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Obituary: Charles Grant, founder of Grant Supply Co.

Obituary: Charles Grant, founder of Grant Supply Co.

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Every time he heard a train whistle blow, Charles Grant felt the urge come over him.

Eventually he just had to climb aboard.

Grant, the founder of Grant Supply Co., a former worldwide oil-and-gas supplier based in Tulsa, actually bought a retired Santa Fe Railway car once.

Converting it for his private use, he would take to the rails often over the years, hitching on with passenger trains.

"We'd always be the last car," said Kathy Grant, his daughter, who along with other family members and friends frequently joined him to explore Mexico, one of his favorite places.

"We'd put our feet up on the railing, pour the cerveza and enjoy the countryside. Dad believed it was the best way to travel."

Whichever way her father chose to go, though, one thing was always certain: Whether in business or at play, hitching on with Charles Grant meant exciting things were in store.

Charles Brady Grant, a longtime Tulsan and distinguished alumnus of the University of Texas, died Jan. 9 at his winter home in Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, of congestive heart failure, family members confirmed. He was 93.

A memorial Mass will be held in Tulsa on a date to be announced.

Grant had most recently divided his time between Denver and Mexico.

A descendant of prominent Tulsans — his father was Louis W. "Bud" Grant, a savings and loan executive, and his grandfather, Edwin Brady, a Tulsa oil pioneer — Grant would make a name for himself, as well.

Founded in 1960, his Grant Supply Co. distributed pipes, valves and fittings to oil and gas companies.

After acquiring other firms over the years, the company was recording more than $1 billion annually in sales by 1983 and had offices throughout the United States.

Grant, who was also company president, sold Grant Supply in the late 1980s.

A Tulsa native and 1938 graduate of Central High School, Charles Grant held a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas.

During World War II, he served with the Army Air Corps overseeing maintenance of B-29 aircraft.

Following his discharge in 1946, he joined Vinson Supply Co. in Tulsa.

He went on to complete the executive management program at Harvard Business School and eventually become company vice president before starting his own firm.

Among his community activities was his service on the Tulsa City-County Library board.

Grant enjoyed many hobbies, but trains were a special passion.

In addition to having his own travel car, he used two converted Pullmans as his office.

Parked at Grant Supply's onetime headquarters and warehouse at 2119 S. Union Ave. in Tulsa, the refurbished railcars housed offices for him, the company chairman and a dining area.

Grant was preceded in death by a daughter, Jeanne Dillingham; and wives Marilyn Jo Vinson and Elise Perrault.

Survivors include his current wife, Mona Moya Grant; two daughters, Kathy Grant and Chrissy Trotter; eight grandchildren; and his brother, Bud Grant Jr.

Tim Stanley 918-581-8385

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