Memorials

This page is dedicated to those students, faculty, and staff of OSB that have passed on.

 

 

Students

Faculty

Staff

Kay Delores Metzer

Clenton Lawrence Wilks

Catherine Hornbarger

Judy Pool – Hansen

Billie Wilda (Mallard) Carter

Mildred Celine Neff

Randy Earl Chapman

Francis Moske

Capteon Brown III

Durwood “Smokie” Bonner II

Margaret A. Lindsay

Bernice Marie Williams Elliott

Ulysses Augusta Houston

Anna Marie Hunt

Joyce Marie Torix

Ruth Oleana Keller-Wong

Sandra Jo Hilbern

Obie L. Mullen

Matthew David Gray

Carolyn Wheeler

Helen Leavell

Erin Elaine Ketner

R.L. Updike

Bobby Gene Rhyne

Anna Kathryn Roberts

Elizabeth “Becky” Hendrickson

Kenneth Eugene Laningham

Ira “Trey” Hamilton Lookout

Judity Stephens Henry

Deborah Jean (Strange) Vecchio

Sherman Strain

 

Minnie Madeline McCutcheon

Ashley Lemont “Monty” Brown

 

Shirl LaRue Cullom

Helen Kristin (Kristi Butler) O’Neil

 

George Niedermayer

Adam Thomas Holzer

 

William (Bill) Harrison Fowler

Doug Stone

 

Cardelia D. White

Loryn Kay House

 

Ray F. Kirk

Randy Gene Brice Sr.

 

Ruby L. Holder

Charles B. Duckworth Jr.

 

Emmitt “Pete” C. Plunkett

 

 

Opal Lucille Rouse

 


Students


 
Photo of Kay Delores Metzer


Kay Delores Metzer (1932-2010)

Kay Delores Metzer was called home on Thursday, November 18, 2010. She was born to Harold Bernard Metzer & Elizabeth (Swimmer) Metzer on December 8, 1932 at Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, CO while the family was on vacation. Kay attended and graduated from the Oklahoma School for the Blind in the eighth grade. She has been an active member of First Baptist Church for her entire life and received a fifty year pin for perfect Sunday School attendance, but has already passed the sixty year mark.

Kay was a charter member of the Sheltered Work Activity Program, known as SWAP since its inception, and was still working in the workshop at her passing. Kay enjoyed competing in the Oklahoma Special Olympics and had many gold, silver, and bronze medals in track and field, bowling and music. She was featured in the Daily Oklahoman as the oldest competing Oklahoma Special Olympian. She was an accomplished piano player and enjoyed playing for her friends at SWAP. She enjoyed dancing and was a member of the “MARC Squares” square dance group. She also sang in the SWAP choir. In addition, she enjoyed many years of camping at the Kiwanis Camp for the disabled, now known as Camp Bennett.

In later life Kay traveled to Arizona to visit Chris, at the time her last surviving family member. She enjoyed many visits to Branson with her SWAP friends, spent a week at Disneyland, made a trip to Memphis, and in 2009 sailed to Mexico on a Carnival cruise with several of her SWAP friends. She leaves behind many good friends at First Baptist Church, Greenleaf Apartments, and INCOR who mourn her passing. We rejoice that she will, at last, be rejoining the love of her life, Mr. Ozzie Beymer who passed in January, 1999.

A celebration of Kay’s life was held Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at the First Baptist Church Chapel with Reverend Clint Hayes officiating. Interment followed in Greenhill Cemetery with Michael Pease, Josh Adair, Derrick Reed, Ed Breen, Chris Reynolds, and Omari Gray serving as pallbearers. Shawn O Reilly-Vaughn and Quinton Vaughn were honorary pallbearers.

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Judy Pool-Hansen (1945-2007)

61, passed away Friday, February 23, 2007 at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. She was born on June 13, 1945 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Judy was survived by her husband, Don Hansen. Services were held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. at Smith and Kernke Chapel, 1401 NW 23rd ST.

Judy graduated from Parkiew in 1963.

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Randy Earl Chapman (1954-1998)

Randy graduated from OSB in 1973.

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Durwoord “Smokie” Bonner II (1963-2009)

Pawhuska resident, Durwood “Smokie” Bonner II, passed away Monday, June 8, 2009, in Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville. He was 45. Smokie was born Nov. 10, 1963, in Talihina, the son of Durwood and Lula Dell Sharp Bonner. A 1982 graduate of the Oklahoma School for the Blind, he also attended Northern Oklahoma College and Rogers State University. Well-known around the area as an accomplished musician, Smokie had worked in the construction business for several years. He was a member of the OCIB motorcycle organization. In his spare time, Smokie enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding his four-wheeler.

Surviving family were his parents, Durwood and Lula Bonner of Fairfax; three children, Christopher Alan Bonner of Fairfax, Biven Earl Bonner of Pawhuska and Allee Jayne Alfaro of Fayetteville, Ark.; three grandchildren, Trystan Bonner, Jayden Cotton Bonner and Dixie Bonner; his extended family, Tammy Wilson, her children, Margaret and Richard, and her grandchildren, Abagail and Arayua; as well as a host of other family and many friends.

The funeral was held Saturday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Pawhuska. The Rev. Lewis Bernard, assisted by the Rev. George Weston, officiated. Interment was in Pawhuska City Cemetery.

McCartney’s Johnson Funeral Home of Pawhuska was in charge of arrangements.

Durwood graduated from OSB in 1982.

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Photo of Ulysses Augusta Houston


Ulysses Augusta Houston (July 29, 1963 – March 23, 2009)

On July 29, 1963, a baby boy was born to Ulysses Augusta Houston and Patricia Ann Alford in Muskogee, OK. They named him Ulysses Augusta Houston, better known by family and friends as “Bug”. Bug grew up in Muskogee, attended Parkview School for the Blind, and College in Ada, OK. He accepted Christ into his life at an early age and attended Turning Point New Deliverance Church from 1989 until his homegoing. As a child, he excelled in wrestling and had a passion for music . Although he could not see to read the music, one could never tell if they ever heard him play because he could play better than some that could read music. “Bug” left to mourn his mother, Patricia Ann Houston; Stepfather, Raymond Porter, Sr.; 3 sisters: Pauline (Linky) Houston (Willie Whitfield), Melinda (Duck) Houston, and Ethel (Lee Lee) Houston; 3 brothers, Stacy (Caveman) Houston, Cornelius (Corndog) Houston, Thadeus (Flip) Murray; and 1 Step Brother, Raymond (Bean) Porter, Jr. all of Muskogee; 7 nieces, 2 nephews, 8 great-nieces, 6 great-nephews, 1 (Favorite) Aunt Tyrra ” Andy” Shaver, a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. The Tribute was on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 10:00 A.M. in the Timothy Baptist Church. Pastor J. E. Harris, Officiant. Burial followed in the Booker T. Washington Cemetery.

Ulysses graduated from OSB in 1983.

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Photo of Ruth Oleana Keller-Wong


Ruth Oleana Keller-Wong (1968-2010)

Ruth Oleana Wong, age 42 of Kennesaw was born January 18, 1968, and passed on Thursday October 28, 2010. Services were held Saturday, October 30, 2010 at the chapel of Winkenhofer Pine Ridge Funeral Home, with burial at Pine Ridge Memorial Park. Memorial at Dignity Memorial.

Ruth graduated from OSB in 1986.

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Photo of David Matthew Gray


Matthew David Gray (1973-2007)

Matthew D. Gray, a resident of Henryetta was born February 24, 1973 in Henryetta, Oklahoma to Susie and George David Gray. He passed away March 7, 2007 at Henryetta, Oklahoma at the age of 34 years and 13 days. He was a member of the Tulledega Baptist Church in Henryetta and was an avid Chicago Cubs Baseball Fan. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents: Dimple & Rheba Glover, his paternal Grandparents: George & Lucy Gray. He wass survived by: His Mother, Susie Rose & husband Todd, of the home in Henryetta, His Father, George Gray & wife Kathryn, Dustin, Oklahoma 1 Brother, Brandon Gray, Dustin, Oklahoma, 3 Sisters, Amy Gray, Dustin, Oklahoma, Heather Fowler & husband Matt, Glenpool, Oklahoma Michal Rose, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2 Nephews, Brooks Fowler, Glenpool, Oklahoma, Chandler Fowler, Glenpool, Oklahoma As well as a host of friends and, other relatives. Pallbearers were Scottie Powders, Kenny Powders, Nick Andrews, Ronnie Ruth, Clayton Stone, and Joe Fowler. Honorary Pallbearer were Jack Polson, Carolyn Sheirmann, & Smokey P Services were held Saturday, March 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm at Shurden Chapel officiated by Rev. Dale Huckabay. Burial was at Mellette Cemetery under the direction of Shurden Funeral Home.

Matthew graduated from OSB in 1992.

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Photo of Erin Elaine Ketner


Erin Elaine Ketner (1981-2008)

Erin Elaine Ketner, 27, of Washington, Oklahoma, went home to be with the Lord June 28, 2008 at Glorieta, New Mexico. Funeral Services were held at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 3, 2008, at Bethel Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma. Interment was at I.O.O.F. cemetery in Noble, Oklahoma. Pallbearers were Alan Brakefield, Riley Phillips, J.D. Kinard, Coen Barnes, Dick Davis, Craig Towery, Kory Kirkland, and Keith Hamilton. Honorary pallbearers were Matt Mattingly, Ken Maynard, Hoyt Burns, and Bronell Ratliff. Services were under the direction of Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman, Oklahoma.

