Lawton to name City Hall auditorium, ‘Wayne Gilley Auditorium’

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - “It’s a beautiful day in Southwest Oklahoma,” said Mayor William Wayne Gilley.

Former Mayor William Wayne Gilley’s catchphrase still lingers around Lawton and people want to make sure he’s remembered. That’s why a recent City Council meeting proposal will dedicate City Hall’s auditorium to former Mayor Giley.

“We plan to have a plaque here on the wall that will have a relief bust of his face, and some information about him. And that way, we can honor him forever,” said Randy Warren, City of Lawton Council Member Ward 8.

Gilley is still the longest-serving mayor Lawton has ever had to this day.

“His term was 10 years and his second term was 14 years, so 24 years total,” Warren said.

Even though Gilley wasn’t originally from Lawton, many said he was Lawton’s number-one support until his death in 1990.

“He spent every waking moment just about, talking about Lawton and what a wonderful place Lawton was,” Warren said.

Randy Warren remembers a funny encounter he had with Gilley, back when the now councilman was still in high school.

“He did try to sell me a car once, he worked at a car dealership here in town, and I just happened to be there, and he rode down in a little golf cart and tried to help me,” Warren said.

You might remember the old City Hall across the street from the Lawton Public library. That building was named after Gilley but was demolished. So the City is now looking for a way to make sure Gilley’s name lives on here in Lawton.

“It was Wayne Gilley City Hall, and this building has already got a name. So we couldn’t really name the building after him. So we just thought maybe naming the auditorium after him would be fitting,” Warren said.