BCF Welcomes Colaw, Roll Families to Hall of Fame

The Bartlesville Community Foundation’s 2015 inductees to the Legacy Hall of Fame have established deep roots in the community spreading through several generations. Their service has made an impact in education, the arts, finance, commerce, healthcare, and faith. On May 16th the Foundation will honor the Colaw and Roll families for their contributions to Bartlesville. “These two families have touched almost every facet of Bartlesville that makes this community such a wonderful place to live,” notes Shawn Crawford, Executive Director of the Foundation.

Dr. Charles Benjamin (C.B.) Colaw and Mabel Estella Kauth were married in 1937. After farming, ranching, and operating a retail oil distributing company, the couple entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1947. After pastoring in Kansas, C.B. become superintendent of what is now known as the Tri-State District of the Wesleyan Church in 1956. He served in that position for 34 years.

A fateful stop for a flat tire in 1958 would set C.B. and Mabel on a new course. While waiting for his car to be fixed in Bartlesville, Colaw would learn of a prime property for sale on Silver Lake Road. The Wesleyans wanted to relocate their small but growing college in Colorado Springs. That college would eventually call Bartlesville home, first as Central Pilgrim College, then Bartlesville Wesleyan College, and finally today’s Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

C.B. and Mabel would move to Bartlesville in 1959 and found First Wesleyan Church. Their youngest son Joe Colaw pastors the church today. C.B. would serve as the Chairman of the Oklahoma Wesleyan board from 1981 to 2001 and would then become Chairman Emeritus; he never missed a board meeting or graduation for 51 years.

Mabel was known for her hospitality and hosting events, and also as a tremendous mentor to pastors and their spouses. She traveled the world visiting missionaries and church leaders. When living in Springfield, Missouri she served for a decade as an election board official.

C.B. was a long-time member of the Bartlesville Rotary Club, serving as President and becoming a Paul Harris Fellow. He also served as a founding board member of Green Country Village. In 2001, Oklahoma Wesleyan named a women’s dormitory in the couple’s honor. Mabel Colaw died August 27, 2010 and C.B. Colaw died July 18, 2012.

C.B. and Mabel’s children have found great success, with several living in Bartlesville to carry on their legacy of service: Oldest son Charles is a retired senior field service technician for Reda pump and lives in Yukon with his wife June; son N. Rene pastored The Church of the Nazarene in Salina, Kansas for 28 years and now resides in Bartlesville; son Max currently serves as superintendent of the Tri-State District as his father did. He and wife Ruth Ann live in Bartlesville; son Stephen is senior vice president at Arvest Bank and lives in Bartlesville with his wife Joyce; daughter Judy is a reading specialist teacher; she is active with her husband Marion in pastoring the Wesleyan Church in Hopeton, Oklahoma; son Joe has been pastor of First Wesleyan Church in Bartlesville since 1991 where he lives with his wife Dawn.

Numerous children, grand-children and great-grand-children have attended Oklahoma Wesleyan, a tribute to C.B. making the most of that flat tire.

Paul Roll and Narnie Woddail were married in 1950 in Dallas, Texas. They met through the airline industry, Narnie working as a flight attendant for American Airlines, and Paul working as part of the flight crew for Pan American Airways in South America. He left the airlines to join the Army Air Corps in WWII. After the war he joined Braniff Airlines, helping to establish its Lima, Peru station. Paul would eventually leave the airlines to begin Fidelity Underwriters, an insurance agency serving military personnel.

Paul’s business brought the family to Tulsa in 1956. In 1962 he sold the business to purchase two nursing homes in Bartlesville, and in 1969 he built Heritage Manor as well as Heritage Apartments, one of the first assisted living facilities in Oklahoma. After commuting for ten years, Paul and the family moved from Tulsa to Bartlesville in 1973. Narnie returned to work with American Airlines as a Sales Associate, calling on business clients and making presentations to business and civic groups.

Paul and Narnie’s children, Lisa, Kevin, and Lori have become an integral part of the family businesses. Paul and Narnie built and opened Heritage Villa Nursing Center in 1985; both Lori and Lisa are licensed nursing home administrators, with Lisa serving as Administrator and then CEO of Heritage Village through May of this year. In 1995, Paul bought Freiburger-Winslow Insurance Agency, changed the name to Phoenix Insurance in 2005, and Lori serves as President. Kevin serves as the family CFO, and the entire family continues to work together to make decisions for all the businesses.

Narnie is an accomplished musician, with a degree in piano from Texas State College for Women (Texas Women’s University). She is renowned for playing at special events and venues all over Bartlesville, and she was the first female guest conductor of Bartlesville Symphony in 2000 and has emceed several Bartlesville Symphony Balls. Narnie is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, served on the original advisory committee for OK Mozart, and was honored with Paul by the Allied Arts and Humanities Council in 2006 for their support of the arts. Paul and Narnie donated the building that houses Theater Bartlesville and donated a building to be sold to help Eldercare’s capital expansion.

Paul has also been active in the arts, serving as the first President of Tulsa Civic Ballet, now Tulsa Ballet, and chairing the Bicentennial Oklahoma “Four Moons” Ballerina Festivals in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. He is past President of Bartlesville Civic Ballet and the Arts and Humanities Council. Paul was President of Bartlesville Rotary Club in 1992-93 and is a Paul Harris Fellow, and when Lori takes over as President in 2015-16, they will be the first father/daughter Presidents in the Bartlesville Club’s history.

Lisa Roll danced professionally for 20 years after receiving training from the founders of the Tulsa Ballet. She has been and Artist-in-Residence in Oklahoma and Utah and danced with Oklahoma’s Prairie Dance Theater. Lisa has Master’s degrees in Counseling/Psychology and Movement studies; as a licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, she has worked with Samaritan Growth and Counseling Center for 17 years. Lisa has presented workshops in France, Tunisia, Ecuador, China, and Australia. She is married to Dr. Rod Harwood.

John Kevin Roll is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the USAF Fighter Weapons School. He has over 950 parachute jumps and served 27 years on active duty as a fighter pilot. He led combat missions over Iraq and Bosnia and was responsible for air power over Korea as Director of Combat Operations for Air Component Command. Kevin was Chief of Flight Operations and Training for HQ Air Combat Command, assisting with initial air defense efforts after 9/11. He retired as a Colonel in 2004 and new works as a flight instructor and defense contractor. His three children are Jonathan (29), Justin (23), and Jessica (20).

Lori Roll graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations and served as Assistant Press Secretary to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon and was Washington Correspondent for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. She has worked at the family’s Heritage facilities and was administrator of several healthcare facilities in Maine. Lori is currently President of Phoenix Insurance in Bartlesville and has served on community boards including the Bartlesville Public School Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Credit Bureau, Strategy Center at Tri-County Technology Center, Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, Bartlesville Regional United Way, Bartlesville Development Corporation/Authority and Rotary. She is a 2007 Leadership Bartlesville graduate and has one son, Kade Skoog.

The Bartlesville Community Foundation Legacy Hall of Fame recognizes families that have made a lasting contribution to the Bartlesville community.  The Foundation will induct the Colaw and Roll families into the Legacy Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 16th at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The evening includes dinner, video retrospectives of the families, and the award presentation.  Sponsorship and ticket information is available from the Foundation at 918.337.2287. Tickets may also be purchased online.