Erin was born June 25, 1981 in Lubbock, Texas to Elaine and Russ Ketner. She grew up in Austin, Texas, Lebanon, Connecticut and Washington, Oklahoma. She started school in Lebanon, Connecticut, attended Washington Schools until the age of sixteen and graduated from Parkview School (Oklahoma School for the Blind) in Muskogee, Oklahoma where she was class Valedictorian. She was currently attending East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where she had earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Spanish minor, and was pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. She planned to get a Master’s degree in Political Science and teach at the college level. Erin loved her family and friends and enjoyed spending time with them. She also loved to read. Her life was devoted to serving God. She spent three summers as a counselor at Camp Nunny-Cha-Ha working with girls. She accompanied her church on two-week-long summer mission trips to Cimarron, New Mexico. While attending East Central University she worked part-time for two years at the Ada Public Library. Erin was recently appointed Executive Director of the Oklahoma Political Science Association as well as Managing Editor of Journal of Oklahoma Politics. She was working as summer staff at the Lifeway Conference Center in Glorieta, New Mexico, when the Lord called her home. She went to sleep in New Mexico and woke up in the arms of Jesus. Erin was survived by her parents, Elaine and Russ Ketner; brothers (of whom she was very proud) Tyler, Jacob, and Luke, of the home; grandmother Polly Millican of Robert Lee, Texas; grandparents Billie and Frank Ketner of Noble; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She was preceded in death by her granddad Conrad Millican of Robert Lee, Texas.

Erin graduated from OSB in 2000.

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Photo of Anna Kathryn Roberts


Anna Kathryn Roberts (1983-2011)

Anna Kathryn Roberts, current resident of Denver, Colorado and former resident of Harrah, Oklahoma and Fairfax, Oklahoma, passed Friday, January 28, 2011 at her mother’s home in Harrah. She was 27 years of age.

Anna was born March 31, 1983 at Claremore, Oklahoma, the daughter of Richard Roberts and Loislin (Heard) Roberts Gibson. She attended the Parkview elementary school in Muskogee, Harrah Jr. High and High School, graduating Harrah High School in the year 2000. She then attended the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Community College and Oklahoma University. She also attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was on the Honors Program as a Student of International Women’s Studies.

Anna was a member of the National Organization of Women and the National Federation for the Blind where she was a 2007 scholarship recipient. She had won Ms. Harrah talent in 1998-99. Her enjoyments included music, playing various instruments that included the guitar, banjo, violin, saxophone and harmonica. She also wrote poetry and enjoyed reading her poetry and singing the songs she wrote at the Mic-Night in Denver, Colorado. She also was an avid reader.

She is survived by her mother, Lois Gibson of Harrah; her father, Richard Roberts of Tulsa; her two brothers, Richard Roberts of Moore, Oklahoma and Mitchell Roberts of Harrah; one step-brother, Nick Gibson of Stillwater; her maternal grandparents, JoeAnn Nowakowski and Frank Heard; 14 cousins, Angela Roberts, John Jake, Terrance Roberts, Lucian Johnson, Cortney Keil, Christy
Stiger, Misty Stiger, Chanlie Tillman, Jonathan Stiger, Joseph Tillman, Mallory Knight, Kathryn White, Simean White and Timothy Keil; one nephew, Joseph Goode Roberts and one niece, Anna Grace Roberts; cousins, Matthew Holmes, Rachel
Holmes, Jacob Heard, James Cropp and Blake Heard.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, James and Anna Kathryn Roberts and paternal great grandparents, Hall and Maggie Goode.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 31, 2011 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fairfax with Father Bruce Brosnahan presiding. Burial followed in the Grayhorse Cemetery near Fairfax. Arrangements were under the direction of the Hunsaker-Wooten Funeral Home of Fairfax.

Casket bearers will be Landon Salyer, Jimmy Milligan, Jake Barnes, Robert Hicks, Brandon Shinn and Justin Booth.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Colorado School for the Blind, 2233 West Shepperd Ave., Littleton, Colorado 80120 or to The Nathan Shinn Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73189.

Anna attended Parkview elementary school until 1996.

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Ira “Trey” Hamilton Lookout (1974-2011)

Ira (Trey) Hamilton Lookout age 36, of Pawnee, Oklahoma passed away Sun., March 6, 2011 at Stillwater Medical Center, Stillwater, Oklahoma. lra was born Sept. 20, 1974 in Ponca City, Oklahoma to Ira Edward Lookout and Lela Mae (Gast) Palmer. He graduated in 1993 from Parkview School for the Blind in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He had moved to Pawnee, Oklahoma from Pawhuska, Oklahoma about five months ago. He was self-employed as a musician and was a member of the Native American Church.

Ira is survived by his mother, Lela Palmer of Pawnee, Oklahoma; his father, Ira Lookout of Pawhuska, Oklahoma; a step-father, Norman D. New Rider; three siblings: Joycce Pearl New Rider of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Christina Delores New Rider and Teri Nicole New Rider, both of Pawnee, Oklahoma; a half sister, Shelia Lookout of Hominy, Oklahoma; a half brother Michael Lookout of Pawhuska, Oklahoma; a step brother, John Starr Bighorse; four nieces: Holly P. Beardsley, Heaven R. Beardsley, McKenzie R. Beardsley, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Tacora N. New Rider of Pawnee, Oklahoma; and a nephew, Johnathan Joseph New Rider of Pawnee, Oklahoma; maternal grandmother, Delores W. Dailey of Hominy, Oklahoma; maternal grandfather, John Joseph Gast of Topock, Arizona; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. Ira was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Sophie Hamilton Lookout and Randolph Lookout Sr.; niece, Eden Paige White; cousin, Kenneth Wheeler; uncle, James Edward Hamilton; aunts: Connie and Becky Dailey; grandfather, Louis B. Dailey Sr.; uncle, Louis B. Dailey Jr.; and great-great-grandfather, Tom Bigchief.

Visitation and service were both held at the Dailey-Sampson residence in Hominy. The funeral was held Fri., March 11, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. with speakers: Scott Kohnle, Cameron Pratt, Mogric Lookout, and Everett and Jake Waller. Casket bearers were Eddie Pratt, KC Bills, Timmy Lookout, Henry Lookout, Clark Saxton, and Raymond Beardsley. Honorary casket bearers were John Starr Bighorse and Michael Lookout. Interment was in the A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Powell Funeral Home, Hominy, Oklahoma.

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Sherman Strain (1933-2011)

Sherman Lee Strain, 77, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, died Thursday, March 31, 2011. He was born August 10, 1933 in Sperry to James Paris Strain and Gertrude Lois (Newberry) Strain. He attended the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee and was active with the League for the Blind. Sherman loved to listen to the radio and he especially loved to listen to country western stories. His favorite authors were Louis L’amore and Zane Grey. Sherman was adept at repairing any electronic equipment. The twenty years prior to his retirement Sherman was the owner/operator of vending stands through the State of Oklahoma.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia in 1995. He is survived by Mark Strain and his wife, Vicki of Tulsa, Roger Strain and his wife, Vivian of Owasso, and Phillip Strain of Oklahoma City; brother and sister-in-law, Curtis and Theresa Strain of Atlanta, GA; 4 grandchildren.

Memorial Service was Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Add’Vantage Funeral Service Chapel. Pastor Bruce McCarty of Owasso 1st Assembly of God Church officiated. Interment will follow at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, under the Direction of Gary Kelley’s Add’Vantage Funeral and Cremation Service, Tulsa OK.

Sherman graduated from OSB in 1956.

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Photo of Ashley Lemont Monty Brown


Ashley Lemont “Monty” Brown (1933-2011)

Ashley Lemont “Monty” Brown, 50, of Wister, OK passed away Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Poteau, OK. Monty was born June 7, 1961 in Kansas City, MO to Charles “J.R.” & Evelyn (Hemphill) Brown. He worked at Kenco Plastics as a press operator. Monty was preceded in death by his brother, Calvin Brown; paternal grandparents, Jack W. & Martha D. Brown; maternal grandparents, James L & Opal B. Hemphill. Survivors include his daughter, Ashley Brown of the home; his parents; 2 sisters, Helen & Jack Hyatt of Duncan, OK, Debbie Reeves of Cabot, AR; 7 nieces & nephews, 10 great nieces & nephews; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends. Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at Pilgrim’s Rest Church in Reichert, OK with Rev. Bob Cherry officiating. Interment will follow in Reichert Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Wayne Anderson, Joe Anderson, Lafe Anderson, K.C. Hyatt, Cole McGee, Gary McLemore, Jerry. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Blair, Willis Knight. The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 5-7 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

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Helen Kristin (Kristi Butler) O’Neil (1971-2012)

Helen Kristin (Kristi Butler)O’Neil, 40 years old, from Taylorsville UT, passed away and her spirit has moved on to a better place on September 19, 2012.

Kristi was born in Sapulpa, OK on October 9, 1971. She graduated high school from the Oklahoma School for the Blind in 1989. She was married to Jim O’Neil and was blessed with two beautiful children. Kristi was a beautiful person who enjoyed life and helping others. Kristi was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and sister who will be missed dearly and never forgotten.

Kristi was survived by her husband Jim O’Neil, son Gage O’Neil, daughter Becky O’Neil, parents Carolyn and J.C. Butler, brothers Tony and Kevin Butler, as well as many loving relatives and friends in Oklahoma and Utah. Kristi’s wishes were for her ashes to be spread in the Uintas mountains where she enjoyed camping and fishing with her family. A place where she wants to rest in peace and where her children can always find and visit her. God’s speed Kristi This obituary was published in the Tulsa World on 9/23/2012.

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Adam Thomas Holzer

Services for Adam Holzer, 36, of Norman, will be 2 p.m. Friday at Primrose Chapel, with burial in Norman IOOF Cemetery.

Adam was born Sept. 3, 1976, to Thomas Joseph and Mary Jo Holzer in Oklahoma City. He went to the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

Adam played the trumpet and received many awards while in the school band.

He was a local businessman. Adam loved to travel, enjoyed music, good food and the blue water lakes of Minnesota. He is home in the loving arms of Jesus.

