The David E. and Cassie L. Temple Foundation was established by long-time Tulsa educators David and Cassie Temple. The Temple Foundation began functioning in late 1995 following the death of David Temple on October 30, 1995. Cassie had preceded him in death in March 1992.
David Temple began his career as a Tulsa educator in 1929 as a history teacher at Tulsa Central High School.
His distinguished career with Tulsa Public Schools included serving as Assistant Principal at Tulsa Central. He then went on to serve as principal at Washington Irving Elementary School, Clinton Junior High School and Nimitz Junior High. Selected as the first principal at Nimitz he was able to bring Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to Tulsa for the dedication of the school named for him.
Cassie Temple was born Cassie Linihan and came to Tulsa from the small northeastern Oklahoma town of Welch.
Her undergraduate degree was from what was then Northeastern State College. Her graduate studies were at the University of Tulsa. She went on to teach in the Tulsa Public Schools where her career encompassed many years as an elementary teacher at Sequoyah and Patrick Henry schools.
David and Cassie Temple were great educators because they cared deeply for the children entrusted to their care. While they sought to help each child achieve the best they could academically, they were concerned about the whole child as well as the families of each child.
One example of this concern for the whole child was David’s dedication to making sure the food served in the cafeteria of the schools where he was principal was the very best it could be.. He encouraged a balanced diet for each child by providing information about new foods being introduced, personally encouraging the boys and girls to try it.
David retired from the Tulsa Public Schools in 1965 to become the chief operating officer of Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, which he had helped to establish in 1934, serving as assistant treasurer until becoming its full-time chief administrator.
It was the depths of the depression and David Temple was one of several teachers at Tulsa Central High School who became concerned for their fellow teachers and other school employees who were faced with financial crisis at that dark time. They became convinced the best way to help was to establish a credit union which could, by pooling the resources of all its members, help to meet the desperate need which many faced.
During that time of economic crisis in our country school employees were often paid with warrants for which funds were not available until taxes were collected, perhaps months later. In order to meet the needs of their families these school employees were forced to
cash their checks, often greatly discounted. Through the savings of those members who had been able to save and were willing to deposit those savings with the newly-founded credit union, the credit union was able to cash those school warrants at face value, becoming the economic savior of many teachers and other school employees, who otherwise were faced with financial disaster.
David Temple served on the board of Tulsa Teachers Credit Union from its inception in 1934, operating after school hours from the corner of a classroom in Tulsa Central High School, until his death in 1995. He was an active member of the board until 1993, when he was named to an emeritus position. During those 61 years he saw Tulsa Teachers Credit Union grow from nothing to a strong financial institution with assets of more than 300 million dollars. During all those years he sought to keep it an institution large enough and strong enough to meet the financial needs of its members, but also a financial institution with a heart, caring about each member as a person and striving to meet the needs of each member.
His service extended beyond the bounds of the Tulsa Public Schools and the Tulsa Teachers Credit Union all the way to the Oklahoma legislature where he served two terms in the late 30’s and early 40’s. His distinguished career in the legislature was highlighted by his key role in the writing and passage of the Oklahoma Credit Union Law which was a guide for many credit union laws across the nation. He also played a key role in the enactment of the legislation which provided for a large portion of the funding for Oklahoma public schools to come from the state automobile license fees.
David Temple grew up in Temple, Texas where his father worked as a railway conductor. He graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1926. His graduate studies were at the University of Chicago where he helped to finance his education by getting up at 4:00 A.M. to work in the large university cafeteria where he was responsible for making the coffee, taking a great deal of pride even in making a good cup of coffee.
The assets of the Temples, which provided for the establishment of the Temple Foundation, came largely from another area of work. David Temple was one of the persons involved in the formation and early work of the Tandy Leather Company, forerunner of Radio Shack. Mr. Tandy was a long-time friend of the Temple family and asked David to help with the business and financial aspects of the company. For many years David referred to himself as the “bookkeeper” spending many after school hours working for Tandy Leather Company.
David and Cassie were married in 1953. Having no children of their own, they wanted the assets with which they had been blessed to continue working to help educate and care for children and families, as well as to help those dedicated to the continuation of the work to which they had dedicated their lives.