Justus "Jud" O'Reilly - In Memoriam
Posted by cservaes on September 19, 2011 in Alumni, "The College"
Longtime Ottawa University trustee Justus “Jud” O’Reilly passed away Sunday, July 3. O’Reilly, 98, was a member of the Board of Trustees since 1954. He was elected a life trustee in 2003. He attended Pittsburg State University for two years, where he was an accomplished distance runner. He later transferred to Kansas State University to enroll in the engineering program. He graduated from KSU in 1935 with a degree in chemical engineering and later earned an MBA from the University of Tulsa. While at KSU, he continued running. His two mile relay team had the fastest and second fastest times in the nation in 1935. He placed sixth in the NCAA outdoor mile run in 1935, as well. O’Reilly was employed for a number of years by Skelly Oil company in El Dorado, Kansas. He also was superintendent of the El Dorado refinery and co-owner and chief operating officer of the MidAmerica Refinery in Chanute for five years. After his retirement, he served for two years on the staff of the First Baptist Church in El Dorado as a deacon and board member. O’Reilly was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church choir. He was also a member of the Rotary Club and received its highest distinction, the Paul Harris Fellow award. He was a member of the El Dorado Baseball Hall of Fame. O’Reilly married Flossie Mae Smith in 1937. After her death in 1978, he married Alyce Lewis. Alyce passed away in 2002. He is survived by his son, Larry O’Reilly; a daughter, Kathleen Bales; three grandchildren; a brother, Robert O’Reilly; and three sisters, Harriet Hendricks, Velma Gillette and Lucy McFall. “Jud was an extraordinarily loyal friend to OU,” said Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner. “He was a true example of servant leadership.”