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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Finally Friday: Bedlam Week

I skipped a few entries on my “Finally Friday” segments, but here I am again.  The week after we come back from Thanksgiving is always hard.  For most of us, we’ve just spent the past few days with family and it’s hard to get back into work mode.  Fortunately, things are slow at the office so we can carry over “Holiday Hangover” for a little bit.  I had the pleasure of grabbing lunch with friends this week.  I’ve always had the mentality of having a small group of quality friends vs. a large number of friends that I rarely contact.  These particular friends are definitely in the category of quality.

This weekend, the OU football team plays their last game at home for the season.  What this really means is one thing: Bedlam and our in-state rivalry.  It’s always fun to be in our stadium for this game because our fans go crazy, and fortunately for the most part, they behave.  The rivalry isn’t as strong for me as I haven’t “lived and breathed” it for my whole life.  I’ve been around it for a mere 8 years.  No question though, I bleed crimson.

Tonight is our holiday office party.  I love that we are a group that wants to spend time together even after hours.  That is one reason I have stayed in this particular office, because I get along with my co-workers which is refreshing and I know not the case everywhere.  We are playing “Dirty Santa” which always brings out an interesting side of people…should be entertaining.

Sunday, a few of us are leaving for New Orleans for a conference.  A girl in our office has been kind enough to give us a list of suggestions of where to eat and some fun places to visit.  As I looked it over, I joked to the rest of the group that I hope we’re able to get in some workshops.  We’re a very talented group and are quite sure we can master the art of time management, ha!  I haven’t visited New Orleans in a number of years so it should be a fun return…especially with the group joining me.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Boomer Sooner and Beat OSU!

Mary