Alumni Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame Honoree John Smith was a member of the class of 1983. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1988. Smith finished his prep career with two individual Oklahoma class 4A state titles and a 105-5 record while wrestling for Del City High School. Smith was a three time collegiate National Wrestling Champion while at OSU. Smith is the only Del City High School alumni to have won an Olympic medal. Smith won two gold medals; one gold medal in the 1988 Seoul, Korea games and another gold medal in 1992 at the Barcelona, Spain games. Smith is the only American wrestler to win six world titles in a career. Smith finished his Oklahoma State athletic career as the most winning Cowboy ever with a 154-7-2 record. In 1993, the Del City High School Field House was renamed the John Smith Field House in recognition of his accomplishments worldwide. He was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997 and in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. He has received numerous awards as a wrestler and as a coach. Smith has eight brothers and sisters that graduated from Del City High School as well. Smith’s father, Leroy Smith, was a member of the Mid-Del School Board. Smith is currently the Head Coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys wrestling team.
Hall of Fame Honoree Steven D. Russell attended Del City High School and graduated in 1981. Mr. Russell received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1985. Mr. Russell graduated in 1998 from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Mr. Russell was a distinguished military graduate, first in his ROTC class, President of Sigma Alpha Sigma Men’s Fraternity, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the Infantry in the United States Army. Mr. Russell has served in the United States Army since 1985 and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel. He served in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq Airborne, and received the Ranger Qualifications Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star for Valor with an Oak Leaf Cluster, and Commanded the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry in Tikrit, Iraq. Mr. Russell’s Battalion captured #4 and #52 in “Wanted – Deck of Iraqi Criminals” and his Battalion, through Mr. Russell’s leadership, captured Saddam Hussein. Mr. Russell has served on the United States Army 50th Anniversary of Normandy Committee, served as a Delegate to the United Nations Afghan Security Conference, and has engaged in extensive work with veterans from World War I and World War II. Mr. Russell is also an ordained minister for the Southern Baptist Convention and has served as a youth director.
Steven D. Russell
Joseph M. Selden
Hall of Fame Honoree Joseph M. Selden is a member of the class of 1969. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology-Air Force ROTC in 1973. During that time he was named to the Dean’s list his last two years. Selden was Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1976, he graduated with a Masters Degree in Education from Syracuse University. He presently is pursuing his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Selden served his country for 28 years in the United States Air Force. He was a Lieutenant Colonel – Information Management Officer assigned to the Pentagon for 17 years. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. For 3 years he has served as the Assistant Dean and Lecturer for the College Communications Department at Pennsylvania State University. In 2000, Mr. Selden was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award for outstanding performance and was chosen as Distinguished Member by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In 2001, he was awarded the Barry Bingham Fellowship by the National Conference of Editorial Writers. He directs Multicultural Journalism Workshops for minority students to explore opportunities in print journalism. Mr. Selden has been managing this program for the past 10 years.
James Robert "Bob" Kalsu
Hall of Fame Honoree James Robert “Bob” Kalsu attended Del City High School and graduated in 1963. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he lettered in varsity football three years, made the All Big 8 team, and was named an Oklahoma Sooner All-American Tackle in 1967. Upon graduation from OU, he was the eighth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. In 1968 he started eight games at Guard and was voted the Bills’ Rookie of the Year. He began fulfilling his ROTC obligation with the United States Army following his promising rookie season and started his tour of duty in Vietnam in November of 1969, serving with the 101st Airborne Division. On July 21, 1970, following eight months of heavy combat, Lieutenant Kalsu, 25, was killed when his unit fell under heavy fire while defending Ripcord Base on an isolated jungle mountaintop, becoming the only professional football player killed in Vietnam. Kalsu is honored on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The United States Army honored Kalsu by redesignating the Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Replacement Company as the 1st Lt. James Robert Kalsu Replacement Unit and also naming the headquarters building in his honor. In 2002, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops introduced the Bob Kalsu Award to recognize uncommon dedication and fortitude. Bob Kalsu Jr. accepted the award.
