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David Inge

January 10, 2024 - 00:00
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  • David Inge

David Roy Inge, 72, passed away peacefully in Oklahoma City on Jan. 4, 2024, with his family and friends by his side.

He was born Oct. 9, 1951, in Oklahoma City. He was the third of five children in his family.

When he was born, the doctors did not have much hope for him. They told his mother, “go home, plan a funeral, this baby will never live,” but from his very first moments, David’s zest for life has shown through.

Let’s take a look at this amazing life.

At the age of 14, David went to live at the Enid State School.

While there, he discovered his love of sports. He became active in the Special Olympics in both vocal and track.

He continued training and in 1987 he was chosen to compete in track at the International Special Olympics at the Notre Dame campus in Indiana where he placed sixth and seventh among competitors from 70 countries.

The Special Olympics remained important to David his entire life and he competed in the Special Olympics for over 50 years.

But as we all know, David’s love of sports didn’t stop with the Special Olympics. On Valentine’s Day 1984, David moved to Okarche to live at the Center of Family Love.

Once in Okarche, David’s life changed.

He fell in love with this town and the town fell in love with him.

In June 1989, David represented the town of Okarche, helping to relay the Olympic torch through the town to the Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City.

It was also during this time that David came to love the Okarche Warriors.

It didn’t matter if it was the varsity state game or fifth grade girls’ basketball. If David could get there, he would be there to cheer the Warriors on.

He was awarded the first of many Okarche Warrior Fan of the Year Awards in the 1998-99 season.

David has his own personal seat in the bleachers at the high school with his name on it - first row, center court.

David was so honored that the school gave him his own seat and he was always quick to tell you, “No one sits in my seat!”

David was the Warriors’ #1 fan, attending every event he could. And this community came together to help him achieve his goal to support the Warriors in every way – driving him to games, allowing him to ride the school bus and more.

Even in his last days, his love of the Warriors was apparent. David woke up in the ICU just long enough to ask the scores of the last game.

The Warriors were always his No. 1, but he also loved the OKC Thunder and enjoyed going to their basketball games.

While David loved sports, it wasn’t the only thing David was interested in. He had season tickets to the Civic Center to watch Broadway plays and began and ended his acting career in 2002 when he played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Center.

He loved to attend every festival and concert he could go to; attending the State Fair, Festival of the Arts and more every year.

David was also a man who loved God.

He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Okarche where he loved to sing as a member of the choir.

David loved his church family and, as with every other part of his life, he attended every activity and event that he could.

David was also a man of tradition who never wanted to miss any time with his family and friends. He loved holiday traditions such as tasting parties at his mom’s house for St. Patrick’s Day, shooting off fireworks on the Fourth of July, going to the casino every year for his birthday and sharing time with his family on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Throughout his life David has received numerous recognitions.

He was a hard worker who took pride in what he did. He worked at the Vernie Snow Aquatic Center, the CFL filter shop and Walmart among others.

While working at Walmart in October 2001, he was invited to Governor Keating’s mansion and received the Governor’s Disability Employment Award in honor of his outstanding achievements at work.

In 2016 he was a finalist for the USE Outstanding Performer of the Year from the state of Oklahoma due to his performance at the CFL filter shop.

Then in 2011 he received a citation from then-Rep. Mike Sanders. At the 2019 Gala of Love, the Center of Family Love’s annual charity event, David was honored as the Resident of the Year.

David loved celebrating and his favorite party was his 60th birthday, a massive surprise birthday bash at Holy Trinity gym.

The gym was packed as the entire community came out to celebrate with him. He was surrounded by the people he loved, which was always his favorite place to be.

David loved his church family, his school family, his Center of Family Love family and the entire community.

David loved to be around people and if he ever met a stranger – they didn’t stay a stranger for very long. There isn’t a person who ever met him that wasn’t touched by his smiles, his sense of humor and his intense love of life.

There are too many people to mention that touched David’s life.

We’d like to thank everyone for their love and support throughout the years. Thank you to the town of Okarche and all the people who watched out for David over the years, who took him to ballgames and who made sure that he knew he was special.

David brought constant joy to those around him, making an impact from his first day to his last.

His zest for life was infectious and he would want every single person to live their lives just as fully as he did.

David was preceded in death by his mother and father, Peggy and Richard Inge; his siblings, Michael and Karen; and his aunt and uncle, Ann and Lee Taylor.

He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Diana and Terry Luber of Okarche; his brother and sister-in-law Ronald and Evelyn Inge of Woodbury, Tenn.; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and all his friends in Okarche.

The family requests donations in David’s name be sent to the Center of Family Love, P.O. Box 245, Okarche, OK 73762.

Funeral services for David were held Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Okarche Public School gymnasium.