Carol Theodore Hubbard: 1954 – 2017.

When Carol Hubbard retired recently he concluded a 33 year career that was longer than any other Cactus employee. So long, in fact, that he didn’t even begin with Cactus.

 “When Carol started his career he was a roughneck with Pilgrim Drilling Company,” said wife Kay. “I’m not sure when the name changed to Cactus, but when Carol started working as a hot shot driver in the yard at El Reno it was still Pilgrim.”

 The move from roughneck to hot shot driver was a pivotal one for Carol. He would continue in that capacity for the rest of his career, building a reputation as the most dependable hot shot driver a company could hope to have.

 “He loved his job,” said Kay. “So much that he almost never missed a day of work. The only time he ever missed was when he cut his leg on a fork lift and got a staph infection. He was in the hospital for a few weeks and I had to make him stay home. He would never take his whole vacation and he often worked Saturdays.”

 The fork lift incident was Carol’s only injury in 33 years on the job. He did manage to avoid injury when he got knocked out of the derrick early in his career.

 “He caught the lead tong line and held on until the driller, Lonnie Keehee, could rescue him,” said Kay. “I have never seen Lonnie move so fast in his life.”

 Kay should know something about Carol’s career. After all, the two spent virtually their entire lives together having met playing tether ball in a field next to her house in Chickasha, Oklahoma. She was 12, he was 14. She went home and told her mother that she had just met the man she was going to marry. Five years later they were married in the Salvation Army Church in Chickasha, a union that would span 44 years.

 Kay was not the only one to notice Carol’s commitment to his job. It was evident to anyone who worked around him.

 “Carol was always in a hurry,” said Andrew Hutchcroft, Yard Foreman. “He would start honking when he entered the yard, yelling at people to get him unloaded so he could make another run. We would mess with him sometimes just to slow him down. But we learned a lot from him. You don’t find people as motivated as he was.”

 “He was a sparkplug,” said David Ross, Cactus’ Inventory/Trucking Coordinator. “He would keep us positive, upbeat and motivated to work.”

 But Carol had a thoughtful side and he was concerned about the people he worked with. That was evident in the little things he did for them.

 “Carol always made sure we had coffee and water,” said Ross. “He really cared about us.”

“I chewed tobacco for a time,” said Hutchcroft. “He would make a spit cup for me each day. Who does that? He also shared his tools. I still have his carpet stretcher that I borrowed a few weeks ago.”

 Carol’s commitment to people and to his job showed in his work habits. He was never late, always the first one there and the last one to leave.

 “We were lucky to know him, especially getting to have lunch with him every day for the last several weeks,” said Hutchcroft, laughing as he remembered Carol’s usual diet of chicken strips and mashed potatoes. “We’re all going to miss him.”