Just as the late oilman T. Boone Pickens was a major contributor to Oklahoma State University and its football stadium, another oilman, Cecil O’Brate did the same for the school’s baseball program.
The Kansas oil and gas tycoon died last weekend at the age of 95. He developed his wealth as a farmer in southwest Kansas and attended Oklahoma State University for two years. O’Brate later purchased Palmer Mfg. & Tank Inc., sold it and expanded into oilfield, industrial and municipal tanks.
He started American Warrior, Inc. in 1984 and it is now one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in Kansas. He was also an early investor in Conestoga Energy Holdings and later acquired it, turning it into one of the leaders in the ethanol space.
O’Brate later became friends with the OSU athletic director and financed the building of a new baseball stadium that carries his name.
The funeral will be Friday in Garden City, Kansas.