The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 9, 2012

Better late than never: Edmond Scout receives great-grandfather's merit badges

EDMOND — Edmond’s Thomas Angell recently received his great-grandfather’s Boy Scout merit badges the day after his 12th birthday.

The great-grandson of Dr. Warren M. Angell, Oklahoma Baptist University’s Fine Arts dean emeritus, Thomas received his great-grandfather’s Boy Scout memorabilia from Richard Cheek, dean of library services and acting university historian.

Cheek presented the badges to Thomas Angell, who attends Edmond Summit Middle School, in OBU’s Mabee Learning Center, which houses the OBU archives.

According to an article issued by OBU, Tenderfoot Boy Scout Thomas said receiving the badges, cherished by his family, was a great surprise.

“Our father loved to tell us, when we were growing up, about going to Boy Scout camp and earning his Boy Scout awards,” Angell’s daughters, Sally Angell Moore and Julie Angell-Nadeau, wrote in a message to Cheek, the article said.

The daughters said OBU alumni, having heard the story numerous times, thought it would be great fun to try to finally get the awards Angell earned and present them to him at a homecoming celebration. The head of the Oklahoma Boy Scouts of America came to OBU and presented Dr. Angell with four framed merit badges.  

“Our father was so surprised and pleased, you can’t imagine,” Angell’s daughters reported. “He finally had his Boy Scout awards he had worked so hard for, when he was young, 70-plus years later. That gave him an even better story to tell his great-grandchildren.”

Thomas Angell’s parents, Kirby Warren and Michelee Angell, brought their children to Bison Hill on May 25, to retrieve the badges and to tour the facilities housing the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, including Ford Music Hall. The badges were part of a collection of music and memorabilia in the OBU archives provided by the Angell family and organized by former OBU historian Tom Terry.

For Southern Baptists growing up in Oklahoma, Dr. Warren M. Angell was a household name.

Angell was Oklahoma Baptist University’s dean of Fine Arts for 37 years before retiring in 1973, but for many people, Oklahomans or not, he was music personified.

In addition to his academic leadership, Angell was a respected teacher, a noted composer and arranger, a widely recognized pianist and a well-known choral conductor until his death in May of 2006.

In 1938 he founded the Bison Glee Club and directed the organization until 1975. He also founded the Bisonette Glee Club in 1954 and the Tuneclippers in 1962.

Co-workers, graduates and students who came to know Dean Angell, as he was lovingly known, have shared stories about him throughout the years, but recently Nikki Nielsen, Angell’s daughter-in-law, shared a story many heard from Warren Angell himself and some may have heard retold by someone else.

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