Services for Paul Bickford are at 2:12 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 at First Baptist Church in Claremore. Visitation is 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Rice. The family will be available from 5 to 7 p.m.
By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Editor
Paul Bickford, a longtime former Oologah resident, Claremore businessman and Rogers County civic leader, was killed Friday in a Mayes County wreck, authorities said.
Bickford, 59, had celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary Sunday with his wife Pamela Huddleston Bickford, who founded and owned nationally-known Cherokee Business Solutions.
The couple built the firm, which started in 2001, into one of the nation’s best known Native American and woman-owned businesses.
The business was based in Claremore, where the family lives.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric J. Roberts said the accident happened about 5:17 p.m. on Oklahoma Highway 82 approximately 2.5 miles south of Locust Grove.
He said Paul Bickford, who was driving a 2001 Ford Econoline Van, died at the scene from massive injuries. He was pinned in the wreckage for about 40 minutes and was freed by the Locust Grove Fire Department.
Roberts’ report said Bickford’s vehicle was northbound, crossed the center line, and slammed into a 2013 Chevy Sonic driven by Harold Proctor, 36, of Stilwell. Proctor was not injured.
After the impact, Bickford’s van then left the road to the left, where it struck a guardrail and then a tree before coming to rest, the report said.
It listed Bickford’s condition at the time of the accident as “apparently normal” and said he was wearing his seatbelt.
Bickford held a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from The University of Tulsa and did graduate work in electrical engineering and business administration.
Prior to 1984 he held a series of increasingly responsible electrical engineering positions at PSO’s Northeastern Station in Oologah. He ultimately took supervisory responsibility for all electrical and control systems at the plant.
After 1984, he held technical sales and sales management positions at such companies as EMC, QMS, MTI Technologies, Storage Dimensions and others, until joining his wife in building CDS.
While in Oologah he served as a member of the Town Board. He served in a wide variety of volunteer positions involving Boy Scots, youth sports, business development and Indian Affairs.
He served as president of the Claremore High School Baseball Dugout Club and as state director and president of the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma.
He and Pamela earned dozens of state and national awards involving their work at CDS. They raised three children: Paul Matthew; Chrystal Lena, and Benjamin Ross.
Trooper Roberts of the Mayes Countyd etachment was assisted in the accident investigation by Trooper Robert Rogers, Trooper Ferrell Perry, Trooper Charles Smith, and Lt. James Loftis, all the OHP Troop L.
Arrangements are under the direction of Rice Funeral Service in Claremore and will be posted at Oologah.net as soon as they become available.