Jack Angel

Jack Angel

Jack Angel, notable 1945 graduate of Purcell High School, died Saturday in Thailand.

There were no details about services but information obtained by The Purcell Register is that Angel will be cremated.

Angel, who has an annual award named after him that is given to the top Purcell Female Athlete, was an outstanding athlete for the Dragons and went on to play basketball for The University of Oklahoma.

Angel was a letterman for the Purcell Football Team from 1940-41. He was a letterman on Purcell Basketball Teams from 1941 to 1945.

He lettered in track for the Dragons from 1941-1945 and was named Oklahoma All State in track in 1943.

Angel was named an Oklahoma All State Quarterback in 1944 and All State as a guard in basketball in 1945.

Angel was named by Purcell Football Alumni to the 1940s PHS All-Decade Football Team.

Angel played guard for the Sooner basketball team from 1948-52.

He was inducted into the first class of the Purcell High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Longtime Purcell resident Dick Gray reported Angel was present in New Mexico when testing was underway in preparation for the dropping of the atomic bomb.

At one point when a war with Russia was possible in the Arctic, Gray said Angel tested the Army’s new cold weather survival gear by hiking across five glaciers in Canada.

Gray also reported that at least once Angel was dropped behind enemy lines in Vietnam to see how far they had expanded to Laos and Cambodia.

“He met his wife, Sue, in Southeast Asia. After their marriage they stayed in Bangkok,” Gray said.

Angel was an avid marathon runner.

“He set up the first marathon in Hanoi and was present at the race while he took the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand to the race even though the United States didn’t have diplomatic relations with the country at the time,” Gray reported.

He published the book Red Tai, which was reported to be the first book on distance and marathon running in that part of the world.

After serving his country in the military and the U.S. Government, Angel became a world-class marathon runner.

In the late 1980s Angel performed the first in-depth research on the history of Purcell High School Sports. Some of Angel’s work is still being used today.

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