He is survived by his loving wife, Amber; his mother, Mary; his father, Tom; his brother, Timothy Holzer and his wife Sharon; a special friend, Kim; and many aunts and uncles.

To leave condolences for the family or to order flowers, visit primrosefuneralservice.com.

Arrangements are by Primrose Funeral Service.

Norman Transcript, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

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Photo of Doug Stone


Doug Stone

Doug Stone, 48, of Tom, passed away April 6, 2013 at Tulsa. He was born November 12, 1964 in Dallas, Texas, the son of James and Jewell Martin Stone. Doug had lived in McCurtain County most of his life and was a member of the Idabel First Freewill Baptist Church. Doug enjoyed Ham Radio and was a member of the McCurtain County Ham Radio Club. He also enjoyed traveling, wienie dogs and kids. A talented musician, Doug also enjoyed ministering to others through his music. He and Jayleen Sayers were united in marriage on May 15, 1988 at Tom, Oklahoma. Doug was preceded in death by his father, James Stone, twin brother Darryl Stone and his brother Gary Stone. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Jayleen Stone of the home; mother, Jewell Stone of Tom; daughter, Rebecca Smith and fiance Trinity Courtney of Nash, Texas; granddaughters, Alexis Burnett of Tom and Allisyn Smith of Nash, Texas; grandmother, Jean Stone of Tom; brother, Jimmy Stone of Idabel; sister, Susie Owens of Tom; mother-in-law, Ernesteen Chrisman of Idabel; sisters-in-law, Julie Woods and husband Chad and Jonna Slabaugh and husband Chris all of Idabel; nieces and nephews, Matt Stone, Lynci David and husband D.J., Kyle Owens, Ashlee Kirkwood, Cody Woods, Brooke Woods, Kelsey Woods, Abby Packwood and Zack Packwood; special Granny, Sarah England and family, Loretta Axton and Carla Capps; special brothers, Frank McCollough, Jesse “Juan” Martinez and Mark “Woody” Coyner; special friends, Karen Osterdock and Jessica Osterdock and a host of other relatives and many dear friends. Visitations will be held Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm at the Haworth Assembly of God Church and on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm at White Family Funeral Home of Idabel. Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 2pm at the Haworth Assembly of God Church with Bro. Jerry Jeffcoat and Sis. Joyce Green officiating. Interment will follow at Tom Cemetery In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McCurtain County National Bank for the Gospel Station Radio to help restore the Passion Play. The body will lie in state at White Family Funeral Home of Idabel.

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Photo of Loryn House


Loryn Kay House

Loryn Kay House, age 21, of Ozark, MO became a beautiful angel in Heaven on May 13, 2013 after a tragic choking accident. She had 21 years of happiness and lived life to the fullest, always finding the positive side in every situation. She never met a stranger, and once you met Loryn, you had a friend for life. She had a unique way of making everyone she met feel important and loved, never judging, never speaking a cross word, always kind-hearted. Loryn was a graduate of the Oklahoma School for the Blind where she enjoyed every day she attended. She was involved in cheerleading and band, among other activities. One of her favorite activities was attending school dances. She loved music-any music-and would often learn the words to songs after only hearing them a few times. She had many friends there, students as well as teachers and staff, who always held a special place in Loryn’s heart. In a true testament to her unwavering spirit and tremendous heart, Loryn wanted to be an organ donor. Her organs will be used to help other people have improved and prolonged lives. Ironically and perhaps the most special, will be that her eyes will give the gift of sight to someone. As her parents, we hope that person will see the world as Loryn did—full of happiness and kindness and love. Loryn was a true blessing and we will miss her more than words can express. But we know that she is a special angel who will always be with us, and who is looking down on us each day. Loryn is survived by her parents, Ray and Jayna House of Ozark, and her brother, Josh, and his wife, Melissa, of Lawrence, Kansas; grandparents, Doug and Lori House, of Ozark; her life-long friend, Brittany Gipson of Pennsylvania; and a host of extended family and friends. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Loryn’s memory to the Oklahoma School for the Blind-Band Fund or Needy Children’s Fund, 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee, OK 74403.Celebration of life memorial services were held 3:00 pm, Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Selmore Baptist Church with Pastor Josh Hall officiating. Arrangements were under the care and direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark.

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Randy Gene Brice Sr.

Funeral services for Randy Gene Brice Sr., 53, of Muskogee, OK, will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, July 5, 2013 at West Side Church of Christ with Don Readhimer officiating. Services are under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home of Muskogee.

Randy was born January 16, 1960 at Muskogee, OK, the son of Troy and Freda (Campbell) Brice and died Monday, July 1, 2013 at his home in Muskogee. Randy was a piano tuner and member of the West Side Church of Christ.

Survivors include his parents, Troy and Freda Brice; mother of his children, Robin Liddle-Renfro; children, Randy Brice Jr, and Kristal Brice both of Muskogee; step-daughters Toni Hursh and Leatha Major; sister, Sharon Vanzant of Muskogee; niece, Jennifer Jones of Muskogee; nephew, Jeremiah Jones of Muskogee; two grandchildren, Hailey and Houston Brice; two step-grandchildren, Nichole and Justin Hursh; a host of family and friends. Randy was preceded in death by two wives, Sandy Brice and Peggy Brice.

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Charles B. Duckworth Jr.

Age 57 Years
Date of Birth – February 16th, 1956 in Oklahoma
Date of Death – February 1st, 2014 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Survived By
Companion of 30 years – Joni Watts of the home in Tulsa
Special Friend – Willie Jones and wife Lois of Tulsa
Numerous Loving Family Members and Friends

Charles was a resident of Tulsa for several years and
was a former employee of the Aaron Fence Company.
Charles graduated for the Oklahoma School for the Blind.
Funeral Services for Mr. Duckworth have been entrusted
to the loving care of the Mark Griffith Memorial Funeral Home – Westwood Chapel
in Tulsa and services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 10th, 2014
at the Mark Griffith Memorial’s Westwood Chapel with Pastor Al Hert officiating. Interment
will follow in the Wetumka, Oklahoma Cemetery.

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Faculty


Clenton Lawrence Wilks (1941-2007, Science Teacher)

Clenton Lawrence Wilks was born in Beland, Oklahoma to Strawder and Ollie Beard Wilks, on November 21, 1941. Lawrence attended Beland Public School and graduated from Manual Training High School. He continued his education by attending and graduating from Northeastern State University. He served thirty-four years as a public school teacher. He enjoyed his time at the Moton Pubic Schools and Oklahoma School for the Blind. He was a faithful and loving husband to Linda Wilson, whom he married after graduating from Northeastern. Lawrence believed in stressing the importance of all people getting an education, and loved to help people in any way he could. He was a faithful and dedicated member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, were he served as a deacon. God decided to call his child, Lawrence home on January 19th, 2007, while he was staying at York Manor, which served as an emergency shelter during the power outages in Lawrence’s neighborhood during the ice storm.

The family he left behind to thank the Lord for the celebration of his life include his wife, Linda of the home, two daughters Candi Washington, of Muskogee, OK and Christy Washington, of Oklahoma City, OK. Two grandchildren, Lauren Wilks and Nathaniel Washington, both of Oklahoma City, OK. Two brothers, Eddie Wilkes, of Tulsa, OK and Charles Wilkes, of Muskogee, OK. Four nieces, three nephews, along with other relatives.

Funeral Services for Bro. Lawrence, were held Saturday, January 27th, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, with Rev. David Ragsdale Jr. serving as host Pastor. Officiating the services was Rev. Paul S. Washington, Pastor of Little Rose Baptist Church, under the direction of Ragsdale Funeral Center.

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Billie Wilda (Mallard) Carter (1921-2007, Elementary Teacher)

Carter, Billie Wilda (Mallard), age 85, passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2007. She was born to John Edward and Pearl (Johnston) Mallard in Western Grove, Arkansas on July 31, 1921. She loved school as she was growing up, and from her earliest memories, she always wanted to be a teacher. In 1942, she graduated from Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah with a double major in elementary education and English. In 1968, she received a Master of Education from NSU, and she also completed postgraduate work at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. On August 16, 1940, she married Von Richard “Dick” Carter of Muskogee. They loved and adored each other until his death in 1987. Dick was the superintendent at the Oklahoma School for the Blind (later Parkview School) in Muskogee and Billie taught elementary school there for thirty years.

She was survived by, son Richard and wife Mary Carter, Broken Arrow, daughters, Janis and husband Bill Farr, Broken Arrow, Kathlyn Smith, Broken Arrow, Marilyn and husband Tom Litteer, Hamburg, NJ, eight grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren.

A memorial service was at 2:00 PM, Thursday, June 28, 2007 at Highland Park Christian Church in Tulsa.

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Francis Moske (1927-2009, Science/Math Teacher)

Francis Moske, 82, of Muskogee, Oklahoma died Saturday, October 17, 2009 at Muskogee Regional Medical Center. He was born February 19, 1927 in Manchester, Connecticut to Jacob and Helen (Szafir) Moske. After graduating from high school in Manchester, Francis continued his education and graduated from the University of Connecticut. Then he came to Muskogee and began a career at the Oklahoma School for the Blind. Francis met Marjorie Hopper and they married on December 22, 1950 at Grace Episcopal Church in Muskogee. Francis and Marjorie taught at Oklahoma School for the Blind 40 years. Francis was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Moske, on November 11, 1998. He was survived by one sister and brother-in-law, Arlyne and Lyman Peck of Manchester, Connecticut. Funeral services were 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Memorial Park Cemetery Mausoleum with The Rev. Jenny Pratt officiating. Foster-Petering Funeral Home.

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Anna Marie Hunt (1925-2010, English & Choir Teacher)

84, of Scott Depot, WV, passed away Monday, July 5, 2010, at her residence. She was born August 15, 1925, at Palermo WV, a daughter of the late Hobert and Elwa Hill Lovejoy. She was a member of the Trinity Methodist Church, Hamlin WV, active member of the American Federation for the Blind, a retired teacher and choir director for the blind in Muskogee OK, and a retired teacher and choir director at Hamlin High School. She was also preceded in death by three brothers, Harold “Bill” Lovejoy, Ralph Edward “Tom” Lovejoy and Jack Lovejoy. She is survived by one brother, Sharrell (Lillian) Lovejoy of Hamlin WV; two sisters, Iva Dean (George) Cook of Scott Depot WV, and Mary Lou (Gerald) Jones of Bridgeport WV; nieces Brenda Sue Burford, Pamela Ann Marks-Shulman, Kim Clayton, Beth Midkiff, Suzanne Lopez, Lee Ann Bills and Tessa Cooper; nephews David Lovejoy, Doug Lovejoy, Ralph Lovejoy, Jack G. Lovejoy, Jeff Jones and Perry Jones; many great- and great- great-nieces and nephews. Funeral services were Saturday, July 10, 2010, at Handley Funeral Home, Hamlin WV, with burial in the Lovejoy Cemetery, Palermo WV. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the West Virginia Federation of the Blind.

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Sandra Jo Hilbern (1945-2010, Librarian)

Sandra Jo Hilbern, of Muskogee, loving mother, grandmother, teacher and friend was called to Heaven, Tuesday, July 27, 2010. She was born July 2, 1945 to Curtis Tom & Freda Pauline (Stout) Hamilton. Sandra graduated from Muskogee Central High School with the class of 1963. She served in the U.S. Army 1966-1969, earned a bachelor degree from Northeastern State University in 1970, and a masters degree in 1976.

Sandra began her teaching career with Okay Public Schools where she remained for 5 years. She accepted employment as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the Oklahoma Division of Rehabilitation where she was employed for 28 years until her retirement in 1998. She also taught as an adjunct professor for Connors State College 1989-2000. She returned to NSU and received her certification as a librarian in 2001. Sandra remained at the Oklahoma School for the Blind as the librarian until her retirement in January 2008. She was a member of the Chandler Road Church of Christ and the Ladies Red Hat Society. Sandra enjoyed spending time with her three grandchildren and her friends, reading, and doing various crafts.

Those left to cherish her memory are her son & daughter-in-law, Jamie & Jenny Hilbern of Muskogee; grandchildren, Jake Hilbern, Jodi Hilbern, and Janna Hilbern; her brother, Tom Hamilton & wife, Jan; sister, Jewel Corley & husband, Mark; sister, Melinda Jaynes & husband, Jerry; brother, Mike Daniels & wife, Annette, and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and many friends. Family and friends gathered to celebrate her life Friday, July 30, 2010 with Jimie-Wray Mead and Donny Branscum officiating. She was laid to rest in Fort Gibson National Cemetery with Mark Corley, Brian Kirkhart, Kevin Corley, Steven Kirkhart, Jerry Jaynes, and Ray Walters serving as pallbearers.

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Carolyn Wheeler (1942-2010, Independent Living Skills (ILS))

Mary Carolyn (Parks) Wheeler was born December 25, 1942 in Muskogee, OK to L. L. “Cotton” and Clara (Cannon) Parks. After living in Wagoner her first few years Carolyn moved with her family to Muskogee where she made her home all her life. She graduated from Muskogee Central High School in 1961 and attended Draughn’s Business School and Northeastern State College. Carolyn was a member of the Boston Avenue Baptist Church and ESA. She enjoyed flowers and liked to garden, an activity she and her son, Irvin did together. Carolyn was a teacher and had been employed at the VA Regional Office and with the Assisted Daily Living program at the Oklahoma School for the Blind before retirement.

Carolyn died Tuesday, December 28, 2010 in Muskogee, OK. She was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin Glenn Wheeler; a daughter, Edith (Wheeler) Bingham; her father, Cotton Parks; and grandparents, Thomas Bessie and Bess Cannon. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Irvin and Kim Wheeler of Muskogee; her mother, Clara (Cannon) Parks of Muskogee; grandchildren, Whitney Wheeler, Shelby Lee Bingham and Russell Wayne Bingham; a sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Ray Grandstaff of Checotah, OK; many cousins, nephews and nieces; and many friends, including her best friend, Gayle Cooley.

A funeral service was held Monday, January 3, 2011 at the Boston Avenue Baptist Church in Muskogee. The Reverend John Curtis and the Reverend Donny Echols officiated. Pallbearers were David Anderson, Purvis McDaniels, Lester Wheeler, Darrel Armstrong, Jeff Blankenship, Bill Goodwin and Harvey Edwards. Interment was in Elmwood Cemetery in Wagoner, OK.

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R.L. Updike (1917-2011, Band Teacher)

Randolph Lloyd “R.L.” Updike, 93, of Tulsa, Oklahoma passed away on April 8, 2011. He was born July 10, 1917 in King, Arkansas to Freedie Leroy and Willa Mae Updike. He graduated from Seminole High School and later received a bachelor’s degree in music from Oklahoma University. He also played trumpet in the OU marching band. He was in the Air Force during WWII.

R.L. married his wife of 62 years, Aileen Martin, in 1940. They had two children together, Jay and Linda. He taught band at Jenks High School and Oklahoma School for the Blind. He later opened his own music store, Updike Music Co., which he owned until he retired in 1987. On October 3, 2003 he married Velma Nelson Updike.

R.L. was a deacon at First Baptist Church, Muskogee; a member of the Muskogee City Council and on the board of the Salvation Army. He enjoyed antique cars, writing missionaries, gospel rescue mission work, Shriner’s band, jail ministry and weekly Bible study with Les Feldick.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 62 years, Aileen Updike; and sister, Gloe Updike Stith. R. L. is survived by his wife, Velma of Tulsa, OK; daughter, Linda Matthews of Mulberry, Arkansas; son, Jay Updike of Muskogee, OK; four grandchildren; Julie Matthews Hoffman of Kissimmee, Florida; Chris Matthews of New Haven, Connecticut; Jennifer Updike of Dallas, Texas; and Martin Updike of Muskogee, OK; two great granddaughters, Shiloh and Sophia Matthews; one great grandson, Ethan Matthews; and one nephew Jim Stith of Chicago, Illinois.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 11, 2011; at First Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. Burial was at Greenhill Cemetery. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com. Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 North York Street, Muskogee, OK.

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Elizabth “Becky” Hendrickson (1942-2012, Teacher)

Funeral services for Elizabeth “Becky” Hendrickson, 70, of Porum, OK, will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at the First Presbyterian Church with Ann Brizendine officiating. Services are under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home of Muskogee.

Becky was born May 25, 1942 at Muskogee, OK, the daughter of John and Louise (Lampton) Hill and died Saturday, August 11, 2012 at her home.

Becky attended Muskogee Public Schools and graduated from Muskogee Central High in 1960. On June 8, 1962 she married Frank Hendrickson in Muskogee. After receiving her certificate to teach, Becky taught at the Oklahoma School for the Blind. She was a longtime member and past president of chapter E.A. of P.E.O.

Survivors include her husband, Frank of the home; three children, Mindi Morgan and husband, Bud, of Muskogee, John Hendrickson and wife, Tammie of Tahlequah, Jeff Hendrickson and wife, Kelly, of Spring, TX; son, Erik Rogers of Tulsa and honorary son, Kevin Todd of Muskogee; 15 grandchildren, Danah Foltz, Chandler Foltz, Elizabeth Hendrickson, Easton Hendrickson, Robert Hendrickson, Bailee Hendrickson, Brook Hendrickson, Nichalas Hendrickson, Bubby Morgan, Nik Morgan, Jordan Morgan, Linsea Howard, Emma Sigle, Kristen Usai, and Kyle Usai. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Louise Hill; brother, Danny Hill.

She touched many people in her life as a mother, teacher, and friend. She helped many, taught many, and truly lived life. She will live on through the many lives she has touched.

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Photo of Judith Stephens Henry


Judith Stephens Henry (1928-2013, Teacher – Reading Specialist)

Judith Stephens Henry, 85, of Muskogee, died Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in Eufaula, Oklahoma. She was born August 27, 1928 to Roscoe Conklin Stephens and Jewel Francis (Emerson) Stephens in Pontiac, Michigan where she grew up and graduated from Pontiac High School. In 1946, she came to Muskogee to attend Bacone College where she met and married David Henry who had recently returned from service in Europe during World War II. In 1964, she returned to Bacone and graduated in 1966. She continued her education at Northeastern State University graduating in 1968. She obtained her Master’s degree from Northeastern in Education in 1971. She taught at Oklahoma School for the Blind (Parkview) from 1969 to 1990 where she served as the Reading Specialist.

Judy enjoyed traveling with friends, reading, and a good crossword puzzle. She served as a Sunday school teacher for children and adults and as a voluntary tax preparer at the Muskogee library.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, David E. Henry, and sisters, Marie Clark and Sybil Caspers.

Judy is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and H.C. Franklin of Eufaula; son and daughter-in-law, David and Toby Henry of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Byron Cook, Cydney Anderson, Brynn Page, Tabitha Olenick, Cadence Larson, David Henry, Rachel Henry, Rachel Martin and Jessica Driver and twelve great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Greenhill Cemetery with Kerry Mauldin officiating.

Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home. Condolences to the family may be made at www.foster-petering.com

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Staff


Catherine Hornbarger (1924-1989, Nurse)


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Mildred Celine Neff (1917-1994, Food Supervisor)


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Capteon Brown III (1946-2007, Custodian)

Capteon Brown III, son of Capteon and Dorothy Mae (Board) Brown II was born September 25, 1946 in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended Cotter Elementary School, Duvalle Middle School and Central High School.

