Cecil Roark

Cecil Roark graduated from Connors in 1940. He served during World War II as a naval aviator becoming commander of his unit. He then took what was to be a temporary job with the Red Cross but it lasted more than forty years. He trained hundreds of people in water safety while also training thousands of lifeguards who saved numerous lives. He personally taught swimming to tens of thousands of students. Cecil developed a blood services program that is still the second largest provider of blood in the state. Roark has assisted numerous eastern Oklahoma communities through tornadoes, floods, and fires. In 1987 he was inducted into the Commodore Longfellow Society’s Hall of Fame “for his outstanding contribution to humanity in the fields of aquatics and lifesaving.” He served as president of the Connors Former Students Association and was president of the Civitan Club. He achieved one of his dreams when he and other leaders were able to build the Red Cross Building and swimming pool for Muskogee. Perhaps Cecil is best known as a role model for those individuals with whom comes into contact. His untiring efforts to help others instills the spirit of volunteerism in the community. He is known for his professionalism, character, and for the encouragement he gives to his fellow man.