Robert Ernest Klabzuba, noted philanthropist and oilman, passed away at his Westover, Texas, home Friday, Nov. 20, 2009.
A celebration of life was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, at First United Methodist Church, 800 W. 5th St., Fort Worth, Texas. Pallbearers: Rob Park, Scott Park, Josh Korman, John Stevens, Robert R. Klabzuba, John Stephen Klabzuba, Joe Paul Klabzuba, Jim Klabzuba and Chip Webb. Honorary pallbearers: Ralph Brite, Fielding Clayton, Neal Hawthorne, Sid Johnson, Paul Massad, Bill Paxton, Byron Searcy, Gene Sidwell, Don Smith and Doug White. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Foundation, 800 W. 5th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102; Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Foundation, 6100 Western Place, Suite 1001, Fort Worth, Texas 76107; the University of Oklahoma Foundation, 100 Timberdell Road, Norman, Okla. 73019; or to a charity of your choosing. Robert Ernest Klabzuba was born in 1918 in Prague, Okla. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1940 with a degree in petroleum geology. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and earned a Phi Beta Kappa key. Mr. Klabzuba served as a naval aviator in World War II, where he flew off carriers in the Pacific. While training for military duty doing "touch and go's" in Pensacola, Fla., he observed geological formations that he thought would be ripe for oil and gas deposits. He pursued this and helped develop a 400 million-plus barrel oil field the last major onshore field in the lower 48 states, the Jay Field. More importantly, Mr. Klabzuba and the Klabzuba Family Foundation have contributed philanthropically to greater Fort Worth charities, his beloved University of Oklahoma, Harris Methodist Hospital and the Addison Society at Texas Christian University and Texas Woman's University. He was a champion for health and education. Mr. Klabzuba was preceded in death by his six brothers and sisters. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Doris; children, Judy Klabzuba Park and spouse, Major W. Park Jr., Janet Klabzuba Stevens and spouse, Jack R. Stevens, Jane Klabzuba Korman and John Allen Klabzuba and spouse, Melinda; grandchildren, Robert Wesley Park and spouse, Martha, Scott Martin Park and spouse, Katherine, Alice Park Stamm and spouse, Mark, Jackie Stevens Gibbons and spouse, Tim, John Robert Stevens and spouse, Christi, Joshua Michael Korman and spouse, Holly, Emily Jane Korman, and Jill Klabzuba Ahrens and spouse, Ryan; and nine great-grandchildren.