Cecil L. O’Brate

Cecil L. O’Brate – farmer, banker, oil and gas producer, ethanol investor, real estate developer, and devoted philanthropist – passed away today in Garden City, Kansas at the age of 95.

O’Brate is survived by his wife of 76 years Frances, who continues to reside in Garden City, KS; four sons Patrick (Jennifer) of Houston, TX, Michael (Judy) of Garden City, KS, Steve (Bonnie) of Garden City, KS, and Mark (Marilyn) of Bentonville, AR; eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.

O’Brate was born in Enid, OK and later moved to Kansas, graduating from Syracuse High School in 1946. He attended Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater, OK. He then began his illustrious career as a successful farmer and rancher in Southwest Kansas. In 1966, he purchased Palmer Mfg. and Tank Inc., which still operates today. He also owned several banks, farm implement dealerships, and many other ventures. He was well known as one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in the state of Kansas, with the flagship company American Warrior, Inc. He also invested heavily in ethanol production and real estate development, including the forthcoming indoor sports complex in Garden City.

O’Brate was passionate about giving back to community, especially youth. In 2013, Cecil and Frances established the O’Brate Foundation. To date, they have awarded over $7 million in college scholarships to students, most of whom grew up either in foster care or economically disadvantaged. A die-hard Oklahoma State University Cowboys fan, Cecil was the lead donor for the construction of O’Brate Stadium. His namesake baseball stadium proudly displays his mantra, “Make it Happen.”

Plans for a Celebration of Life ceremony at First United Methodist Church are pending. Funeral details and full obituary will be posted on Garnand Funeral Home’s website. 



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