Home » Mary's Musings » Lifelong Sooner With a Big Heart

Lifelong Sooner With a Big Heart


Jakie Sandefer

Like previous times when I have received sad news of a Sooner taken from us too early, I feel the need to share my story in their honor as a way of processing.  Two days ago, I heard that former Sooner football player Jakie Sandefer, was quite ill.  My boss stood there and told me, “He’s in the hospital and they don’t think he’ll make it.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I wanted to say, “But I just saw him a few months ago…”  Word quickly spread and I made sure a friend of mine who also worked with me in the suites and private donor areas also knew of his status.  We both reached out to his secretary to share that our thoughts and prayers were with him and his family.  Just about an hour ago, I got the news that Jakie passed away after “fighting the good fight.”  Jakie was such a generous man and made it his mission to help former student-athletes with finding their passion in life.  You couldn’t help but hear the genuine, heartfelt desire to help others when speaking to him on the phone or in person.  Just this past football season, I popped up to the suites level to say hi to a few people and ran into Jakie.  He was telling Paul Massad, longtime staff member of the University Development office, how much he thought of my boss and that he was proud of the work being done to help former student-athletes.  He had just recently created the program Sooners Helping Sooners to do just that.  Because of his generous, kind spirit, I can smile through the sadness knowing he left this world better than he found it.  He not only made his mark on the University of Oklahoma, but touched so many individual lives.  I am very grateful to be one of those lives.  Jakie now joins other Sooners we have lost too early: Prentice Gautt, David Maloney, Bob Coleman, Karl Moyer and many more.  I’m sure the lively discussions have already begun.

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