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D.O.D 03/21/2008 - — Alva “Allie” Leon Paine, a longtime Enid resident and former Phillips University basketball and baseball coach, died Friday in Norman. He was 88.
A lifelong sports enthusiast, he played football, basketball and baseball in high school. Earning a basketball scholarship to Oklahoma University, he was captain of the team for three years.
He was one of six OU basketball players in the history of OU to be named as an NCAA first time consensus All-American.
Paine graduated from OU with bachelor’s of science degrees in business and in education. He served in the Army, receiving an honorable discharge after a knee injury, and played professional basketball with the San Diego Dons.
In 1953, he and his wife, Pauline Jones Paine, moved to Enid, where he was basketball and baseball coach at Phillips University.
Corky Fowler, who was an assistant coach at Phillips at the same time as Paine, remembers him as intensely competitive.
“He coached that way, and he expected his players to play that way,” Fowler said. “He was a very good coach, and he really had a gift for working with college students.”
In 1955, he entered business with Robert R. Nigh, and served as president of Robert R. Nigh Associates for 35 years.
He was a member of University Place Christian Church, where he was a deacon, elder, Sunday school teacher and board president.
University Place Pastor Jerry Galbreath said Paine was an active member of the congregation.
“He joyfully and willingly did service for the church,” he said. Paine visited housebound members and helped with the church’s soup kitchen.
Galbreath said Paine was an “avid” domino player, and enjoyed fellowship with fellow players.
Paine was a member and president of the American Business Club, and served 18 years on Enid Public Schools Board of Education, serving a term as president. He was a Boy Scout troop leader and a Little League baseball coach.
Galbreath said Paine wasn’t just an observer in sports; he played noon basketball at the YMCA every day, into his 80s. Galbreath said he quit only when his doctors convinced him “he wasn’t doing his joints any favors.”
Paine was a longtime Sooner football fan, and held season tickets since 1947. His custom, according to Galbreath, was to drive to Norman for Saturday night games, then drive back to Enid in time to be in church by 10 a.m.
“Allie was a special person and lived a long and rich life,” Galbreath said. “He was active until the very end.”
Paine is survived by his two children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His wife, Pauline, died in 1998.
Paine was born on a farm outside of Harrah in 1919.