Jack H. Abernathy

Jack H. Abernathy

Shawnee, Oklahoma native Jack Abernathy was an Eagle Scout and a member of the first graduating class in petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma in 1932.

He became chief engineer for Sunray Oil Company, where he was responsible for oil development around the Oklahoma State Capitol. In 1946, he began working with William T. Payne at Big Chief Drilling Co., drilling the southern hemisphere depth record. He went on to serve as chairman of the National Petroleum Council and Southwestern Bank & Trust Company.

While serving as a Trustee of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation from 1972-1981, Mr. Abernathy gained firsthand experience with the advantages of making charitable and planned gifts. Over the years, he gifted stock, oil and gas properties and mineral rights to an advised fund, as well as established charitable remainder trusts for relatives that would ultimately benefit charitable organizations he cared about. Mr. Abernathy described this method of charitable giving as "jumping the generation gap." Mr. Abernathy died in 1996, but his creative approach to charitable giving has resulted in a perpetual stream of support for the community he loved.

Photo of Jack Abernathy and Eleanor Kirkpatrick, 1974

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