2022 Legacy Hall of Fame
The Bartlesville Community Foundation will again recognize the impactful contributions of three local families during its annual Legacy Hall of Fame gala. The event will be held on Saturday, May 14 at the Bartlesville Community Center. During the event, the BCF will present Legacy Awards to the Keleher and David B. King families. The BCF will also honor the Creel family with its third annual Heritage Award. Tickets for the event are available at www.bartlesvillecf.org/events or by calling 918-337-2287.
Daniel Joseph Keleher Sr. was born in Tulsa, OK on August 2, 1936. After graduating from Cascia Hall Preparatory School, he attended the University of Notre Dame. On his way to earning a degree in business, Dan took a class in outdoor advertising. He soon realized that he was destined for a career in the billboard business.
After college, Dan joined General Outdoor Advertising. Two years later, he married Dixie Shears in Anadarko, OK. A native of that area, Dixie had moved to Tulsa to work as a pharmacist having graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she was named “Pharmacy Queen.”
The couple lived and worked in several states before they and their growing family moved to Bartlesville in 1975 when Dan purchased United Outdoor Advertising. He grew the business into the largest family owned billboard company in Oklahoma. Later, he was inducted into the National Outdoor Advertising Association Hall of Fame.
Dan and Dixie, who also worked in the family business before resuming work as a pharmacist, were actively involved in the community, especially with the Bartlesville Symphony Society.
The Keleher family included six children, all of whom attended Bartlesville Public Schools. Dan Jr. and his wife, Janie, were an integral part of the family billboard business for many years. A Notre Dame graduate like his dad, Dan Jr. also worked as an architect. The Kelehers sold the billboard business last fall so Dan Jr. could focus on his thriving architectural work. The couple continues to reside in Bartlesville where they remain actively involved in the community.
Rita and her husband, Chris Mohler, reside in Denver. A veteran elementary school teacher, Theresa and her husband, Mike Merrifield, live in Bartlesville. Stephanie and her husband, Grant Lightle, reside in Arkansas. Cathy and her husband, Colin Lee, live in Broken Arrow. Barbara and her husband, Lt. Col. Robert Garbarino, live in Alabama. Collectively, the six Keleher siblings have 17 children.