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James Austin "Jim" Killingsworth

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Jim Killingsworth
OWASSO, Okla. - James Austin "Jim" Killingsworth, local resident of Owasso, Oklahoma, died Sunday, June 10, 2007, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the age of 83 years. He was born June 19, 1923, in Checotah, Oklahoma, to Vollie Austin and Exie (Studdard) Killingsworth. He was a veteran of the armed forces, having served his country honorably with the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
He was married May 29, 1943, to the former Margaret C. Gwyn.
After being discharged from the Army Air Corps, he received his bachelor's degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He began his coaching career in Stidham, Oklahoma, in 1949. He continued his education and received his master's degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Other high school coaching stints in Oklahoma included Lindsay, Schulter, and Pawhuska, where he coached the Huskies to the Class A state championship in 1961. From 1961-64, he was an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa, where he was the freshman coach. He then left for Cerritos (Calif.) Junior College for seven seasons, where he won the California juco title in 1968.
He coached six seasons at Idaho State University, leading them to the NCAA tournament and the Elite Eight in 1977, which included an upset post-season victory over then perennial power UCLA. He was hired by Oklahoma State University in 1977, where he coached the Cowboys for two years where his last team had the most victories since Henry Iba's last season in 1969-70.
In 1979, he accepted the head coaching position at Texas Christian University. He directed the Frogs to two NIT berths, including the 1983 quarterfinals. In 1987, he led TCU to a 24-7 record and the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was named the Southwest Conference coach of the year as he led the "Killer Frogs" to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1971.
He retired after eight seasons and 38 overall.
His loving family includes: Daughter and son-in-law, Phyllis and Dennis Raddant, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; son; Jim Killingsworth, of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho; sister; Clara Bristol, of Portland, Oregon; brother, O.G. Killingsworth, of Muleshoe, Texas;
sister, Edith Kelly, of Flint, Michigan; sister, Grace Scoggin, of Muleshoe, Texas;
brother, Roy Killingsworth, of Collinsville, Oklahoma; brother, Wilburn Killingsworth, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, a brother, Boyd Killingsworth, and a sister, Ruby Brock.
Visitation was held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, 2007, at Mowery Funeral Service in Owasso, Oklahoma. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at the First Baptist Church in Owasso. He will be taken to Glen Rose, Texas, for visitation, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2007, at Wiley Funeral Home, with funeral service to be held 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 15, 2007, at the First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Arrangements and services were entrusted to Mowery Funeral Service of Owasso, Oklahoma (918) 272-6244.
Published in Idaho State Journal on June 12, 2007
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