Brook D. Tarbel ’50 of Tulsa, Okla., died May 22, 2011. Born in Los Angeles in 1924, Brook was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in Europe during World War II. He landed on Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, for which he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and several Purple Hearts. After returning from the war, Brook finished his professional degree in petroleum engineering at Mines and married Jean Willard, with whom he had four children. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Brook went on to work for Magnolia Petroleum, Helmerich and Payne, and White Shield Oil and Gas before he founded Tarbel Oil and Gas in 1971.
In a 1969 plane crash, Brook was paralyzed from the waist down and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He and his second wife, Jill, who also used a wheelchair, were renowned advocates for access to Tulsa’s public transportation system and public spaces for the disabled. A member of the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority’s board from 1988 until his death, Brook was honored in 2007 when the Denver Avenue station in downtown Tulsa was renamed after him.
He was a member of the Society of Professional Engineers and served on several boards, including the Oklahoma Multiple Sclerosis Society and the State Independent Living Council. Brook is survived by daughters Anne Tarbel and Betsy Griffin; sons Chris and David; stepchildren Jill Iwata, Caroline Abbott, John Hott and Doug Hott; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.