Mike McCarville: A Life Well Lived

In true journalistic fashion, Mike McCarville wrote his own obituary several years ago.  With necessary updates and revisions included, it reads:

Dennis Michael “Mike” McCarville, known to many as “the man with a great face for radio,” passed from this world on March 8, 2017, at the age of 76, from respiratory failure due to complications of COPD and emphysema.

Mike, a legendary Oklahoma journalist and political commentator, was born during an early morning thunderstorm in Enid, OK on July 21, 1940, to Ignatius Dennis Millard McCarville and Lolita Elaine (Simmons) McCarville.  The family moved to Oklahoma City in 1941; to Conway, Arkansas in 1942; to Cadillac, Michigan in 1952; to Del City, Oklahoma in 1955; and to Glasgow, Kentucky in 1958.

From Glasgow, Mike joined the U.S. Army.  He spent most of his three years with the Army Security Agency in Heilbronn, Germany and completed his service as a writer and broadcaster in the Public Information office at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Upon separation from the Army, Mike returned to Del City and rekindled his long-distance romance with his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Ann Ball.  They married on February 22, 1962 – a union that lasted 55 years, until Mike’s passing.

Mike is survived by his wife Ann, and by daughters Denise Michele “Shelli” Aliff (and husband Howard Aliff) and Cheryl Renee Anderson, as well as grandchildren Kevin Howard Aliff, Michael Alan McCarville Stuck (and wife Brandi), Colby Ryan McCarville Stuck (and wife BreAnn), Faye Anne (Anderson) Bingham (and husband Jake), and Courtney Nicole Anderson.  Also surviving Mike are his great-grandchildren: Melody Renee Sanchez, Kaydnce Nicole Stuck, Asher Lorin Bingham, Ambrie Nicole Brown, Michael Ryder McCarville Stuck, and baby Emberly Elizabeth Bingham, due this spring.  He is also survived by two of his older sisters, Donna Dickerson and Kathryn Halter (and husband Richard), of Conway, Arkansas, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Mike is predeceased by his parents, “Mid” and Lolita McCarville, by his oldest sister, Helen Dayer, and her husband “Charlie,” and by his brother-in-law Doug Dickerson. Also pre-deceasing Mike was his beloved granddaughter-in-law, Justine Nicole (Kirby) Aliff.

Mike’s varied career included newspaper, television, and radio reporting, newspaper and newsletter publishing, political campaigning, men’s clothing store and restaurant ownership, executive positions, personality broadcasting, internet television and satellite radio political commentary and analysis for the National Rifle Association, and the operation of his political website.  Originating as a self-published newsletter, The McCarville Report Online has been an institution in Oklahoma politics for over a decade; due to Mike’s foresight, it will continue to be published after his death.  Mike also authored, co-authored, and contributed to a dozen books.

For 15 years, Mike was a fixture at radio station KTOK AM 1000 in Oklahoma City.  He was press secretary to Governor Dewey F. Bartlett from 1968 to 1971.  He served as President of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Oklahoma City and of the Del City Chamber of Commerce, as well as Vice-President of the Tinker Country Bicentennial Committee.  He also served as Chairman of the National Membership Committee of the Sports Car Club of America and as national public relations chairman of the same group.

Throughout his lifetime, Mike was awarded many honors. In 1999, he was named OKC Broadcaster of the Year.  In 2013, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame; and in 2015, Mike was the recipient of the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Known for his humor and wit, Mike was first and foremost a family man.  He was a dedicated father, a devoted grandfather, and a doting great-grandfather!

A “Celebration of Life” for Mike will be held at First Southern Baptist Church of Del City (6400 S. Sooner Road) on Saturday, April 8, at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, Ann has requested that memorial donations be made to the Integris Hospice House at 13920 Quailbrook Drive, OKC, OK 73134.  Mike’s ashes will remain with the family, in a simple memorial box with a plaque that reads, “Here’s what’s left of Mike McCarville.”


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