ARTHUR E. (ART) AITKEN, 92-year old resident of Woodward, died Aug. 23, 2005 at the Woodward Regional Hospital.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, 2005 at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Gary Holdeman officiating with burial at 3:30 p.m. Monday in Chapel Hill Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Okla. Under the direction of the Zwanziger Funeral Home.
Arthur E. Aitken was born Nov. 29, 1912 at Parsons, Kan. to Arthur Leland and Myrtle (Bowser) Aitken. He graduated from high school in Parsons, Kan., and Coffeyville Junior College at Coffeyville, Kan., and following his graduation from Oklahoma A&M (now OSU), he spent 10 years in the Bartlesville School District as a principal and as a teacher. He married Kathleen Lucille Bressie in 1936. She passed away in 1972. In 1942 he made a career change, and for the next 31 years he worked for the J.C. Penney Co., first as an assistant manager in the Bartlesville and Chickasha stores, and then as the manager of the Alva and Woodward stores. He took over the Woodward Penney store in 1962, and managed it until his retirement in 1973. A few years after his retirement, he embarked upon a new career in real estate, which culminated in the opening of a Century 21 office in Woodward. He retired from his real estate business after 10 years.
Art served his communities in many capacities. He was President of the Chambers of Commerce and President of the Rotary Clubs in Alva and Woodward. He was President and an honorary lifetime member of the Woodward Board of Realtors and was co-chair of the Woodward United Fund Drive. He was G.O.P. Chairman of Woodward County and served as a Silverhair Senator from 1984-1988. Art was a great supporter of the Arts in Woodward, serving as President of the Community Concert Association and on the State Arts Council from 1974-1977. He was awarded the Community Service Award at the Governor's Award Luncheon in 1979, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Assembly of Community Arts Councils of Oklahoma.
Of all his contributions to the arts he will be remembered most for the unselfish sharing of his musical talents. He was widely known for his singing ability and was often called upon for programs and special services in his church and community. Art directed choirs at the Woodward Community Center and the First United Methodist Church and was a member of the Red Carpet Singers.
Art was active in the First United Methodist Church, where he held many offices and was a member of the church choir for over 40 years. He taught Sunday School and worked with the high school groups as a sponsor. He was an active member of the Emmaus Community and was instrumental in bringing Emmaus to the Methodist Church in Woodward. Volunteering came naturally, in 1977, he joined the Woodward Hospital Volunteers organization. Every Friday morning he could be found on the second floor visiting with families who had loved ones in surgery, keeping them informed of the patients progress.
He is survived by his son, Thomas Aitken and wife Andrea, Tampa, Fla., daughter Kay Hutchinson and husband Bill, Baton Rouge, La.; four grandchildren: Kym Wright and husband Ernie, Kennesaw, Ga., Michele McKinney, Clearwater, Fla., John Hutchinson, Cumming, Ga., and Mark Hutchinson and wife Laura, Reno, Nev.; six great-grandchildren: Beau, Grier, and Riley Wright, Michael and Haley McKinney and Madison Hutchinson, and a sister Rosemary Weis, Abilene, Kan
. There will be a memorial fund set up in Art Aitken's memory at the First United Methodist Music Fund, and also at the Woodward Regional Hospital Aux. Fund.