John G. Johnson
Hall of Fame Honoree John G. Johnson attended Del City High School and graduated in May 1967. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1973 and his Juris Doctor Degree from Oklahoma City University in 1975. Mr. Johnson has been an attorney in private practice for 29 years, a Municipal Judge for Del City and Midwest City for 10 years, and was the 1981 Chairman of the Young Lawyers Division of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Mr. Johnson has also been an adjunct professor for Rose State College for the business school and legal assistant programs. He has served in various leadership programs such as Midwest City-1989, Leadership Oklahoma Class IV, Central Oklahoma Regional Leadership Institute Class I, and Association of Central Oklahoma Governments. Mr. Johnson has been a member of the Midwest City Rotary Club for 20 years, acted as State Chairman of “Wings of Rotary” exchange program with Japan and received the Rotary Governor’s Citation Award 1996-1997 for the “Wings of Rotary” Program. Mr. Johnson is also active in Boy Scouts of America, a girls’ softball coach, an Officer and Director for the Mid-Del Youth & Family Services, District Chairman for Last Frontier Council, Big Tepee District, and has been active in his church, First Baptist Church of Midwest City, as a youth sponsor, and Chairman of Board of Deacons.
Gilbert Bruce Holmes
Hall of Fame Honoree Gilbert Bruce Holmes, Jr. was a member of the first graduating class of Del City High School of 1955. He graduated from the Air Force ROTC program of the University of Oklahoma in 1959 and then entered the United States Air Force. Holmes received his regular Air Force commission early in his career and began serving in Vietnam as an advisor in 1965. He flew the first major air offensive into North Vietnam and was one of the first four Air Force pilots to fly 100 missions over North Vietnam in the F-105. Holmes returned to the United States and was assigned to train replacement pilots for the F-105 at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Captain Holmes was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (3 awards), Air Force Commendation Medal, and many more, including the Vietnam Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Captain Holmes died when a fire broke out in his living quarters in 1967 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery. David Holmes accepted the award.
The 2004 inductees included: M. Joe Crosthwait, class of 1966; Roger Epperly, class of 1956; Ron W. Eskew, class of 1969; Edward J. Hicks, class of 1968; Nola Nolen Holland, class of 1969; Gilbert Bruce Holmes, class of 1955, John G. Johnson, class of 1967; James Robert (Bob) Kalsu, class of 1963; Steven D. Russell, class of 1981; Joseph Selden, class of 1969; and John Smith, class of 1983.
M. Joe Crosthwait
Hall of Fame Honoree M. Joe Crosthwait attended Del City High School from 1964-1966. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Westminister College in 1970 and his Juris Doctor Degree from Oklahoma City University in 1974. Mr. Crosthwait has been a trial advocate for 30 years, served as the 2000 President of the Oklahoma Bar Association, served as President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association from 1994-1995, served as Vice-President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association from 1992-1993, and has been a member of numerous boards, task forces and committees. Mr. Crosthwait was the First Director of the Legal Assistant Program at Rose State College and served on the Board of Directors for the First National Bank of Midwest City from 1983-1996.
Mr. Crosthwait also served as a Municipal Judge for the City of Midwest City from 1986-1996. Mr. Crosthwaitís outstanding leadership and service to the Midwest City-Del City Community as an attorney and role model has earned him a position of high regard in addition to numerous awards, including Outstanding Chair Award, Distinguished Alumnus Award Oklahoma City University Law School, Diversity Award Oklahoma Black Lawyers Association, American Bar Association Small Firm Merit Award, and Edward R. Finch Law Day Speech Award.
Hall of Fame Honoree Roger Epperly was a member of the class of 1956. He received his Bachelor degree in 1960 from Oklahoma A & M/Oklahoma State University and his Master degree in 1963 from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Epperly served in education as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He was a delegate to the Oklahoma Education
Association. He retired from Del Crest Junior High in 1994, after serving 33 years in the Mid-Del School District.
