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Olen Bloomer
Olen Bloomer Moore resident Olen Bloomer enjoyed fishing and just watching the birds on his small plot of land at Lake Eufaula. He also loved to play with his grandchildren. Bloomer, 51, was a budget assistant for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was admired by his staff for his ability to stay cool under pressure and cut through bureaucratic red tape when emergencies arose. He was an "average man" who enjoyed telling jokes and laughing, said daughter Maureen Bloomer. "He was the ideal of what everyone wants in a dad." His wife, Norma Jean Bloomer, died in 1990. His grandchildren called him "Big Dad."

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James Boles
James Boles A native of Mississippi, James E. Boles had worked in four states for the U.S. Department of Agriculture before taking over the reins of the Oklahoma City office in 1991. "He had some progressive ideas that let us share some information among sister agencies that saved some money. He made the operation more efficient," USDA spokeswoman Janna Evans said. Boles, 51, and his wife, Jennifer, married 13 years ago. Their son, James Michael Boles, is 8 years old. Boles also has an adult son, Stephen Boles, 28, who lives in Germany. A family friend said Boles had a small farm where he raised chickens and rabbits. Boles previously worked for the USDA in Mississippi, Florida and Maryland before becoming the local administrative officer. "Everybody knows him. They're really torn up about it," Evans said. Boles served in the Army from 1964-68 as a noncommissioned officer in charge of the 793rd military police battalion in Bayreuth, Germany. He will be buried this week in Utica, Miss.

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Dr. Margaret Clark
Dr. Margaret Clark Dr. Margaret Louise "Peggy" Clark loved her horses and loved her kids. She was a veterinary medical officer with the Department of Agriculture and only stopped at her office in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building for some last-minute business April 19. Clark's husband is David Spencer, and she had three daughters - Rosslyn, 16, Blayne, 13, and Chelsea, 6. She was active in the Future Farmers of America and 4-H clubs at Chickasha High School, where her oldest daughter attended classes. Before joining the Agriculture Department in 1994, Clark worked as track veterinarian at Blue Ribbon Downs. Her predecessor at BRD - Dr. Brian Espe - also worked for USDA and was seen on television climbing down a fire ladder after the blast.

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Richard Cummins
Richard Cummins For the past 15 years, Richard Leroy Cummins had put his love for animals to good use. He was recognized in 1990 for his work on the Midwest Stolen Dog Task Force, which helped curb the theft of pets for sale to research institutions. As a senior investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cummins worked to ensure that animal breeders, dealers and exhibitors complied with the standards of humane care and treatment outlined in the Animal Welfare Act. Cummins, 55, joined the USDA in 1965, working on the screwworm eradication program in Douglas, Ariz. Cummins worked in Henryetta and Durant as an animal health technician in the 1980s before joining the Oklahoma City office in 1987. A devoted family man, Cummins leaves behind his wife of 30 years, Frances, daughters Courtney and Nikki, and son Kraig.

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Doris Adele Higginbottom
Doris Adele Higginbottom She was never the type of person to back down from a challenge. Doris Adele Higginbottom, 44, joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a typist in 1978 and earned a bachelor's degree in English four years later. After brief periods at the Federal Aviation Administration and the San Antionio Express News, Higginbottom rejoined the USDA in 1980. She most recently was a Department of Agriculture purchasing agent. Higginbottom was active in women's issues and was manager of the Oklahoma City USDA's Federal Women's Program. Her husband's name is David and she had two stepchildren, Kelly and Van.

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Carole Khalil
Carole Khalil Carole Khalil, 50, was noted for her eye for detail and her ability to catch minute mistakes. Those qualities helped her excel in her job as an export document examiner for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Khalil was responsible for ensuring paperwork was in order for the export of animals. She started work for the U.S. government as a clerk for the IRS in 1964. Three years later, she began working for the agriculture department. A native Oklahoman, Khalil lived in Shattuck and graduated from Laverne High School. She attended a business school in Oklahoma City before going to work. She had a daughter, Heather Khalil.

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Rheta Long
Rheta Long An avid fan of Jewel Box Theater productions, Rheta Ione (Bender) Long was scheduled to attend a play the day she was killed. Long, 60, was a Guymon native who attended Panhandle State University before obtaining an education degree from Phillips University in 1955. "She really didn't have hobbies. She was just really involved in her family and her church," said Janna Evans, U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman. Long taught school for about five years and found her reward in teaching children that school and learning could be fun, Evans said. Long began her career in federal government in 1974 as a military personnel clerk for the U.S. Army. In 1978, she transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Service as a clerk. She joined the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in 1982 as a program clerk, Evans said. Because she had a vision disability, Long was assigned to educate workers about the disabled, Evans said.

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Department Seal: Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture

Enhance the quality of life for the American people by supporting production of agriculture:
• Ensuring a safe, affordable, nutritious and accessible food supply;
• Caring for agricultural, forest and range lands;
• Supporting sound development of rural communities;
• Providing economic opportunities for farm and rural residents;
• Expanding global markets for agricultural and forest products and services; and
• Working to reduce hunger in America and throughout the world


2005 The Oklahoman, NEWS 9 and Oklahoma City National Memorial.
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