Long-time Norman business owner remembers his leadership and work ethic | News

Grover C. Ozmun III, who launched Balfour of Norman in 1974, died on January 17. He was 84 years old.

Ozmun was locally renowned for his service to the community, the country and to his students, family and friends.

Born September 19, 1937, in Lawton to Grover Ozmun Jr. and his wife, Edna, both graduates of the University of Oklahoma, who owned Ozmun and Company, a wholesale grocery business. Ozmun would later continue the namesake trend of graduating from OU and establishing a business brand in the Sooner State.

After graduating from Classen High in Oklahoma City in 1955, Ozmun moved to Norman to attend OU. Shortly after arriving in Norman, his desire to work and earn some extra money led him to retailer Harold Powell, founder of the high-end clothing chain Harold’s on Boyd Street.

Grover C. Ozmun III, who founded Balfour of Norman in 1974, was locally renowned for his service to the community, country and to his students, family and friends.

Born September 19, 1937, in Lawton to Grover Ozmun Jr. and his wife, Edna, both graduates of the University of Oklahoma, who owned Ozmun and Company, a wholesale grocery business. Ozmun would later continue the namesake trend of graduating from OU and establishing a business brand in the Sooner State.

After graduating from Classen High in Oklahoma City in 1955, Ozmun moved to Norman to attend OU. Shortly after arriving in Norman, his desire to work and earn some extra money led him to retailer Harold Powell, founder of the high-end clothing chain Harold’s on Boyd Street.

The company often hired Greek OU students, and Ozmun was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

Ozmun was one of the few students whose father wished he hadn’t worked, but he just couldn’t help himself, he told The Transcript in 2009. His father wanted him to just focus on his university courses, but he saw working and learning about the business world as part of this training.

Those close to him would say he was destined to be a businessman, just like his father and grandfather before him.

After graduating from OU in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Ozmun joined the active-duty army before getting the opportunity to run a retail business focused on fraternity and sorority items. . He would spend 28 years in the Army Reserve, retiring as 2nd Lt.

As Ozmun built a retail brand, he taught at the reserve phase of the US Army Command and General Staff College. He was awarded the US Army Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals.

Ozmun purchased the store from Balfour in 1980. Norman’s Balfour, 792 Asp Ave., began as a business selling primarily Greek accessories and slowly evolved into a college-minded retailer.

Today, the shop’s sales are almost exclusively fan material.

Ozmun and his wife Sheral were early adopters of heat-sealed t-shirt designs. Norman’s Balfour was the only retailer to print 1985 National Championship t-shirts.

He attributed the store’s growing success to the OU dynasty, but his sisters say it’s more down to his work ethic.

One of Ozmun’s younger sisters, Teresa, remembers working for him while studying at OU.

“We both had to be there when dad called because he was calling and checking on us, and I didn’t get anything. [preferential treatment]for sure,” Teresa said.

Before game day, Teresa was often tasked with tasks such as cleaning the shot glass, among other tasks that she was not thrilled to do, but it was worth working with her big brother and the to help.

“It was fun, but he didn’t let me slip,” Teresa said. “The family had to set a higher bar.”

Ozmun’s sister, Cathy, said whether it was Balfour’s clients, the military, her church or her family, service was everything, a lifelong principle instilled by their father. Cathay said the family used to get up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning to serve the community.

“We would go to the grocery store, The Land of Oz, to distribute food to people in need in the community,” Cathy said. “I have spent most of my life in social work with the elderly. It was just a gift – we all had to serve.

Whether it’s a job, helping the community or even gardening, Teresa said Ozmun says, “if you want to do it, do it well or don’t do it at all.”

Cathy and Teresa fondly remember the work and service with their brother in the family business and community.

“We’ve been so blessed because not many people have this and grow around all this unity and love and support,” Cathy said.

In April 2006, Grover III decided it was time to sell the store.

Through the Spirit University of America, he met Jerry Hatter years before. The two quickly developed a business relationship, which grew into a friendship in almost as short a time.

After Hatter bought the store, he said Grover III helped provide knowledge of how it worked, just as he took the time to invite him to spiritual group meetings years ago to sell his products.

“He was always more than willing to share information and help me out, and we remained close friends after the sale,” Hatter said. “I think that made him proud, the legacy that he started, and we continued that.”

After a busy Saturday on Campus Corner, Hatter said Grover III would call and ask, “How did you do this weekend?” she said.

Cathy and Teresa said Ozmun always knew how to stay busy, even after selling the store. He earned his Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Randall University 50 years after earning his bachelor’s degree from OU. He was an assistant instructor at Randall until his death Jan. 17 at age 84, teaching marketing classes and theology classes on the lives of Jesus and Paul.

He was a member of CrossPointe Free Will Baptist Church in Norman, where he served in several ministries including the Men’s Prayer Breakfast and the Mustard Seed Class.

Those close to Ozmun say he was as honorable and generous as possible. Teresa said her pursuit of excellence made her stand out.

“As I tell my young sons, if you do nothing in this world but walk with God in all that you do for your family, your community and your country, you will make a difference, and our brother exemplified all of that and made a difference in everything he did,” said Teresa.

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