Jan Storey, 85, went to heaven on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. Jan passed away at his home, surrounded by family. Family will receive friends at Clardy Funeral Service on Friday, December 9, 2022 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with a memory sharing session at 6:30 p.m. His celebration of life will be on Sunday, December 11th at 2:00 p.m. at the Haworth High School Auditorium in Haworth, OK. Graveside services will follow at Denison Cemetery, Idabel, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, Charlene requested that donations be made to: Her daughter and son-in-law’s non-profit, “Reaching Seeker’s Ministry” in Norman, Oklahoma, 612 Riverwalk Court, Norman, OK 73072 or gifts can be received at Jan’s service. Gifts for the Jan Storey Memorial Scholarship Fund are also being accepted in his memory.
Jan was born on August 16, 1937 in Pleasant Hill, Oklahoma to Harris and Ila Mae Storey. Jan’s mother was part Cherokee and his father, part Choctaw, a descendant from the Ptichlynn-Harris family.
Jan’s affiliation with rodeo began as a young teenager when his father constructed a rodeo arena behind their family home, the historic “Harris House" in Pleasant Hill. There, Jan took part in calf roping. After graduating from Haworth High School 1956, Jan began attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he, Mike Whisenhunt, Ronnie Bowman and Larry Dillashaw formed the Little D Rodeo Association in 1960. That same year the young group formed the Little D Rodeo at Durant, Oklahoma. It was at this rodeo that Jan began his long and accomplished career as a rodeo announcer.
His career began to take off in 1968 when he attended the I.R.A. Convention in Monroe, Louisiana. There he struck up a partnership with the Texhoma Rodeo Company which was owned by former Oklahoma Governor, Raymond Gary and Jack Akins. This partnership gave Jan twenty-one rodeos to announce that following year.
Announcing rodeos took Jan to seventeen different states. He announced rodeos in 32 different towns in Oklahoma alone and in 34 towns throughout the state of Texas. These towns included Ardmore, Oklahoma where Jan announced the world’s largest bull riding which hosted 150 bull riders in three days. It also included Rock Springs, Texas which was home to the Rock Springs July Fourth Extravaganza, an event that hosted 736 contestants. Jan announced the bull riding at Ardmore for twenty consecutive years and the rodeo at Rock Springs from 1970-1977. Jan also announced the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Finals in McAlester, Oklahoma and the Texas High School Rodeo Finals in Snider, Texas.
In 1994, Jan was awarded the Most Deserving Old-Timer award by the I.R.A. In 2019, he was awarded, “Legend” status by the P.B.R. Jan’s announcing career also included introducing many country and western stars which include George Straight, Mel Tillis, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Hank Thompson, Barbara Mandrel, Gene Shepard, Nance Stuckey, Roy Clark and Reba McEntire.
Over the years, Jan has also emceed a variety of events that include car races, reunions, liposyn horse shows, the Miss McCurtain County Pageant and even the retirement party of Choctaw Principal Chief Gregory Pyle. One of the reunions that Jan emceed was the Oklahoma Old-Timers Reunion in Oklahoma City which he emceed for thirty years. Jan emceed the pageant of the Ms. Rodeo USA in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1973.
Harris Storey, Jan’s father began ranching Brahman cattle in 1947. Jan bought his first Brahman bull in 1968 and continues to breed Brahman cattle today with the distinction of being the largest breeder in the state of Oklahoma. The Storey Brahman Ranch is the 32nd oldest breeder of Brahman cattle in the nation. Today, the ranch consists of 250 head of Brahman cattle.
As fate would have it, Jan Storey, saw Charlene Self at the Idabel Dairy Queen and the rest in history. They dated, fell in love, married on October 12, 1963. They made their home in Pleasant Hill, Oklahoma, where they ranched, raised children, and lived a great life. They moved to Idabel in 2006, where they made their new home.
Aside from his ranching, Jan is also the owner and operator of Quality Rock, a limestone rock quarry. He and his son, Michael, have worked together in this business for about 36 years. Jan began organizing the annual Cowboy and Cowgirl Reunion in Idabel during 2013. The first reunion was held in 2014 at the McCurtain County Fairgrounds with 250 people in attendance. Jan was a member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church and a Choctaw tribal member, who is very proud of his Native American ancestry.
Jan was preceded in death by his parents, Harris and Ila Mae Storey; his wife of 59 years, Charlene Self Storey; two nieces, Tana Woodrum (daughter of Judy Ogle) and Patrice Cockerham (daughter of Peggy Travis); one brother-in-law, Terry Baker.
He is survived by a host of people who loved him, including his children, Janna Storey-Martin and her husband, Russ Martin of Norman, OK and Michael Storey and his wife, Jodi Francis Storey of Idabel, OK; five grandchildren, Michael C. Martin, Jordan T. Storey, Megan L. Martin, Jansan B. Storey, and Matthew Storey-Martin; sisters, Judy Ogle and husband Joe, Johnia Storey Baker; sisters-in-law, Peggy Travis and husband, John, Shirley Butler and husband, Roger; caregivers, Lavada Power, Connie Marshall and Michelle Heady; and many other friends and family members.
Jan will be remembered as being a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.