He confessed a belief in Christ, was later baptized and became a member of the Church of Christ where the family worshipped.

Affectionately known as “Jackie” by his family and friends, he was very obedient, respectful and dependable. At the age of six he began taking care of younger siblings due to his mother’s extensive work hours and father’s declining health. He would often tell his siblings, “I raised you all.”

Capteon started his work experience as a young man in a local restaurant and later began work in the Supply Department at the Kentucky School for the Blind, where his mother worked as a cook.

In 1965, Capteon met Billy Joyce (Beckner) Epps. In 1967 they married in Gary, Indiana. Later, the couple moved back to her hometown of Muskogee, Oklahoma. To this union three children were born; Captoria, William and Eugene. Capteon and Billy Joyce were married 26 years, until the dissolution of the marriage in 1993.

Capteon along with his family were united with the Flipper Chapel A.M.E. Church where his father-in-law, the late Rev. B. J. Beckner served as Pastor. Following his father-in-law’s reassignment, the family later united with Bethel A.M.E. Church, where Capteon served faithfully on the Usher Board.

After establishing residence in Muskogee, Capteon labored as a custodian at the Taft State Hospital and witnessed the hospital’s transition to the Oklahoma Childrens Center and eventually to The Jess Dunn Correctional Center. It was during this time that Capteon transferred his employment to Parkview School (Oklahoma School for the Blind), Muskogee, Oklahoma, working until his retirement after 32 years of service. Capteon also worked for Tackett-East Janitorial Service as a second job for several years.

Capteon was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Mae (Board) Brown and two brothers, Earl Gillian and Private Donald Brown.

He left to cherish his memory his daughter, Captoria Brown, Irving, TX; two sons, E. Eugene Brown and Rev. William James Brown (Janice), both of Muskogee, OK; the mother of his children, Billye Joyce Brown Woodfork, Tulsa, OK; three step-grandchildren, Orteca Nunley, Irving,TX, Laticia Nunley, Muskogee, OK and Patricia and Lang (Robert), Boynton, OK and one step-great-granddaughter. Also to cherish his memory he leaves, his father, Capteon Brown II (Joan); two brothers, Leon Brown and Bruce Brown; four sisters, Rosetta Brown, Marva Jean Finley (Darrell), Pamela Mitchell and Francis Johnson, all of Louisville, KY; four aunts, Velma Yovonne (Board) Calhoun, Mildred Board, Mae Francis Board and Robert Board all of Louisville, KY; two special cousins, Love Priest and Terri Board both if Louisville, KY; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A service of memory was conducted, Saturday, 11 a.m. in the Flipper Chapel A.M.E. Church Taft, OK with his son minister William Brown delivering the eulogy. Interment followed in Booker T. Washington Cemetery. The family was cared for by Granger-House of Winn.

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Bernice Marie Williams Elliott (1921-2007, Food Service)

Bernice Marie Williams was born March 3, 1921, in Mexia, Texas to Henry and Sylvester Lila Gertrude Newton Williams. She was the youngest of seven children. Bernice began her formal education in Muskogee, Oklahoma and graduated from Manuel Training High School in 1938, she also studied cosmetology under Ms. Miller and enjoyed doing hair.

In November of 1940, she married the love of her life Denyveaus Olden Elliott, Sr. This marriage was blessed with four children, but Patricia Elliott died at birth. Bernice worked 61 years, and retired at the age of 78. The last 30 years she worked with Parkview School for the Blind. Bernice was a very proud wife, mother, and friend to others. Bernice for a majority of her life was a straight shooter, if you did not mean her or her family any harm, “love” would prevail; if not, you would understand where you stood with her.

Bernice accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at a very early age; her father was a Deacon. She was a active member at First Missionary Baptist Church for many years serving in the Choir, Women’s Missionary Union, Sunday School, and various other committees. She was also a member at One In Christ Outreach Christian Center.

Bernice’s parents (Henry and Sylvester), husband (Denyveaus, Sr.) of 45 years, her daughter (Patricia), four sisters (Jenny, Lola, Utrrie, and Henryetta) and two brothers (Murphy and James) preceded her in death.

She left to cherish her special memories: her daughter Denise Elliott; two sons Denyveaus Elliott, Jr. and Darrell Elliott, Sr.; one daughter-in-law Glenda Cheadle Elliott; four granddaughter’s Lila Johnson, Stephanie Davis Derrick, Jordyn Elliott, and Ryan Elliott; three grandsons Denyveaus Elliott, III, Stephen Johnson, and Darrell Elliott, II; three great-granddaughters Sydney Johnson, Ebony Derrick and Hunter-Denise Johnson; two nieces Renette Johnson and Vetrial Calvert; one sister-in-law Collotta Guest, and a host of relatives and friends.

Funeral Services for our beloved Bernice were held Saturday May 5, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Michael McDaniel officiating. She was laid to rest eternally in Booker T. Washington Cemetery under the direction of Ragsdale Funeral Center.

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Joyce Marie Torix (1935-2007, Food Service – Cook)

Funeral services for Joyce Marie Torix, 71, of Ft. Gibson, OK., were held at 1:00 P.M. Monday, June 11, 2007 in Millsap Funeral Service Chapel with Reverend Rick Harris officiating. Pallbearers were Billy Parker, Robert Trammell, Robert Parker, Terry Parker, Joe Dale Parker and Donald Trammell. Burial was in Pettit Cemetery in Keys, OK.

Mrs. Torix was born July 21, 1935 at Cookson, OK., the daughter of Ralph and Nola (Trammell) Parker and died Thursday, June 7, 2007 at Tahlequah. On January 3, 1955 she married Skeet Torix in Fort Gibson. She was a senior cook at the Oklahoma School for the Blind and a member of the Old Mission Church.

Survivors included her husband, Skeet of the home; two daughters, Lisa Gaunt and husband, Chris, of Fort Gibson, Tracy Taylor of Fort Gibson; two sons, Jeff Torix and wife, Paula, of Stigler, Leon Torix and wife, Joyce, of Keys; four brothers, Bill Parker and Lois of Tahlequah, Tom Parker of Inola, Jimmy Parker and Joy of Fort Gibson, Charlie Parker of Fort Gibson; six grandchildren, Kyle Tyer, Ashley Carman, Kallie Morgan, Gary Torix, Justin Torix, Shanda Torix, one great-grandchild, Krissy Torix; special family members, Kelly St. Clair, Billy Parker and Robert Parker. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Joyce; granddaughter, Amy; grandson, Greg Torix; one great-grandson, Austin Torix; four brothers, Bobby Wayne Parker, Ralph Parker Jr., Raymond Parker, Joe Parker and parents.

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Obie L. Mullen (1930-2007, Maintenance)

Funeral services for Obie L. Mullen, 77, of Muskogee were held at 10:00 A.M. Monday, July 2, 2007 at the graveside at Warner Memorial Cemetery with Reverend Adrian Totty officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home.

Obie Mullen was born on January 24, 1930 in Braggs, Oklahoma, the son of Corbette and Ida (Mannon) Mullen and died June 28, 2007 in Tulsa. He was a lifelong Muskogee resident. He married Imogene Wickett on May 29, 1951 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He retired in 1986 from the Oklahoma School for the Blind. He and his sons were avid auction attendees. He loved fishing, boating and camping. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of his life.

Survivors included his wife Imogene Wickett of the home; two sons Rick Mullen and wife, Brenda, of Muskogee, Randy Mullen and wife, Lisa, of Muskogee; three brothers Charles Mullen, George Mullins of Webbers Falls, J.D. Mullen and wife, Lillian, of San Jose, CA.; two sisters, Ima Hodges of San Jose, CA., Dortha Fowler and husband, Roy, of Salem, OR.; brother-in-law Spud Lipe of Coalinga, CA.; three grandchildren Lori and Brian Partain of Westville, Staci and Brent Cole of Westville, Nick Mullen and Tiffany of Muskogee; seven great-grandchildren Brittany, Briant, Morgan, Hailey, Dusti, Ruger and Zachary; a special aunt, Wanda Kirk of Fort Gibson; and number of nieces and nephews.

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Helen Leavell (1924-2008, Front Office)

84, died Monday February 18, 2008, Service 1 p.m. Wednesday, Memorial Park Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel. Lescher-Millsap.

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Bobby Gene Rhyne

Bobby Gene Rhyne (Bob) was born in Fort Gibson, OK, on November 30, 1933 to Noah Oscar and Willie Edith (Bell) Rhyne. He completed 12 years of school at Fort Gibson. Bob was a carpenter and construction superintendent for several years and was proud of his accomplishments around Muskogee, including Jimmy Leake’s home and both of the then-known Phoenix Federal buildings. He had been self-employed for several years as well as working for Lindsey Construction and Rickett’s Construction Companies. Upon retiring from the State of Oklahoma Construction Crew, Bob and Ruth enjoyed their retirement by traveling and making one-day trips. Bob was of the Pentecostal faith. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Bessie Ayers and Hazel Isom, one brother, Harold Rhyne and mother and father-in-law, Lodema and Otto Kelley. He was survived by his wife of 35 years, Ruth; one daughter, Evelyn and Dan Hix of Mustang, one brother, Raymond and Kat Rhyne of Muskogee; and one sister, Marie Parnell of Fort Gibson and granddaughter, Melanie and Michael Hyden of Oklahoma City; and grandson, Stephen Hix of Mustang, and special friends, Johnny Bybee and Wayne Starr. He also was survived by sisters and brothers-in-law, Beverly and Scott Houser of Muskogee, Norma Lee of Tulsa, Joyce and Dave Reich of Sasakwa, Myrtle Rhyne of Jones, and several nieces and nephews and many friends. Also, Bob was survived by his special 4-legged friends, that were his joy and entertainment, Melvin, Dixie and Spud.Services for Bob were at the Lescher-Millsap Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. with Gary Rhyne and Rev. Bill Shirel officiating. Pallbearers were Johnny Bybee, Ron Rhyne, Dave Citty, Norman Spencer, Spencer Roth and Wayne Starr. Music was provided by Rosie Haddox, Sarah Broyles, Cindy Hart and Jeremy Hart. Interment was at Citizens Cemetery in Fort Gibson, OK.

