Tisdale's Funeral Set For Thursday

Saturday, May 16th 2009, 6:04 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Funeral plans are set for Tulsa native Wayman Tisdale, who lost his battle with cancer Friday at age 44.

Visitation is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Friendship Baptist Church, and a memorial service will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the BOK Center.

Tisdale is being remembered for his infectious smile and mastery of the hardwood. But it's what he did after basketball that takes music lovers down memory lane.

Tisdale was the headlining act at Mayfest in downtown Tulsa three years ago. It was a chance to perform in front of his hometown fans.

"He played to the crowd, and he would play in such a way that he was playing to you personally," said Eric Gomez, Performing Arts chairman.

Gomez has fond memories of that spring night three years ago.

"He wanted to play here, he wanted to play in Tulsa and was elated to do it and we were just so pleased," he said.

Tisdale performed more than two hours that night. Tom Braswell is a longtime Sooner fan and remembers the concert well.

"Good singer, good guitarist, good saxophonist," Braswell said. "Yeah, his band was real good."

Tisdale came to fame by way of basketball, but music was always his first love. He eventually released eight albums.      

His most recent was called "Rebound," inspired by his fight with cancer.

Brett Gray has followed Tisdale's career from OU to jazz superstar.

"It's amazing for someone to have so much talent in so many different arenas," said Gray, an OU graduate.

The show at Mayfest was a year before doctors discovered the cancer. It was a performance of a lifetime for organizers and fans alike.

"He would talk to the audience and ... just by the way you could tell his action was he was just a good musician, a good entertainer," Braswell said.

Sitting on stage, flashing that wide smile, strumming the bass and entertaining hundreds of his fellow Tulsans.

"A man with a golden smile," Gomez said. "His smile touched everyone that he met."

Service Information

A celebration of Tisdale's life will be 11 a.m. Thursday in the BOK Center. In respect to the family, those who attend are encouraged to be seated by 10:30 a.m. to hear Tisdale's band play before the family is seated.

Visitation will be at the Friendship Baptist Church, 1709 N. Madison Ave., at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Tisdale will be buried at Tulsa's Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, you may make contributions to the Wayman Tisdale Foundation. Please call Friendship Church at (918) 582-4491 for additional information.

5/15/2009  Related Story: Former OU Great Wayman Tisdale Dies At 44