Published June 26, 2016
NORMAN, OKLAHOMA – A diverse group of esteemed Chickasaw citizens were added to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame during June 21 ceremonies at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby led induction ceremonies for Lynn Moroney, the late George Dixie Colbert, Dr. Margaret Flansburg, Floyd Gerald “Gerry” Brisco and the late Freddie “Jack” Brisco into the prestigious circle of honor.
“Each Hall of Fame induction ceremony is special in its own way. This year, the wide range of personal and professional accomplishments of our inductees demonstrates the versatility of our people,” Gov. Anoatubby said.
“From professional wrestlers to college professors and artists to attorneys, our inductees’ tremendous array of talent proves that Chickasaws can do just about anything. Along with showing a great diversity of skills as a group, tonight’s inductees also exhibit an extraordinary versatility as individuals.”
“We celebrate our inductees for their great range of accomplishments and their noteworthy contributions. And we recognize how inspirational they are to future generations of Chickasaws. Congratulations to tonight’s honorees and their families.”
A celebrated storyteller, Lynn Moroney of Wilmette, Illinois; has positively influenced several Chickasaw storytellers through the tapestry of storytelling.
She worked with Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington creating a NASA Outreach project which involves storytelling. As director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, she researched, developed and presented programs on Native American sky stories and histories.
Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, she founded two statewide storytelling workshops and volunteered numerous hours to the planetarium and Oklahoma City Arts Council.
“The art of traditional storytelling is important for the preservation of our cultural identity. Mrs. Lynn Moroney, through telling our traditional stories, has maintained a living history from time immemorial,” said Gov. Anoatubby.
“Through mentoring other Chickasaw storytellers, she has ensured that our heritage continues to thrive. For all her work educating future generations in space science and the art of storytelling, the Chickasaw Nation thanks you.”
Ms. Moroney said she was humbled, prideful and honored to receive the Hall of Fame recognition.
“This is absolutely the most wonderful thing. Mostly, I feel grateful for such an honor.”
Connecting her legacy with legendary Chickasaw storyteller Te Ata’s was humbling, she said.
Te Ata mentored Ms. Moroney in the art of native storytelling.
“She was beautiful inside and out and was so gracious to me.”
George Dixie Colbert
The late George Dixie Colbert was known as a man of integrity who dedicated his life to service to his country, family, the judicial process and the Chickasaw Nation.
In his teens, Mr. Colbert began boxing to earn grocery money, eventually earning titles as two-time Golden Glove champion and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) champion.
After serving in World War II, he committed his life to servant-leadership and the law. Appointed county attorney in Murray County, Oklahoma, in 1954, he was elected associate district judge and later district judge for the 20th Judicial District.
He served as associate district judge with honor and integrity until his death in 1980.
“Mr. George Dixie Colbert, was an athlete, a soldier, a scholar, an attorney, a judge and a proud Chickasaw,” Gov. Anoatubby said.
“Judge Colbert’s commitment to his family, his community and the Chickasaw Nation still echoes today through the service of his children. We honor his memory and his lifetime of service.”
Judge Colbert’s son, Stephen, accepted the award on behalf of the six children.
“Power, strength and love is always on the forefront of our memory of our father. In addition, he had pride in everything; proud to be an American, proud to be an Oklahoman, proud to be a member of his community, and very proud of his family and very proud to be a Chickasaw.”“I want to thank the Chickasaw Nation for this wonderful tribute to my father,” said Mr. Colbert.
Dr. Margaret Flansburg
Dr. Margaret Flansburg had a distinguished career as an artist and scholar of art history and the humanities.
Dr. Flansburg served as a full professor at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for more than 20 years. Upon retirement in 2001, she was awarded emeritus professor status at UCO.
Active in the Oklahoma City community, Dr. Flansburg served many years on several arts foundation boards.
Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, Dr. Flansburg has always been proud of her Chickasaw heritage and family and has passed along her pride to her children and grandchildren.
“Dr. Margret Flansburg, as a painter, a professor and a philanthropist, demonstrates great versatility and reminds us that Chickasaws have a great aptitude for artistic and scholastic endeavors,” Gov. Anoatubby said.
“Her philanthropic efforts continue to promote the arts and enrich people’s lives. We recognize Dr. Flansburg for pursuing her passion and sharing her knowledge, expertise and the joy of art with so many.”
Dr. Flansburg said she was honored and humbled for the honor, and proud to be among her Burris family members inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame.
“I love connecting with the Chickasaw Nation. This has enriched my life and I am grateful for this honor. Thank you so very much,” she said.
Floyd Gerald “Gerry” Brisco & Freddie Joe “Jack” Brisco
Described by many as two of the greatest wrestlers of all time, siblings Floyd Gerald “Gerry” Brisco and the late Freddie Joe “Jack” Brisco were instrumental in laying the foundation for what became World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
The duo brought enormous honor to the Chickasaw Nation in their achievements as Native American wrestlers.
As young men, both were awarded wrestling scholarships to Oklahoma State University.
The late Jack Brisco was a two-time National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Heavyweight Champion and a multi-time Tag Team Champion with his brother.
In 1965, Jack became the first Native American to win a NCAA Wrestling National Championship while wrestling at Oklahoma State University.
Jack died February 1, 2010, leaving one of the most remarkable legacies in wrestling history.
Jack’s daughter, Deborah Brisco-Whatley accepted the honor.
“I am truly honored, along with my siblings, to accept this award for our dad. If he were here, he would want to thank his mother, Iona Brisco. She is our bloodline to the Chickasaw Nation. She was proud to be Native American and she was my dad and uncle’s biggest fan.”
An all-around exceptional athlete at Oklahoma State University, Gerry Brisco was a member of the 1968 National Championship team.
During his professional wresting career, he won more than 20 championships, and one Junior Heavyweight World Championship belt. He and his brother Jack also won three Tag Team World titles.
Upon retirement, he worked to help make WWE a global business and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
“Today, Gerry Brisco uses that success and his experience as an athlete to help the next generation of young Native American athletes attend wrestling camps. He is also a tireless advocate for the recognition of Native Americans as a sovereign Nation in the Olympic Games,” Gov. Anoatubby said.
“For the Briscos’ inspiration to Native American athletes and work in securing international recognition of Native American sovereignty, we thank you.”
Upon accepting the Hall of Fame medallion from Gov. Anoatubby, Mr. Brisco also honored his Chickasaw mother, Iona, his brother, Jack and his Chickasaw heritage.
“There has never been anything in our lives we have cherished more than our heritage.”
He also expressed his gratitude for the Chickasaw Hall of Fame recognition.
“Tonight is the greatest honor I have ever received,” he said.
During the June 21 ceremonies, former speaker of the Oklahoma House T.W. Shannon served as master of ceremonies. Chickasaw musician Zac Garcia provided entertainment.
More than 600 people attended the ceremonies.