Silas Family (2013)

C.J. “Pete” and Theodosea “Theo” Silas arrived in Bartlesville in 1977 with their four children Karla, Peter Edward, Michael Frank, and James Alexander.  After meeting in Theo’s hometown of New York, the Silases traveled the world as Pete’s job with Phillips Petroleum took them to Brussels, London, and other international destinations.  Pete rose to chairman and CEO of Phillips in 1985, helping to guide the company through the aftermath of hostile takeover attempts, before retiring in 1994.

While their contributions to the community have been numerous, Pete and Theo have been instrumental in the establishment of two treasured Bartlesville cultural institutions: the OK Mozart Festival and the Price Tower Arts Center.  Both helped to found and support OK Mozart, while Theo was the founder and first president of the Bartlesville Museum, now the Price Tower Arts Center. She continues to serve on the OK Mozart board of directors and serves as a trustee and co-chairman of the Acquisitions Committee for the Price Tower.  Pete continues to serve as the chairman, trustee, and chief fundraiser for the Price Tower Arts complex.  Both have been working to have the Price Tower named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Theo has also served on the Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. She has been active on the boards of the Allied Arts and Humanities Council, the Bartlesville Civic Ballet, Friends of the Frank Phillips Home, the Landmark Preservation Council, and Women and Children in Crisis. Among her many awards, Theo received the Decoration of Merit in Gold from the Republic of Austria and was elected to the 2004 Hall of Fame of Hunter College where she graduated cum laude.

Pete serves on the board of the Georgia Tech Foundation and is a past national chairman of Junior Achievement, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, where he still serves as a board member.  He was a founder and board member of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and has been on the boards of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the University of Tulsa, and the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy.  Pete has received the Royal Norwegian St. Olav’s Order in the degree of Commander as well as Georgia Tech’s Total Person award.