In memory of
Steven L. Barghols May 13, 1951 - July 29, 2020 OKLAHOMA CITY Steven L. Barghols, of Oklahoma City, OK, died July 29, 2020, at the age of 69. He was born May 13, 1951, in Cherokee, IA to Loren and Mary-Anne (Kahl) Barghols. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The University of Oklahoma (B.A. History, 1973), where he served as President of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1976. Despite this brief foray into enemy territory, he made sure that everyone knew that he remained a loyal Sooner for life. Although he began his career as an oil and gas lawyer, he found his true love (indeed, calling) in mediation and arbitration, practicing with his good friends in the Oklahoma City law firm of Hampton Barghols Pierce PLLC. Steve had a commanding physical presence (when asked on a daily basis how tall he was, he would often joke that he was 5'21" and yes, he could slam dunk a basketball). Yet among clients, colleagues, and strangers, he never let anyone feel insignificant. His calm demeanor, creative problem solving, towering intellect, and impeccable ethics made him a preeminent Oklahoma mediator. For 44 years, Steve thoroughly enjoyed every day that he worked as a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, and was fond of saying when anyone dared to ask him about future retirement plans, "I'm only gradually approaching my prime!" Steve truly loved the practice of law he loved mentoring young lawyers, telling war stories with seasoned lawyers, and writing encouraging notes to celebrate professional accomplishments, provide encouragement on the eve of big trials, and to share life's big joys and sorrows. He is survived by his wife, Catherine Campbell, an attorney with Phillips Murrah; his children, Lauren Barghols Hanna (husband Dr. Adam Hanna), of Edmond; and Dr. John Barghols (wife Dr. Alessandra Landmann); his beloved grandchildren, Charlotte and William Hanna and Eleanor Barghols (arriving this October); his brothers, Kent Barghols, of Urbandale, IA; and Brad Barghols (wife Shannon), of Edmond; his sister, Robin Bauer (late husband Bill), of Guttenberg, IA; and his aunt, uncle, cousins, nieces, and nephews, all of whom he never missed an opportunity to spend time with. Steve enthusiastically gave countless hours to community organizations close to his heart. He proudly served as President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association and of the Oklahoma County Bar Foundation, President of the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court, President of the Edmond Public Schools Foundation, and in various leadership positions with the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. He was an appreciative recipient of the OBA's Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award and the OCBA's Bobby G. Knapp Bar Leadership Award, and was an Oklahoma Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Steve spent as much time as possible with his grandchildren every Saturday was "Grumpyday," and Grumpydays always involved donuts, backyard catch, books and board games, and endless "crusher hugs." His children and grandchildren will always remember his constant affirmations to "Work hard, do your best, and you'll always make me proud." He particularly enjoyed attending family reunions, spending quality time with his many friends, watching his dog, Truman, attack the mail as it was dropped through the mail slot, serving his community, being a loyal Democrat and challenging the opinions of his many conservative friends, attending OU football games (especially the epic OU/TX weekends enjoyed with dear friends), and watching Thunder basketball and Chicago Cubs baseball. He delighted in his annual dad/kid trips to Wrigley Field with his crew, and, after many years of post-season disappointment, was thrilled to attend the 2016 World Series with his son, John. Steve lived his life true to the poem he kept on the wall of his closet called "The Station," by Robert Hastings, which concludes that life is a long trip and that the joy of life is in the trip itself, not the traditional "milestones" for which it is so easy to blindly strive toward. "So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough." A Memorial Service will be held at Smith & Kernke N. May Chapel Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, 10 a.m. Due to ongoing COVID concerns, only immediate family will be attending in person, and the service will be livestreamed via Steve's memorial page on the www.smithandkernke.com website, where participants can also offer e-condolences. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Steve through a donation to the Oklahoma County Bar Association, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, or the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Think of Steve the next time you enjoy a beautiful Oklahoma sunset. Honor him by telling those closest to you that you love them and that they always make you proud.
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