John Karl Van Ess III

Four days before the explosion, John K. VanEss, 67, and his entire family – including children and grandchildren – gathered for a family portrait. It was the first time the family had done that, a friend said. VanEss attended Oklahoma A&M on a basketball scholarship and in his first year there, played on a national championship team coached by the legendary Henry Iba. VanEss would have retired from his longtime job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development at year’s end. He is survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren.