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Posted by Ann Weber

Published from June 26 to July 25, 2016

James Samuel Cyrus (1933 - 2016)


James Samuel (Jim S.) Cyrus, a long time resident of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, passed away June 17, 2016 at the age of 82. His wife, Suzanne, and their family invite their friends to join them in a celebration of his life at a memorial service on July 5th at 11:00 a.m. at the Bartlesville First Church, a United Methodist Community, 4715 Price Road.

Jim was born on November 5, 1933 to Samuel Woodrow Cyrus and Kathleen (Phillips) Cyrus in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He married Suzanne Gathright on June 6, 1954. Jim and Suzanne have 4 children: Michael James Cyrus and wife, Mariet; Linda Suzanne Thomas and husband, Curt; Mark Ray Cyrus and wife, Suzanne; and Scott Samuel Cyrus, and wife Janell. They have 14 grandchildren: Brad Daniel, Allison Zelinksi and husband A.J., Amy Atkins and husband Matt, Melody Nail, Wes Cyrus and wife Missy, Emily Taylor and husband Michael, Matt Cyrus and wife Megan, Rachel Cyrus, Lauren Crawley and husband J.T., Maura Cyrus, Kara Cyrus, Audrey Cyrus, Marshall Cyrus, and James Samuel Cyrus, II. They have 7 great-grandchildren, Adam Zelinski, Abby Zelinski, Alex Zelinski, Ava Atkins, McKenna Cyrus, Hunter Taylor, and Emma Atkins.

Jim, a retired Area Engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was a registered Professional Engineer and a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He was active in community affairs, having served as a Bartlesville City Commissioner and as the first president of the Colonial Estates Homeowners Association. He served on numerous area boards, including the Boy Scouts of America, Boys Club, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma Green Country, Rogers State College, Oklahoma Wildlife Federation, and the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve. In 1982, he founded the parent-youth mentoring program, S.O.S., teaching hunting, fishing, and outdoor safety and conservation skills to more than 1500 area youth, and he also organized the Illinois River Clean-Up Project. For his efforts in both these programs, Green Country awarded him their President's Commendation Award for improving the quality of life for all Green Country citizens. He was named the Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year by the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation for his support and enthusiasm for numerous conservation and preservation natural resources and wildlife programs. Governor George Nigh recognized him as a recipient of President Ronald Reagan's "Take Pride in America" National Award for his meritorious stewardship of America's natural and cultural resources. He had been active in the Bartlesville Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, the Oklahoma Heritage Association, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Quality-of-Life Task Force. In 2008, he was the recipient of the James S. and Suzanne Cyrus Scholarship Award, and an endowment fund was established in their honor whereby M.D. Anderson Cancer Center awards annual scholarships to physician scientists for the continued research and treatment of cancer.

Jim was a Christian man of deep faith in God. He was selflessly dedicated to Suzanne and his family who were his most treasured reward on earth. His strength, courage, and conviction will carry on through them. Jim is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, his sister, Betty Cabbiness, a nephew, Sam Cabbiness, a niece, Sara Davis, and a large extended family. He is predeceased by his mother and father, and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ray and Lena Ray Gathright.

Jim donated his earthly body to the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences for medical education and research purposes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bartlesville First Church, 4715 Price Road, Bartlesville, OK 74006, the James S. and Suzanne Cyrus Scholars Fund, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Attn: Sarah Thornton, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486, or a charity of your choice .

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