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Philanthropist Cecil O’Brate dies at 95

Joe Denoyer - January 20, 2024 9:45 pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Cecil O’Brate, a Kansas farmer, banker and devoted philanthropist, died in Garden City at the age of 95 on Saturday.
O’Brate was the founder of the O’Brate Foundation, which has awarded over $7 million in college scholarships, mostly to those who grew up in the foster care system or were economically disadvantaged.
A graduate of Syracuse High School in 1946, O’Brate was born in Enid, Oklahoma, before moving to Kansas. After attending Oklahoma A&M University — which is now known as Oklahoma State University — he began his career as a farmer and rancher in southwest Kansas.

O’Brate would go on to own several banks, farm implement dealerships and more. A news release says he was known as one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in Kansas with the company American Warrior, Inc.
He also invested heavily in ethanol production and real estate development, including the forthcoming indoor sports complex in Garden City.
O’Brate is survived by his wife Frances of 76 years, who continues to reside in Garden City, KS; four sons Patrick (Jennifer) of Houston, Texas, Michael (Judy) of Garden City, KS, Steve (Bonnie) of Garden City, and Mark (Marilyn) of Bentonville, Arkansas; eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.

An avid fan of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, O’Brate was the lead donor for the construction of OSU’s new baseball stadium, named O’Brate Stadium.
Plans for a Celebration of Life ceremony at First United Methodist Church are pending


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