Mr. Epperly served the Del City community in various organizations including the Park and Recreation Commission, the Del City Housing Authority, and is a Past President of the Del City Kiwanis Club. He also served on the founding board to establish Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. Mr. Epperly is ordained as a Deacon and Elder in the Presbyterian Church. He also served his church as a Sunday School teacher. Mr. Epperly was born on a farm in western Oklahoma. His parents, Dave and Vera Epperly, moved into the first completed house built in Del City on January 1, 1947. He attended Sooner and Post Elementary, Midwest City Jr./Sr., Del City Jr. High. (first year it opened) and Del City High School. Mr. Epperly and Ruth, his wife of 45 years, live in Del City and both worked in the Mid-Del School District. Their three sons also graduated Del City High School.
Ron W. Eskew
Hall of Fame Honoree Ron W. Eskew attended Del City High School and graduated in 1969. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Oklahoma State University and his Masters Degree as a Ph.D. and Clinical Psychologist in 1978. Mr. Eskew has been a Clinical Psychologist at the New York State Office of Mental Health for 14 years. He was an Associate Psychologist for 6 years and Chief Psychologist for 8 years. Mr. Eskew is also an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hilbert College. He has also served as the Vice-President and Co-President of the Faculty Senate. Mr. Eskew has been a teaching assistant and research assistant at Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Gerontology. Mr. Eskew is currently on the Board of Directors of Coordinated Care of Western New York and has for the last 10 years provided mental health consultation services to elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Mr. Eskew has also presented workshops and lectures on topics in aging to professionals and the public as well as serving as a member of various professional organizations including serving as President of the Psychological Association of Western New York. Mr. Eskew has also been active as a Cub Scout Pack Leader and little league T-ball coach.
Edward J. Hicks
Hall of Fame Honoree Edward J. Hicks attended Del City High School and graduated in 1968. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1972 and a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975 from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Hicks has been a Special District Judge for the 14th Judicial District for 19 years and was the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Tulsa for 10 years. He was awarded the Family Law Section’s “Outstanding Member of the Judiciary” for 1992, and honored by the Mental Health Association in Tulsa for improving mental health commitment procedures and facilitating site-based hearings at Parkside Hospital. He was also a volunteer judge for the Court of Criminal Appeals Emergency Appellate Division. Mr. Hicks has been an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa and served as a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Committee to draft uniform jury instructions for juvenile cases. Mr. Hicks also served as General Counsel for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust and the Tulsa Civic Center Authority. He has been an active member in the Rotary Club of Tulsa, served on various boards of the Mental Health Association and the South Creekside Neighborhood Association, and is active with First Baptist Church of Tulsa, where he has served as Chairman of the Deacons, Finance Committee Chairman and as a member of the Pastor Search Committee.
Nola Nolen Holland
Hall of Fame Honoree Nola Nolen Holland was a member of the class of 1969. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1973 with a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts in Ballet Pedagogy. In 1996, she received her Masters Degree of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Oklahoma. She has been a Dance Professor at Slippery Rock Universiy of Pennsylvania for seventeen years. While at the University, she was a member of Who’s Who in American University Professors and received numerous awards. Ms. Nolen Holland also served as a High School Dance Teacher for 7 years at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She choreographed and presented a 1998 benefit concert to help establish a financial assistance program for young film actors to pay their Screen Actors Guild union dues in memory of her nephew. She developed and currently administers the Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Dance Department’s freshman mentoring program. With anthropology professor, Dr. Srinivasa Mani, Ms. Nolen Holland has collaboratively developed a cultural dance exchange between Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and a Bharata Natyam (classical Indian dance) academy in Chennai, India. She visits Del City regularly. While visiting her family, she has the opportunity to visit former classmates.