Heidlage, Robert Robert Heidlage, legendary in Rogers County and Oklahoma horse circles, died Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, in an Oklahoma City hospital. He was largely responsible for maintaining the integrity of the site of the Claremore Expo Center to use as a Rogers County Fair Grounds for all generations. A 21-year member of the Rogers County Fair Board, he was on the board when the former city-county owned property was combined and agreements reached to construct the Expo and Recreation Center to be administered by the city, but held certain times for the county fair and 4-H livestock events. He was elected to the Fair Board in 1989 and became president in 1993, a post he held at the time of his death. He was involved with the Rogers County Fair 35 years, beginning when his children were in 4-H. He was the Fair Horse Show superintendent 17 years. Last year he was named ""Volunteer of the Year"" by the Oklahoma Association of State Fairs and Festivals. A wake and prayer vigil will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rice Funeral Service Chapel. Visitation will be noon to 7:30 p.m. Members of the family will be on hand to greet visitors at 6 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, with Fr. Paul Eichhoff officiating. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, under direction of Rice Funeral Service. Born Robert Fredrick Heidlage Sr. on June 30, 1937, in Chickasha, he was the son of Clem and Frances Heidlage. He graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Chickasha and attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., before earning a degree in civil engineering at Oklahoma State University in 1959. After graduation, he and Patsy Jo Gibson, a St. Joseph's classmate from the age of five, were wed Aug. 8, 1959, in Chickasha Holy Name Church. They moved to St. Louis, where he sold Ford tractors for Ford Motor Company. He joined the Soil Conservation Service, where he worked 38 years, retiring in 1999. During his work in Hobart, Cordell and in Rogers County where they moved in 1965, he was involved in engineering many of the watershed and flood control projects that dot Oklahoma. One of his many passions was reclaiming the devastation left behind by early-day coal mining in Oklahoma. He worked with the SCS Rural Abandoned Mine Program (RAMP) and with Abandoned Mine Land, reclamation division of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission for two decades. Immediately after retiring from SCS, he went to work for OSC, where he remained until his death. A longtime member and officer of Will Rogers Roundup Club, it was Heidlage's love for kids and horses that led him to involvement in 4-H. He served as an adult leader for the Rogers County 4-H Horse Club, beginning his role as the voice of horse shows. He announced first in Rogers County, then district and state level 4-H shows. When the family became involved in the Oklahoma Pinto Horse Association, he began announcing those shows and in recent years was hired to announce the Palomino World Show. He was a past president and board member of the Oklahoma Horse Industry Council. While retaining his interest in youth horse activities, he entered into the higher stakes of raising and racing Thoroughbreds. ""Go O State,"" better known as ""Cowboy,"" made his mark on the race track, and sparked a new equine interest, an activity he shared with his daughter, Dr. Vickie Heidlage, and her husband, Tim Williams. He was a member at St. Cecilia Church, where he served many years on the church finance committee and sang in the choir. He was on the building committee for the construction of the present sanctuary. He sang several years with the Claremore Community Chorus. Survivors are his wife, Pat; children and grandchildren, Robert Jr. and Jeanne and Robert Brandon, Kelsey and Jessie of Claremore; Dr. Vickie Heidlage and Tim Williams of Claremore and Brad Williams, who is serving in Iraq; and Charles James Heidlage and son, Aaron, of Gold Bar, Wash.; brother, Richard Heidlage of Newton, Mass.; and sister, Rebecca Heidlage of Overland Park, Kan. Memorial donations may be made to Rogers County 4-H Foundation, 219 S. Missouri, Room B115, Claremore, OK 74017; or Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, 205 4-H Youth Development Building, Stillwater, OK. 74048, with memo Bob Heidlage Memorial for 4-H horse program. Rogers County 4-H Horse Club plans a memorial award.