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Photo of Kenneth Eugene Laningham


Kenneth Eugene Laningham (1928-2009, DCS)

Kenneth Eugene Laningham, 81, of Muskogee, passed away Saturday, November 14, 2009, at the Muskogee VA Hospital. Kenneth was born on March 2, 1928, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the son of Calvin Nathaniel and Grady Lelia (Dennis) Laningham. Kenneth enlisted in the United Stated Navy on April 27, 1945 and was honorably discharged on June 1, 1946. Kenneth then enlisted in the United States Air Force on August 17, 1947 and was honorably discharged on September 16, 1953. He married Betty Ruth Spradley on January 9, 1957 in Muskogee. They were happily married for 52 years. Kenneth worked for the Muskogee Fire Department for over twenty-five years. While serving as a firefighter, Kenneth was promoted to Drill Master/Assistant Fire Marshal under Chief John Stevens with rank of Assistant Chief. He was later changed to Training Officer. He also worked part-time as a State Instructor for Oklahoma State University Fire Service Training teaching volunteer fire departments. Kenneth attended Connors during night school while working at the fire department and received his Associates Degree. He retired from the Oklahoma School for the Blind after 17 years plus war time credit. Kenneth was a member of the Muskogee Church of Christ and he taught bible classes at the West Side Church of Christ. Survivors include: his wife, Betty, of the home; his son, Steven Laningham of Muskogee; his daughters, Paula Morgan and husband Jack of Fort Smith, Kimberly Edwards of Edmond and Carla Johnson and husband Jimmy of Hulbert; his brothers, Thomas “Butch” Caster and wife Brenda of Muskogee, Calvin Laningham and wife Debbie of Fayetteville and Curtis Laningham and wife Jeanette of Fayetteville; his sisters, Donna Ford and husband Billy of Coweta, Lee Roberts and husband Ted of Fayetteville and Louis Loghry and husband Mike of Fayetteville; seven grandchildren, Bart Jones and wife Shawnda, Kendy Brown and husband Adam, John Michael Palovik, Krista Palovik, Aubree Johnson, Landon Johnson and Chase Johnson and six great grandchildren, Jordan Jones, Noah Brown, Cameryn Jones, Alexis Johnson, Kane Brown and Morgan Jones. Kenneth is preceded in death by his parents.Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 18, 2009, at the Muskogee Church of Christ on Okay Road with Minister Bart Jones and Bill Johnson officiating. Pallbearers will be Jack Morgan, Adam Brown, Jimmy Johnson, Landon Johnson, Chase Johnson, John Michael Palovik, Josh Ford and Brandon Caster. Burial will follow at the Greenlawn Cemetery in Checotah. Services are under the direction of Hunn, Black and Merritt Funeral Home and Crematory of Eufaula.

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Photo of Deborah Jean Strange Vecchio


Deborah Jean (Strange) Vecchio (1951-2010, Speech-Language Pathologist)

Deborah Jean (Strange) Vecchio passed away at home on Monday January 24 after her courageous year and a half battle with ovarian cancer, at the age of 59. Born in Topeka, Kansas Debbie grew up in Marysville, Kansas. After high school she attended Cottey College, a two year women’s college in Missouri. After her graduation in 1971 she continued her education at Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts in Chickasha, Oklahoma where she would meet her future husband John. Following her graduation with a BA in speech therapy she earned her masters degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Tulsa in 1975.

Debbie spent two years working in Western Kansas then moving to Muskogee, Oklahoma where she worked as a speech-language pathologist for the Oklahoma School for the Blind until her retirement in 2004. Debbie and John were married in 1977 and had one daughter, Kat, in 1982.

After family Debbie’s great love was P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic educational organization. P.E.O’s mission is to promote educational opportunities for women through six philanthropies, including the ownership of Cottey College. Debbie became a member in 1971, and was a current member of Chapter AO in Muskogee. She served as the Oklahoma State Cottey Chairman for eight years before being elected to the Oklahoma State Board. She was serving as the Oklahoma State Board President this year.

Debbie was also an avid quilter, and had many great friends in the area guilds. She was a member of the Muskogee Area Quilters Guild, The Eufaula Piece Makers Quilters Guild, Green Country Guild in Tulsa, OQSO and on the Quilters Powwow Committee.

She was preceded in death by her mother Reva Strange of Grove, Oklahoma. She is survived by her husband John Vecchio, of the home, and their daughter Katherine Vecchio of Brooklyn, New York, her father Bill Strange of Grove, Oklahoma, her brother Stan Strange of Colby, Kansas, her sister Sheri Beck of Spiro, Oklahoma and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers gifts in her memory can be made to: Cottey College, P.E.O. International Headquarters, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312-2806 or Oklahoma P.E.O. Projects Fund, Cottey Scholarship Fund Oklahoma State Chapter, Executive Assistant, P.O. Box 153, Leonard, OK 74043-0153. A memorial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2011 at St. Paul United Methodist Church with Larry Bailey BIL and Reverend Mark Jardine officiating. The family has entrusted Bradley Family Funeral Service of Muskogee with the arrangements.

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Minnie Madeline McCutcheon (1915-2011, Direct Care Specialist, DCS )

Funeral services for Minnie Madeline McCutcheon, 95, of Braggs, OK, were held Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at Lescher-Millsap Chapel in Muskogee with Pastor Mike Gamble officiating. Grandsons served as pallbearers. Burial was in Holland Cemetery in Tahlequah.

Minnie was born August 8, 1915 at Fort Gibson, OK, the daughter of Pink and Mahala (Rider) Crossland and died Saturday, May 7, 2011 at Tahlequah. Minnie was a lifelong resident of the area and of the Baptist faith. She was a retired house parent from the
Oklahoma School for the Blind and the Methodist Boys Ranch. She was also a long time owner of Muskogee Poultry.

Survivors include her children, Billye Jean Allen of Fort Gibson, Morris Eddie McCutcheon and Mary of Winnsboro, TX, Julia Lee Garban and Lorant of Dickinson, TX, Rose Marie McCutcheon of Braggs, Bobby McCutcheon and Kathy of Wagoner, Marilyn Sue Frazier and Larry of Houston, TX, Sammy Ray McCutcheon of Braggs; grandchildren Susan, Michael, Eva Lynn, Shelley, Mary Ellen, Boogie, Kathy, Kelly, Becky, Stephanie, Stacey, Rusty, Jeff, Whitney and Lisa; and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; children Kay Frances Armstrong and Tommy Joe McCutcheon; numerous brothers and sisters; and two grandsons, Gerold Armstrong and Mark McCutcheon.

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Photo of Shirl Larue Cullom


Shirl LaRue Cullom

In the summer of 1964, the union of Hoy Sterling Cullom and Ida Chaplin was blessed with a baby girl on July 18th in Muskogee, Oklahoma. They named her Shirl LaRue.

Shirl grew up in the Muskogee area and attended school at Moton High School in Taft. While at Moton, she played basketball for the championship girls team.

After school, Shirl went on to attend Virgils Beauty College in Muskogee. Shirl loved to cook and gained employment at Hilldale School as a cook in the School Kitchen from 1998 until 2008. She then began her employment at the Oklahoma School for the Blind from 2008 to present.

She always put others needs before hers and was a very caring, loving and fun woman. She enjoyed going to watch her two sons play football at Hilldale High School every Friday night and will be missed by those who knew and loved her.

After 47 years with us, Shirl LaRue Cullom transitioned from “Earth to Glory” on March 9, 2012 from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

She leaves in God’s care; her children, Sabrina Renfro, LaTasha Cullom, Josh Cullom, Jamaul Cullom and Neondria Cullom, all of Muskogee; her mother, Ida Renfro, Muskogee, Oklahoma; her sisters and brothers, Hardy & Jessica Cullom, Tom and Debra Cullom all of Muskogee, Kathie Cullom, Oklahoma City, Jess Cullom, Checotah, and Gloria and Kenneth Lee; her grandchildren, Terance, Teanna, and Akasha Renfro; her nieces and nephews, Haily, Alexis, Donyail, Kiara and Cory; along with other relatives and friends.

The final hour with Shirl will be on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. in the First Baptistl Baptist Church, 7th & Okmulgee Ave. Reverend Delbert Josey, will Preside. Burial will follow the tributes in the Doyle Cemetery at Yahola, Oklahoma.

Services are under the direction of the Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Inc., of Muskogee. Friends may convey condolences and sign the online register at www.biglowfunerals.com.

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Photo of George Niedermayer


George Niedermayer (1924-2012, Business Manager)

George John Niedermayer, born the fifth and youngest child to parents, Van and Kathryn (Strifler) Niedermayer, who had immigrated to America from Elek Hungary in the early 1900’s. The family lived in Bloomington, IL. where his older siblings were born and then later moved to a farm near Muskogee, Oklahoma where George was born the 6th of July, 1924. Mr. Niedermayer served his country with pride during World War II, surviving the European conflict during combat in the Battle of the Bulge, and was decorated with the Bronze Star.

George passed away on Sunday, November 18, 2012 to be with our Heavenly Father and will be missed by his loving family and host of friends.

He began his early school days, grades 1-6, attending Fairview Elementary School, in Muskogee. The family moved for a short time to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma where he attended classes before returning to Muskogee to complete his elementary school years while at Whittier Elementary School. After attending grades 7-12 at Muskogee Central High School, George graduated with the class of 1942.

At the age of 19 years old, during the spring of 1943, he enlisted with the United States Army. George traveled out to Camp Roberts, California to attend a grueling 18 weeks of Basic Training, continuing on and completing his military training at Camp Blanding, Florida with the CADRE Infantry Unit. Shortly after June 6, 1944, D-Day, George was sent to Mississippi for Advanced Infantry Training, given a 2 week furlough pass he was able to spending Christmas of 1944 with his family in Muskogee. In late 1944, reporting to Camp Patrick Henry in Boston, Massachusetts, his unit prepared to sail to Europe on a Victory ship which was scheduled to arrive in Le Havre, France. Upon arrival in Europe, George was assigned with the 83rd Infantry Cavalry Mechanized Recon Troop and gained the rank of Sergeant. The 83rd Infantry Cavalry succeeded in pushing the German troops back, and raced toward Germany, only to be stopped 25 miles from Berlin, Germany at the Elbe River, and ordered to allow the Russians to take Berlin. History was made and the US victory was completed. Sometime after Europe’s VE Day, May 8, 1945, George left Europe and arrived in the US, sailing into New York City harbor where he began his journey back home traveling by train from Fort Dix, NJ. After days of long travel, he reached the end of his military journey at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, AR. He was honorably discharged and ended his US Army military service.

The fall of 1946 provided a new start as a civilian again as George began his college education at the two year Muskogee Junior College where he gained his Associates Degree. He then completed his Business Administration Degree graduating with two diplomas, Oklahoma State A & M and Oklahoma State University, due to the college name change in 1950, the year of his graduation.

Upon graduation, George was hired by Jamie Parker, grandson of the infamous Fort Smith, Arkansas “Hanging Judge Parker”, to work at Automotive, Inc. in Muskogee, Oklahoma. During this time, he met and later married Illmo, Missouri native, Vivian Doris Uelsmann in Muskogee on June 1, 1952. From this union, the couple was blessed with two daughters, Vicky Lynne and Linda Kae.

In 1954, George began his business career with the Oklahoma State School for the Blind Institutue. He was hired by Superintendent Richard “Dick” Carter, as the Business Manager, where he worked for 35 years until his retirement in the late 1980’s. After his retirement, George enjoyed his hobbies, an avid golfer, bowler, eagle scout, and supporter of his beloved OSU Cowboys, St. Louis Cardinals, and traveling. George married Charlene Yvonne Whittington on November 21, 1992 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Their union joined each of their families together from previous marriages and blessed him with many happy memories.

Those preceding him in death and welcoming him in Heaven are his parents, Van and Kathryn, his siblings, Barbara Snow, Kathryn Schilt, his brother, Joe Niedermayer, his nephews, Joe Neil Niedermayer and Kirk Williamson.

Surviving loved ones include his wife, Charlene of the home; his daughter, Vicky L. Cummings and husband Jerry of Broken Arrow, OK., her two children and his grandsons, Jarrod Armstrong and wife Kendra and daughters, Briana and Brittney of Ft. Gibson, OK., and Kevin Armstrong and wife Memory and daughter Isabella of Muskogee, OK. His daughter, Linda K. Moore and husband Michael of Broken Arrow, OK., her two children and his grandchildren, Craig Moore and Shelby Moore; his daughter, Teri Edge and husband Bud of Muskogee, and granddaughter Erin Edge of Tulsa, OK., his daughter, Lisa Wilson and husband Tommy, and grandchildren Taylor and Tanner of Ft. Gibson, OK., his daughter, Cheryl Jones of Houston, TX., and grandchildren Brande Pfenning and husband Kurt of Norman and their child, Kitty, and Sherri Lynn Neal and husband Darrell of Houston, TX. and children, his son, Dale Childress and grandchildren, Erica, Shawna, and Matt of Muskogee; his sister, Teresa Bergmann of Muskogee; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

Mr. Niedermayer will be laid to rest 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Fort Gibson, OK. with full military honors with Mr. Wendell Cox officiating. Pallbearers will be Bud Edge, Tommy Wilson, Tanner Wilson, Kevin Armstrong, Jared Armstrong, Michael Moore, Craig Moore, and Doug Robertson.

You can view Mr. George Niedermayer’s Obituary on Muskogee Phoenix website.

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William (Bill) Harrison Fowler(1915-2012)

FOWLER, William H., 97, retired, died Wednesday. Services 2:30 p.m. today, Bradley Belltower Chapel, Bradley Family Funeral and Cremation Service.

WILLIAM (BILL) HARRISON FOWLER
April 12, 1915—November 28, 2012

William (Bill) Harrison Fowler, 97, beloved husband, father and grandfather, was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus Christ during the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 28, 2012.

A very special man dedicated to God, family and country, Bill Fowler “fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith,” and has now received the crown of righteousness laid up for him. Bill was born on April 12, 1915 to Alamander and Lou Alta Duff Fowler in Blytheville, Arkansas. He was an Army veteran of World War II and received an honorable discharge. After migrating to Oklahoma and settling in Muskogee, Bill was employed at the Oklahoma School for the Blind where he later retired after 24 years. It was while working at the school that Bill met the love of his life, Mary Lou Phillips. In Bill’s words, “When I saw her I lost my heart!” Bill and Mary Lou were married on May 28, 1955 and soon developed endearing names for each other. Mary Lou was affectionately known to Bill as “My Little Bride” and her pet name for Bill was “My Little Daddy-do.” Bill was a hard worker and always provided for the needs of his family. He took his children to church and taught them “Jesus is Number One”. “As long as you follow Him and read the Word you will be OK!” Bill was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for he knew it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. It was nothing unusual to hear his deep, baritone voice echo “hallelujahs” in praise of his Savior! Just seeing his ear-to-ear grin and being around Bill was enough to make a person feel better. He could always make anyone laugh, especially his grandkids; in fact, Bill was just a big kid at heart. Other than being with his family, nothing could bring Bill to life like the sound of music. Most of his children and grandchildren play musical instruments and sing, a fitting legacy to Bill and his lifelong love of music.

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Lou Phillips Fowler, of Muskogee and their children: Billy Fowler and his fiancée Lisa Coleman; Patricia Fowler Moore; and Terry Fowler, Sr. all of Muskogee, Oklahoma. Bill is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Roy and Dorothy Fowler of Oregon. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Alamander and Lou Alta Duff Fowler; a son, Billy Jack Fowler, a son, Dennis Fowler; two brothers, Alvie Fowler and Lee Fowler; and two sisters, Ona Marshall and Rhoda Marshall. Bill leaves 27 grandchildren to cherish his memory: Matthew Fowler and wife Julie; and Brian Fowler, all of Florida; Alicia Joice and husband Elijah of Clarksville, Tennessee; Rusty Fowler of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Johnnie Moore, Jr. of Boley, Oklahoma; Shannon Moore and wife Darla of Ketchum, Oklahoma; Brock Moore; Jan Moore and wife Sara, all of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Dennis Fowler and wife Tessa of Durant, Oklahoma; Misty White and fiancé Jeremy Cooley of Missouri; Terry Fowler of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Amber Fowler of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Mandy Simon, Aaron Fowler, and Cory Hall, all of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Bill is also survived by a host of great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends.

A “Celebration of Life Home Going Service” honoring Bill will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, December 3, 2012 at the Bradley Belltower Chapel with his son, Billy Don Fowler, officiating.

Interment will follow in McClain Cemetery with Rusty Fowler, Jan Moore, Brock Moore, Denny Fowler, Shannon Moore and Kevin Schmidt serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Terry Fowler, Jr. and Darrell Schmidt.

The family has entrusted Bradley Family Funeral Service of Muskogee with the arrangements. Friends may send condolences to the family on the web page at www.bradleyfuneralservice.com.

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Photo of Cardelia D White


Cardelia D. White(1935-2013), House Parent

On September 20, 1935, in the small community of Boynton, Oklahoma, Cardelia Daisy Brown came into the lives of Levi and Mazetta Brown. She accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized into the membership of Cherryville Baptist Church where H. P. Anthony was her pastor. She never moved her membership and was a diligent dedicated and devoted member to the church where she served in various capacities as “Mother of the Church”, finance committee, Pastor’s Aide, Mission President, Senior Usher and where ever she was needed. She remained active and faithful until her health prevented her from attending. She often said “If you don’t go to church, you might miss something”. After graduating from Wheatley High School, she furthered her education by attending and graduating from Connors State College, Warner, with an Associates Degree in Science and Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Services and Criminal Justice.

Cardelia’s work experience began in 1959, with her first job as a provider. She worked as a teacher’s aide, Community Center Coordinator and Youth Guidance Specialist at the Oklahoma School For the Blind. After twenty-six years of dedicated service, she finally retired at the age of seventy-four. Cardelia was active in her community and social service. She actively supported the Boynton Alumni Association, Boynton Historical Society, Sister’s On A Mission, The Birthday Club and Housewives of Muskogee County Club (Senior Citizen Nutrition Program).

Cardelia met a handsome young man named Thello White and on September 17th, 1953, the two were married. To that union three children, Thello, Belva and Aretha were born. They were married for thirty-seven years until his death in August of 1990.

Awaiting Cardelia’s heavenly arrival are her husband, Thello White, parents, Levi and Marzetta, Brown. Two sisters, Monzola Minor and Frankie Stoudamire and two brothers, Alphonso and Ivory Brown.Those she leaves behind to cherish her memory and celebrate her homegoing are one son, Thello L. White, Muskogee, OK and two daughters, Belva L. White, McAlester, OK, and Aretha D. White, Okmulgee, OK and “adopted” daughter, Carolyn Green, Muskogee, OK. Five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, one sister Loretha Smith, Las Vegas, NV and one brother, Nathaniel Brown, Oakland, CA, along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.

The going home celebration for Cardelia will be held Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at the A.G. Yerger Community Center, Boynton, with Rev. Leroy Walker, Sr., Pastor, Rayfield Baptist Church, officiating and Rev. Lacey K. Johnson, Pastor, Cherryville Baptist Church, will deliver the eulogy. She will be laid to rest on Monday, January 14th, 2013. 11 a.m. in Ft. Gibson National Cemetery. Hours of visitation will be today from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Services are under the direction of Ragsdale Funeral Center.

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Photo of Ray Kirk


Ray F. Kirk(1942-2013), Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

1942 – 2013

Ray F. Kirk, 70, of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed away Thursday, March 14, 2013. He was born April 5, 1942 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to Clarence D. Kirk and Mary Kathryn Enlow Davis. Ray grew up in Tahlequah and graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1960. He continued his education at Connors State College where he lettered in football. Ray furthered his education at Northeastern State College where he graduated in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in education. After graduation, Ray taught school and coached girls’ basketball at Stillwell High School and at Siloam Springs, AR before moving to Wichita, Kansas in 1967 to work for Boeing Aircraft. While in Wichita he completed his collegiate studies at Wichita State University.

In 1971, Ray was presented an opportunity with State Farm Insurance. For 32 years, he operated a successful agency and enjoyed a busy professional and civic career in Muskogee. He retired from State Farm in 2004. Ray served his state and community as Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Rehabilitation from 2006 until the time of his death. As Commissioner, he exhibited a keen interest in bettering the lives of the students and faculty of the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee. Over the years, Ray was active in many civic and fraternal organizations including the Morning Optimist, Muskogee Masonic Lodge No. 28, the Bedouin Shrine and ROJ Court No. 99.

Ray was a member of First Baptist Church of Muskogee. Ray married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Elada Diane Wheeler, on September 19, 1961 in Tahlequah, OK. They were married for over 51 years and were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Kimberly Renee. Ray loved animals and the outdoors. He enjoyed caring for his cattle and many other types of animals on his farm south of Muskogee but truly loved his horses. He was an active and successful owner and trainer of thoroughbred race horses up until the time of his death. Family was especially important to Ray. He loved the large family gatherings at holidays and special occasions. Ray was also active in the rural community south of Muskogee and was an almost daily participant of the Andy’s Convenience Store Breakfast Group.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Mattie Panell, Bertie Carter and Geraldine Lamons. Ray is survived by his wife, Elada of the home; his daughter Kimberly Stotts and husband Steve of Muskogee; granddaughters Lauren Stotts of Los Angeles, CA and Sarah Stotts of Norman, OK; sister Bernise Scott and husband Clyde of Tulsa; his brothers-in-law Tom Lamons and Gene Carter and wife Phyllis all of Tahlequah; brother-in-law Mike Wheeler and wife Pat of Broken Arrow, OK; his Sister-in-law Brenda Wheeler of Tahlequah; and many nieces, nephews and other much-loved family members and friends.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 am Monday, March 18 at First Baptist Church in Muskogee with Dr. Lance Sawyer and Bill Crow officiating. Interment will follow at Tahlequah City Cemetery at 2:00 pm with Joe Foster, Pony McCrary, Paul Porter, Glen Wheeler, Mike Ebert and Jim Adams as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the “Andy’s Convenience Store Breakfast Group”.

Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 N. York Street, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on Ray’s behalf to the Needy Student Fund, Oklahoma School for the Blind at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee, OK 74403 or the Bedouin Shrine Temple Transportation Fund 201 S. 6th Street, Muskogee, OK 74401.

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Photo of Ruby Holder


Ruby L. Holder (1929-2013), Houseparent

Ruby L. Holder went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ May 31, 2013. She was born December 29, 1929, the fifth child of Lee Haws and Nellie (Rogers) Haws-Moran. Her union in marriage to Leon (Lee) Holder was a celebration of 68 years. She was a member of Eastern Heights Baptist Church. She taught Sunday school and training union throughout her lifetime. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend to many. She enjoyed family visits, family reunions, fellowships with friends, cooking, gardening, and an occasional boat ride. She retired from the Oklahoma School for the Blind in 1992.

She was preceded in death by both of her parents; step-father, Jack Moran; son-in-law, Ronald S. Allen III; two brothers, Connie Haws and Billy Gene Haws; four sisters, Joyce Carman, Florean Haws, Norean McBride, and Betty Morris. She is survived by her loving husband Leon Holder of the home; aunt Nora (Tootsie) Hunter; four children, Mary Nell Allen of Muskogee OK, Edward Leon Holder of Muskogee OK, Celia Grover of Fresno CA, and Karen Holder of Muskogee OK; seven grandchildren, Miles Allen, Casey Shawn Allen and wife Kelly of Decatur GA, Brandi Holder of Muskogee OK, Bryan Holder and wife Brandi of Roland OK, Calli Erickson and husband Paul of Fresno CA, Whitney Bliss and husband Aaron of Richlands NC, and Eric Holderby and wife Stephanie of Fort Worth TX; twelve great grandchildren, Amber, Ron, Cammie, Brady, Parker, Reagan, Joshua, Jacob, Adeline, Jennifer, Joshua, and Jackson; three great-great grandchildren, Kensley, Kelsey, and Keegen. She is also survived by three brothers, Henry Moran and wife JoAnne, Jim Moran and wife Phyllis, Roy Moran and wife Sheila all of Muskogee OK; four sisters-in-law, Juanita Ervin, Phyllis Holder, Cora Pitts, and Kathryn Holder of Muskogee OK; brother-in-law, Dexter Payne and wife, Carol, of Muskogee, OK.

Funeral services will be held at Eastern Heights Baptist Church of Muskogee OK, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 2 pm with Brother Jeff Mann officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Cemetery in Muskogee OK. Pallbearers are her grandsons, Casey Shawn Allen, Ron Allen, Brady Allen, Bryan Holder, Eric Holderby, and nephew Jimmy Don Moran Jr. Honorary pallbearers are her dear brothers-in-Christ, Bill Jarard, Glenn Macomb, Gene Cocker, David Johnston, Carl Gibson, Sam Lane, Andy Simmons, and Paul Erickson.

The family will receive friends Monday, June 3, 2013 at Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

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Photo of Pete Plunkett


Emmitt “Pete” C. Plunkett (1929-2013), Houseparent

Emmitt “Pete” Calvin Plunkett entered Heaven’s gates on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the age of 83. Pete was born December 14, 1929 in Vian, Oklahoma to Robert Marion Plunkett and Maudie Tackett Plunkett. He grew up in Wetumka later moving to Choska Bottoms in Haskell, Oklahoma where he attended school. Pete was a proud member of the 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army serving in the Korean War. He later received an honorable discharge in April 1952. Pete returned home to Porter, Oklahoma where he began courting Ms. Evelyn Stockton. It wouldn’t take long before Pete knew she was the one. He married his true love on July 8, 1952 in Van Buren, Arkansas; celebrating 60 years of marriage.

Pete worked as the service manager for Goodyear Tire Company from which he retired after 20 years of service. He would later work for Parkview-Oklahoma School for the Blind where he made many friends with the school kids, helping them in any way he could.

Pete was a faithful and active member of Keefeton Freewill Baptist Church. He also served as a board member on the Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department and a former board member of Rural Water District #5.
Pete will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Leland, Raymond, and Wilby.
Pete is survived by his wife, Evelyn, of the home; three sons, Gary Plunkett and wife, Diane, Terry (Speck) Plunkett and wife, Jan, all of Muskogee; Mike Plunkett and wife, Lisa of Wagoner; grandchildren, Kara Plunkett Webster and husband, Danny, Gary Don Plunkett, Jeff Plunkett and wife, Amy, David Fuller, Karri Parker and husband, Roy, Jeff Fuller, Maye Lynn Kirk, Cody Plunkett, Michelle Plunkett Rogers and husband, Michael, Emily Jane Roebuck and husband, Jim; 16 great grandchildren; sister, Mary Lou Plunkett Reese and husband, Ralph of Lampasas, TX; brother, Bobby Joe Plunkett; numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and friends, who he loved like family.

The Plunkett family will receive friends and visitors from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 30, 2013 at Cornerstone Funeral Home.
Funeral services celebrating Pete’s life will be 2:00 p.m., Monday, July 1, 2013 at Keefeton Freewill Baptist Church with Pastor Danny Barks, Dr. Steven Rose, and Rev. Jim Roebuck officiating. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery with Full Military Honors. Pallbearers will be Cody Plunkett, Troy Thornton, Jeff Plunkett, David Barks, Gary Don Plunkett, and David Crossland. Honorary pallbearers will be Judd Scott, Jake Lawson, Jake Walker, Greg Blankenship, Robert Plunkett, Truman Webb, Steve Merrill, Raymond Bray, and all Keefeton Volunteer Firefighters.

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Photo of Opal Lucille Rouse


Opal Lucille Rouse, (1921 – 2014)

Funeral services for Opal Lucille Rouse, 92, of Muskogee, OK, will be held at 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home Chapel in Muskogee with Brother Larry Ford officiating. Pallbearers will be Ashton Arric, Greg Standifer, Kevin Summerhill, Ryan Summerhill, Gaige Standifer, Tony Voigt, and Sean Johnsey. Burial will be in Greenhill Cemetery.

Lucille was born June 11, 1921 at Rudy, AR, the daughter of James and Martha (Harris) Stills and died Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at Muskogee. She married Lester Rouse on October 4, 1947 in Wagoner, OK. She was a member of Church Central, and retired from the Oklahoma School for the Blind.

Survivors include her children, Frankie Anna Lauderdale Lucas of Hawaii, Lester Ray Rouse of Muskogee, Chester “Jay” Rouse of Pryor; ten grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter, grandson, and three great-grandchildren.

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