Memorial Held For Doctor Killed In Tulsa Plane Crash

Tuesday, September 8th 2009, 7:47 am
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Hundreds of mourners paid their final respects on Tuesday to a victim of a deadly Saturday plane crash.  The small plane on its way to OU's first game of the season crashed at Chandler Park shortly after take-off, killing everyone on board.

9/6/2009 Related story: Tulsa Crash Victims Remembered For Their Faith

For years, Doctor Ken Veteto's voice was heard inside the Park Plaza Church of Christ.  Now, his son says even though that voice is gone, it will not be forgotten.

Dr. Ken Veteto had been an internist at the Warren Clinic for nearly 20 years.  Hundreds of those patients, fellow doctors, family, and friends came out to say their goodbyes.

"Ken was a role model of integrity and purity. He was a role model of compassion and kindness," said Dr. Joe Reese, Veteto's medical partner.

Veteto and four others were on their way to OU's first game of the season, but the plane hit a wire in thick fog and crashed shortly after takeoff.

Veteto is remembered as a serious student of medicine, but also a jokester.

His son says he cherished every second.

 "I just loved being with him," said Cody Veteto.

Veteto's exam rooms highlighted his passions. One room was filled with Dallas Cowboy and OU Football memorabilia.

Another room was all about Dr. Pepper.

"I actually happened to count how many cans he went through a day: seven a day," said Cody Veteto.

Cody Veteto says his dad was a passionate OU fan and if he saw a patient wearing OSU Cowboys paraphernalia, he knew where to put him.

"He put the OSU fans, the patients that were OSU or Texas fans in the OU room on purpose. Just to mess with them," said Cody Veteto of his father.

Fellow doctors say they were moved by Veteto's compassion.

Dr. Ken Veteto baptized his youngest daughter at the Park Plaza Church of Christ last month.  It was a proud moment for the Veteto Family, and, of course, now holds extra significance.

Dr. Veteto is survived by two children and his wife of 25 years.

The family is suggesting donations be made to the Mansur, Owsley, Mahafeey Scholarship Fund.  Checks may be sent to Oklahoma Christian University, MMO Scholarship/Veteto, OC, Advancement Office, PO Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136-9981.

Services for the Lester family will be Thursday, also at the Park Plaza Church of Christ.

In lieu of flowers, persons are requested to donate to the Lester Family Memorial Fund.  Care of Regent Bank at 7136 South Yale, Suite 100, Tulsa 74136.