Sheila Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun Daily

GROVE - Dr. Harry Wells Halterman, a Delaware County dentist and civic leader, died Saturday.  He was 84.

Known throughout his life as a tireless advocate for improving medical and dentistry care in Delaware County, Dr. Halterman was born on June 30, 1924 in Grove, Oklahoma to Dr. I.L. and Lora Tallman Halterman. He attended school in Southwest City, Mo. and Grove where he graduated in 1942 and was elected senior class president.

As a young boy of merely 8-years-old, Dr. Halterman found an uncanny way of turning the combination of mischievousness and precociousness into fun either by tipping over an out-house or taking the family car out for a drive with his friends.

He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry in 1952.

On July 31, 1954, he married the former Norma Ray with whom he had three children, Kay, Mark and Lynne.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Dr. Halterman opened a dental practice in Jay in 1952 where he maintained his practice until retiring in 1994 at age 70.  

Dr. Halterman was the first dentist in Oklahoma to be board certified by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and was a member of both the National and Oklahoma Dental Associations.

As a community leader, he was known for his uncompromising standards and integrity.

Dr. Halterman was passionate about Grand Lake, having watched its birth in the 1940s and serving as a Grand River Dam Authority board member.

The Tulsa World cited Dr. Halterman’s vigilance in his efforts to protect Grand Lake property owners’ rights, ensure transparency and fiscal responsibility by the authority.

Crow, former Grove Sun Daily publisher said Dr. Halterman “shares the common man’s intolerance of even an appearance of impropriety.”

During his lifetime, Dr. Halterman was the founding member of the Grove Airport Board and mowed the airport’s landing strip at his own expense with his own tractor.

He served as a member of the Grove Municipal Services Authority, Delaware County Health Board, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, Grove School Board of Education, the original Jay City Hospital Board and the original Grove General Hospital Board.

Dr. Halterman, an accomplished hunter and fisherman, shared his love for the outdoors with his father.  He made several trips from Central America to the Arctic Circle.  

He also had a fondness for tinkering with and collecting antique and classic automobiles.  Some of his treasures include a 1928 Model T convertible, a 1921 Stanley Steamer, a 1938 V-16 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham and a 1941 Buick Century. 

As a pilot, Dr. Halterman received instrument ratings in single and multi-engine aircraft and enjoyed hours piloting his friends and family on trips locally and around the country. 

Dr. Halterman built the “Wasted Money Railroad Line” and two scaled-model steam locomotives capable of carrying four to six passengers.  He would often share his trains with passengers and other train enthusiasts during the Los Angeles Brotherhood of Live Steamers train meetings in Los Angeles.

He is survived by this wife, Norma, their three children and spouses, Kay and Charles Mortimer and children Laura and Wells, of Jackson, Mississippi; Dr. Mark and Dr. Clory Halterman and their children Alex and Gabrielle, of Tulsa; and Lynne Duffield and her children, Cole and Andrew, of Joplin, Missouri.

Dr. Halterman was as a 32nd degree Mason-Scottish Rite, Tulsa chapter and a member of the First United Methodist Church 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Visitation is set for Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Worley-Luginbuel Chapel.  Service is Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the First Methodist Church in Grove with interment at Olympus Cemetery