, Kyler, Kadyn, and Annedrea Friend, Karson and Tucker Holsapple, one great-grandchild Rynlee Gillispie, and numerous extended family members.

Ted was an active member of Prague First Baptist Church since 1975.

Visitation was held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at Parks Brothers Funeral Service,1405 West Main, Prague, OK 74864.

A celebration of Ted’s life will be held on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Prague First Baptist Church. Pastor Starland Davis, Jr. will officiate and Pastor Nathan Howard will assist. Casket bearers will be Ted’s grandsons: Dalton, Drew, Kyler, Kadyn, Karson, and Tucker. Honorary casket bearers will be his golfing buddies. In Ted’s honor, feel free to wear your favorite golf attire.

“A heart of gold, a fierce advocate for the children of Oklahoma, and a man who knew that God was the one above all else.”

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ted Gillispie Scholarship fund to the care of Parks Brothers Funeral Service, PO Box 587, Prague, OK 74864. We invite you to leave a message of condolence, expression of sympathy, or share a memory of Ted at