Longtime Konawa resident Dan Khoury Sr. will be honored April 17 at the Konawa Chamber of Commerce Banquet. The banquet begins at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at Konawa High School.
A mixer will precede the banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and will be availalbe at the door or they can be purchased before the event at Khoury's Furniture, BancFirst in Konawa, Streetman's Apple Market or Sooner State Bank.
U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin is scheduled to be the guest speaker.
Khoury has served as chamber treasuer for several years and has been an active member of the chamber for more than 20 years. His involvement with numerous volunteer services has been pivotal to the success in his life, as well as to the community of Konawa.
In 1929, he came to Konawa at the age of 4 with his father and mother, Maron and Thelma Khoury. Khoury's Furniture and Lumber Company was established at the the time and in 1945, after serving in World War II, he was able to join his father in managing the company. He is now semi-retired and still works with his son, Dan Khoury Jr. Khoury's Furniture will celebrate 81 years this month.
In 1961, an F3 tornado proved to be one of the biggest challenges of Dan Khoury's company and the town of Konawa. The tornado battered three blocks of downtown, completely destroying nine business buildings, 20 small businesses and several homes. A total of 50 buildings were destroyed.
Khoury said he traveled downtown to see his store and was shocked at the scene.
"I've experienced World War II and the amount of the town's damage was tremendous," he said. Khoury said the decision to rebuild the city of Konawa was a community-wide effort.
Khoury was a member of the Konawa Fire Department for 20 years and served as fire chief for six of those years. In 1954, ammunition in a house fire ignited and threatened Khoury's life. He received a bullet to the chest and it lodged next to his heart. It could not be removed and now he said he finds it amusing and has to chuckle when doctors ask him during his chest X-rays, "Mr. Khoury, do you know you have a bullet in your chest?"
He was appointed as one of the first members to serve on the Konawa Community Health Center Board. In the late 1970s, Khoury was invited to serve on the Oklahoma State Bank Board of Directors, which later became known as BancFirst of Konawa, and he continues his service of more than 30 years.
He was drafted at the age of 18 and began serving in the United States Army. After three years of service, two of them overseas, he continued in the Oklahoma National Guard, where he served for six more years.
Khoury is a member of Konawa American Legion Post 70. During these 62 years of commitment, he has held the offices of adjutant and post commander. In 2002, at Konawa School's Veterans Day Program, he was recognized and awarded his long-awaited high school diploma. He has also been an active member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he has been a member for the past 15 years.
Khoury's spiritual leadership is exemplified through Konawa Sacred Heart Catholic Church where has been a longtime member. He has served on the Parish Council and as a church usher for the past 20 years. He has also been involved with St. Gregory's College in Shawnee by serving on the Board of Trustees for 10 years.
He and Mildred, his wife, of 67 years, have three children: Daniel M. Khoury and wife Doris, Claudia Sharber and husband John, and Pamela Kirkwood, all of Konawa.