Gary Cortland Rawlinson was born on July 2, 1941 in Champaign, Illinois. He died on August 14, 2022 at his home near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Gary was the only child of Ken and Sally Rawlinson, who both predeceased Gary. Gary was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He was an accomplished and respected lawyer, but he found greater joy in being with his family, fly rod in hand and dog by his side.
Gary moved to Norman in 1952 when his father accepted Bud Wilkinson’s offer to become an athletic trainer at the University of Oklahoma. Gary graduated from Norman High School in 1959. While in high school, along with lifelong friend Jay Wilkinson, he captained Gene Corrotto’s first NHS football team.
Gary graduated from OU in 1963 with a BA in political science. While at OU, Gary proudly served as Treasurer and then President of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After graduating, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the USMC.
Gary attended Cornell University School of Law, graduating in 1966. While at Cornell, Gary ran the law school bookstore and was elected its class vice president. After graduating, Gary returned to Norman and practiced for many years with Jack Luttrell and Buddy Pendarvis. Upon Jack Luttrell’s death, Gary and Buddy joined the Crowe & Dunlevy law firm and anchored its new Norman office. Gary retired from the practice of law at the end of 2018. During his many years of law practice, Gary served as President of the Cleveland County Bar Association, Adjunct Professor of Law at the College of OU Law, a speaker at numerous OBA-sponsored seminars, and a member of the OBA’s Professional Responsibility Tribunal. In 1970, Gary was selected as the state’s Outstanding Young Lawyer by the OBA. He was also elected to the prestigious American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
In 1968 Gary married the love of his life, Suzy Dulaney. Gary and Suzy were rarely apart and they were blessed with three children. Gary was a devoted father and formed fond memories coaching the children’s sports teams, enjoying the trials and tribulations of soccer, baseball, basketball and youth football. He enjoyed his time coaching the Purple Penguins, Ghostbusters, and McKinley Hornets, among others. He always had time for a game of catching, jumping in the pool, or helping out at school. His love of Oklahoma football was passed on to his children, and the family rarely missed a game. The children have wonderful memories of traveling across the country and of their time in Colorado.
Gary and Suzy have enjoyed traveling and have taken many cruises with dear friends across Europe, England and Canada. In particular, Gary considered himself very lucky to have fly-fished the rivers and streams of Alaska, Patagonia, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and his home stream in Colorado. . He found immense joy in his Colorado mountain retreat where he perfected his fly-fishing technique surrounded by Suzy, her children and grandchildren, her friends, her loyal fishing puppies Trout and Fenway and many hungry trout.
Gary also found great joy in his three grandchildren, Cortland, Jax and Dyer. He loved his trips to Houston to watch them play sports, perform at school, or just sit on his lap and watch a game with Dad. He introduced them to his love for Colorado with fishing trips, horseback riding and long jeep trips around town where Dad paid a dollar for every deer spotted.
His beloved wife Suzy died in 2019, ending 51 wonderful years of marriage. He is survived by his children Matt and his wife Evie of Houston, Lindy of Dallas and Peter of Oklahoma City, and his cherished grandchildren Cortland, Jax and Dyer of Houston. The family thanks Sally Smith for her support and friendship with Gary over the past two years.
Gary led a full and happy life, enjoying his family, friends, clients and legal partners. He shared the ups and downs of the Sooners and Red Sox, but win or lose, he always enjoyed ending the day with a single malt Scotch and a view of the distant mountains turning pink as the sun slowly set.
A memorial service will be held August 20, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembering Gary with a donation to the Ken Rawlinson Endowment for University of Oklahoma Student Athletic Coaches or the McFarlin Methodist Church Columbarium Fund. Checks made payable to “OU Foundation” can be mailed to: The University of Oklahoma Foundation, PO Box 258856, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-8856. McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, PO Box 6390, Norman, OK 73070.
Posted August 16, 2022
Posted in The Oklahoman