Obituary Notices

Glen Cheatham, Longtime Oklahoma Waterway Leader, Dies At Age 80

Glen Cheatham Jr., 80, of Grove, Okla., former director of waterways for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, died June 8 at Betty Ann Nursing Home.

Glen Cheatham
Glen Cheatham

Cheatham received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa.  Early in his career, he worked as the assistant manager for the Port of Muskogee for several years. 

After being named the director of waterways for the Oklahoma DOT, Cheatham was active in a large number of waterways organizations. He served as president of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Port Operators association and Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals and on the board of the National Waterways Conference. For more than 20 years, he served, on a volunteer basis, as executive vice president of the Arkansas Basin Development Association, which developed and presented testimony to Congress annually on needs of the Arkansas basin.

“One of Glen’s more honorable roles was serving as a key volunteer congressional liaison for the Arkansas River Coalition,” said Bob Portiss, former director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and a close friend of Cheatham’s. “Thanks, in great part, to his participating in some 40 trips to Washington, D.C., Congress appropriated the necessary funds to construct Montgomery Point Lock and Dam in the entrance channel to the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.”

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials appointed Glen as member of the standing committee for water transportation, making him the first official from Oklahoma to serve in that capacity.

“Glen clearly left his mark on the maritime industry of Oklahoma,” Portiss said.