Cover photo for Jon Withrow's Obituary
Jon Withrow Profile Photo
1933 Jon 2015

Jon Withrow

January 8, 1933 — October 19, 2015

Jon Withrow passed away peacefully on October 19, 2015 at the age of 82. He was born in Seminole, Oklahoma to Richard Dean Withrow and LoLeta Carroll on January 8, 1933. Preceding him in death were his parents and his brother Gary.

Jon had a long and accomplished life. He was a true Renaissance man. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of 13. He went on to play tennis, golf, and to run marathons all over the world. Jon was also a pilot and certified flight instructor. He enjoyed flying his trusted Cessna plane for business and pleasure. It took him from well site to well site as well as to the Caribbean and fishing in Canada. Over the years he traveled extensively in Europe, primarily in France. He studies British History at the University of Oxford and has established a study program at the Institute of French Petroleum outside of Paris, France.

Jon received his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering and his Master of Geological Engineering degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and was voted Big Man on Campus.

After working for Humble Oil Company and Montgomery Oil Company Jon founded his own company, Sundance Oil Company, in 1968. Since selling his Operating Company, Esson Inc., Jon had another calling; he made a career in investing in the oil and gas industry. Jon had a passion for giving back and a truly generous heart. He had a deep desire to encourage tomorrow’s leaders. As a devoted OU alum he and his wife, Cathryn, established endowed scholarships in five colleges: Earth and Energy, Computer and Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Business, and the College of Allied Health. They supported a wide range of study, from a Leadership Scholars program supporting International Study to a Doctor of Science with an emphasis on Autism program fund. Jon also established a named grant for an AAPG fellowship.

Jon received the OU Board of Regents Award, the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award, the Price College Distinguished Alumni Award along with his wife, Cathryn, and was inducted into the Seed Sower Society. He was a loyal member of McFarlin United Methodist Church, on the Board of Visitors for the Colleges of Arts and Science and Engineering, a lifetime member of AAC in the School of Geology and Geophysics in the College of Earth and Energy. Additionally he was a member of the Adams Society, the Felgar Society, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Professional Engineers of the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Geological Society, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, and the Oklahoma City Association of Professional Landmen. He was the Chairman of the Alumni Advisory Council for 2004-05, a member of the President’s Associates at the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Rotary Club, and the Petroleum Club.

Jon married his devoted wife, Cathryn, in 2001. They loved working and traveling together…just being together! They enjoyed a wonderful life. They shared two daughters, Ann Riley and her husband Dave and Rachel Hunt and her husband Kyle. He adored his five grandchildren: Jonathon, Jillian, and Jessica Riley and Harper Lee and River Marie Hunt. He is also survived by his brother Phil Withrow, his sister Janie Davis, and many nieces and nephews.

Jon’s life exemplified his passion for faith, family, profession, giving, and all things OU.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jon Withrow, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church Utility Assistance or Food Pantry

419 South University Boulevard, Norman, OK 73069

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