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Roy Charles OKAN

Male 1927 - 2004  (76 years)


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  • Name Roy Charles OKAN 
    Born 19 Jul 1927  Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 20 Feb 2004  Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 24 Apr 2004  Crystal Lake Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Middle name on WWII draft card is "Carl"

      From “The News, Frederick, Maryland, Friday, August 3, 1962”:
      “Engagement Announced
      Dr. and Mrs. I. E. Stokes of Beltsville, announce the engagement of their daughter Mary Jane to Roy Charles Okan, son of Mrs. Obert B. Okan of Minneapolis, Minn. Miss Stokes is a graduate of Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Miss. She is a helping teacher at the Frederick County Board of Education. Mr. Okan received a degree in education at the University of Minneosta. He is employed by the Frederick County Board of Education at the Outdoor School. A November wedding is planned.”

      From “The Frederick Post, Frederick, Maryland, Monday, February 15, 1993”:
      Guide Shares 35 years of knowledge”
      By Erica Ohr, News-Post Staff
      “Only three months after surgery, Roy Okan can be found traipsing the streets of Frederick, sharing his pride and imparting tidbits about the historic city to tourists, county residents and other knowledge-hungry individuals.
      He has been a tour guide for the Tourism Council of Frederick County for 3 1/2 years but said he has only been “bionic” since his hip was replaced at the end of October.
      But the surgery only slowed him down briefly. Mr. Okan, 65, gave his first tour following the surgery two weeks ago to a group of history professors.
      Mr. Okan is an active member of Habitat for Humanity, Hope for a Home and the Historical Society. As he continues with his litany of community involvement, one might wonder where he finds the time and energy.
      Perhaps his early career can account for it. He is a former elementary school science supervisor and principal, and outdoor camp teacher and principal.
      Mr. Okan became interested in being a tour guide after one of his wife’s friends made the suggestion. According to Mr. Okan, it was a natural choice for him after he retired in 1987 since he had led so many field trips during his career.
      Mr. Okan was working in Battle Creek, Mich., when he was called in 1957 to fill a position at Camp Greentop, an outdoor school in Catoctin Mountain Park.
      “I didn’t want to come out East,” he said. “I wanted to go West but said I would come, get some experience and stay for two years. Somehow that limit got lost in the process.”
      The children he was teaching would stay for a week and study plants, animals, geology, streams, math and the compass. He believes in the strength of an integrated curriculum and hands-on experience, he said.
      “You can talk until you’re blue in the face about the trees and their parts, but you take a child outside...that is concrete,” he said
      After serving as principal at Camp Greentop for nine years, he supervised elementary science in the county schools for six years and later was a principal at Liberty, Myersville and Waverly elementary schools.
      Mr. Okan, who has lived in Frederick for 35 years, is originally from Minnesota, and his wife, Mary Jane, is from Mississippi. They met here in Frederick.
      In effect, he is a history instructor and reminds his listeners of the historical influence of individuals from Frederick.
      Some he mentioned include Francis Scott Key; Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, who swore in more presidents than any other; and Senator Mathias, who was born on Court House Square in the yellolw house.
      His training as a tour guide is ongoing. He said he is always reading, and his collection of literature about the county includes books, pamphlets, magazines and newspaper clippings.
      For his role as tour guide he dresses up in vintage clothing, which he has retrieved from various sources. Dressing up “adds to the presentation...it sets you aside,” Mr. Okan said.
      “Most teachers want to perform a bit,” he said.
      He gives the tours because, he said, “I like dealing with people. And honestly...I have no papers to correct, no lesson plans to write...no paperwork. I can come home and read.”
      Once he starts talking about Frederick, it takes only a short time for listeners to get a sense of the pride Mr. Okan has for the city.
      “It’s a beautiful city, and it’s very unique,” he said.
      He especially enjoys when people in his group say things like, “Oooh, I didn’t know that,” he said.
      Mr. Okan also has served as a substitute minister, landlord, antique refinisher and caller for fun and easy square dances. He has been calling square dances since 1965 and still has some of the 78’s that he uses, he said.
      He has called for seniors, elementary-age children, church and civic groups, and said, “I don’t know if there is a group I haven’t called.”
      He also has an interest in antiques, and said, “I am getting to be one.” He showed off a “hoosier,” an all-in-one kitchen cabinet that holds dishes, bread, hot baked goods and has a porcelin bakers top, he refinished for his daughter who lives in North Carolina.
      As he was getting ready to take the piece to her, in between other obligations and the tourism season, he said, “Boredom is the worst thing in the world.”

      Obituary
      Charlotte Observer, Monday, February 23, 2004:
      "Roy Charles Okan-
      Frederick, MD--Mr. Okan, 76, died on Friday, February 20, 2004 at the Northhampton Manor Health Care Center.
      He was the husband of Mary Jane Stokes Okan.
      Surviving in addition to his wife is a daughter, Lynn Marie Wilson and husband, Jonathan, of Charlotte, NC, one sister, Joyce Rosene and husband Robert, of St. Paul, MN, and their children; Richard Rosene, Marilyn Rosene, Barbara Rosene and Laurel Thesis, and several grand nieces and nephews.
      He will also be remembered by his mother-in-law, Fedora Links Stokes, sister-in-law, Martha King and family.
      Memorial services will be held on Friday, Feb. 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Kittamaqundi Community, 5410 Leaf Tender Way, Columbia, MD, with pastor Rebecca J. Steele, officiating. ... Private inurnment will be in the Crystal Lake Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.
      Arrangements are by the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, 106 East Church Street, Frederick, MD.
      In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 200 ·. Joppa Road, Suite 300, Towson MD 21286-3108 or to American Diabetes Association, 1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311."

      SSDI: Roy C. Okan
      SSN: 474-22-9204
      LR: 21701 Frederick, Frederick, Maryland
      B: 19 Jul 1927
      D: 20 Feb 2004
      State Issued: Minnesota (Before 1951)
    Person ID I5046  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 5 Apr 2020 

    Father Obert Bernhard OKAN,   b. 7 Mar 1898, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jan 1951, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Mother Helen Caroline HOITOMT,   b. 10 Dec 1899, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Mar 1992, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married 4 Apr 1925  Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1960  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Jane STOKES 
    Children 
     1. Lynn Marie OKAN
    Last Modified 29 Apr 2020 
    Family ID F1961  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 Jul 1927 - Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 20 Feb 2004 - Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 24 Apr 2004 - Crystal Lake Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth