Virgil Leroy Jones, a be- loved brother, uncle, cousin and friend to many, passed away Saturday, July 25, 2020, in the palliative care unit of Norman Regional Hospital. Born at home on the Flying V stock farm in Roger Mills County, near Leedey, to Wilbur Charless Jones and Mildred Christensen Jones on May 24, 1936, Virgil was a loving child from the start, helping his mother with his special needs sister, who was two years older.
Marva Jean Karber went to be with the Lord on July 31, 2020. She was able to join her Savior surrounded by her family while at home in Cheyenne, Oklahoma.
Dora Jane (Bentley) Williamson was born to Jay and Evelyn Bentley in Leedey, OK on July 24, 1948.
Kimberly Ann Smith Thompson AKA “Kim the Great” was born December 16,1970 in Sayre, OK. She entered the arms of Jesus on July 21, 2020 at the age of 49 years, 7 months, and 5 days in her home in Leedey
Gerald Wilson, 77, passed away on July 6, 2020 at his home in Ridgecrest, California after an 18 month battle with Mesothelioma. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
Jerry was born in a farmhouse in the countryside of Roger Mills County, Oklahoma to Lois Lorene (Nelson) Wilson and Clarence Melvin Wilson. It was a childhood spent in rural surroundings, enjoying horseback riding, rodeos, fishing, main street parades, and tending to the family farm with his sisters, Melvena and Sandy.
After graduating Leedey High School in 1960, Jerry enlisted in the Navy to “see the world.” For 20 years he did just that, traveling the seas on the USS Helena, USS Prairie, USS Constellation, USS Montgomery, and USS Galveston. He served 3 tours in Vietnam, earned an AS degree in Computer Technology, worked as an electrician, and proudly achieved the ranks of Master Chief and CWO2 during his military career.
On Valentine’s Day 1969 in San Diego, Jerry married Linda Gail Cunningham after meeting on a blind date two years earlier. Together they had two children: Julia Leigh, born in 1970; and Daniel Wayne, born in 1973. Like many navy families, they alternated between coasts — living in San Diego, then WV, then Santee, CA.
After Jerry’s retirement from the Navy in 1979, the family moved to Ridgecrest, CA where Jerry worked as an electrician for Kerr McGee Chemical Corp, and Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake. For the next 25 years, Jerry & Lyn called Ridgecrest home, raising their family here. Jerry was a member of the Elks and enjoyed the outdoors. Weekends were spent at the shooting range, fishing & camping at Lake Isabella & Pleasant Valley Reservoir, refurbishing cars, skeet & trap shooting, and climbing Rademacher Hills in his Bronco with the kids & dogs bouncing around the back seats!
In 2005, Jerry retired from China Lake. He and Lyn sold everything they owned, bought a new RV, and went traveling full time. They spent the next few years touring America, sightseeing our country’s landmarks. Along the way, they made life-long friends, visited family, played pool, played cards, took up karaoke, and walked their dogs in nearly every state.
After their travels, Jerry & Lyn settled down in Arizona, calling Casa Grande their home for a decade, then returned to Ridgecrest in 2019 to be closer to family. They remained in Ridgecrest until Jerry’s death, surrounded by loved ones.
Those who remember Jerry know that he possessed an engaging wit that was part Irish charm, part farm boy orneriness, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye! He was an infamous wise-crack, befriending & building rapport with those he encountered. Jerry had a fondness for genealogy, watching old westerns, and doting on his dogs who were always beside him, even at the end. If he was driving, the radio was on and it was loud! He loved going out to dinner with family & friends, followed by hot fudge sundaes and generous tips. He adored his grandkids, and regaled them with stories from his youth spent on the farm & on the seas. Some of the happiest years of his life were spent with Lyn in the RV, traveling America. They were married for 51 years.
Dad, we hold close your favorite line of poetry: “For all your days prepare, and meet them ever alike: When you are the anvil, bear – When you are the hammer, strike.” Today, we bear. Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Lyn; daughter Julie Bradford (husband John, grandkids Matthew & Laura Bradford) of Ridgecrest; son Dan Wilson (wife Kristi, grandson Kyle) of Sterling, VA; daughter from a previous marriage Susan Craighead (grandkids Kimber & Kamber Craighead) of OK; his sisters Melvena Allen of AZ and Sandra Hampton of TX; and many nieces & nephews. Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father, as well as grandson Ryan Craighead of Oklahoma.
The family wishes to thank Oasis Hospice for their assistance & comfort during Jerry’s final months.
As per Jerry’s wishes, no memorial service will be held except for a private graveside ceremony with immediate family. His ashes will be interred at Desert Memorial Park in Ridgecrest, CA.
Jessie “Arlita” (Crispin) Ferrell, 94-year-old resident of Hennessey, OK and longtime resident of Leedey, OK. She moved to Hennessey, OK in 2011and passed from this life on July 16, 2020 in her home surrounded by family. Arlita was born December 25, 1925 to Wallace E. and Blanche Velma (Elder) Crispin on the homestead in Aledo, OK. She attended Putnam High School where she graduated as Valedictorian of the class of 1942.
On February 14, 1946, Arlita married Floy W. Ferrell and to this union three sons were born William Edward, Calvin Loyd, and Eldon Leo. The family made their home in the Leedey area and Arlita kept up the home and worked right alongside Floy running the ranch. In 1948 Arlita was baptized at the Leedey church of Christ and was a faithful Christian her entire life. She attended the Leedey church of Christ and the Hennessey church of Christ. After Floy’s passing, she continued living at Leedey where she was actively involved in the community.
Arlita taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at church. She was in the quilting club and was known for her embroidery skills in making tea towels, baby quilts, and wall hangings for all her family and friends. She was also involved in the American Legion Auxiliary and worked for the Local Election Board. Arlita was very proud of her children, grandchildren and was looking forward to her great grandchildren’s accomplishments and the different careers each would choose.
Arlita is preceded in death by her husband Floy W. Ferrell, parents Wallace and Blanche Crispin, two sisters Ethel Hadley and Lois Case, two brothers Carroll Crispin and Cecil Crispin, two grandsons Timothy Edward Ferrell and Adam Wade Ferrell.
She is survived by her three sons Edward Ferrell and wife Sandra of Hennessey, OK, Calvin Ferrell and wife Nancy of Saronville, NE, and Eldon Ferrell and wife Dixie of Leedey, OK; eight grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and a host of friends. Memorials may be made to the Rhea Cemetery in care of Shaw Funeral Home, P.O. Box 276, Vici, OK 73859.
Services were held Sunday July 19, 2020 at 3:00 pm at the Church of Christ, Leedey, OK with burial following at Rhea Cemetery, Leedey, OK. Condolences may be made to the family at shawfuneralhome.net. Shaw Funeral Home of Leedey
Charles Eugene ‘Charlie’ Hickman was born April 20, 1957 at San Antonio, TX. and passed from this life July 6, 2020 at the age of 63 years, 2 months and 16 days at Mooreland, OK. He was the son of Mary Ann Davis Hickman and Lewis Jackson Hickman, Sr.
The family moved to Leedey, OK. and Charlie attended High School in the Leedey Public Schools. For two years he attended the Burns Flat, OK. campus of the Western Technology Center. He completed courses in the field of automotive mechanics and automotive body repair. In 1977 he was married to Rachel Ray at Butler, OK. and they were blessed with a daughter, Emily. At Wheeler, TX. on October 6, 1988 Charlie was united in marriage to Kathy Ray and two daughters, Amanda and Alanis blessed their home in Leedey, OK.
Charlie was a baptized member of the Leedey First Baptist Church. He was a fan of conservative political commentator, Glen Beck and the Republican party. He is preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Mary Ann Hickman, Sr., an infant brother Edward Lee and an infant grandson, Calum James Yelle.
His memory is cherished by his daughters, Amanda Knox and Jack of Mooreland, OK., Emily Lee and Jason of Enid, OK. and Alanis Yelle and Jakob of Goldboro, N.C; two sisters Nora Koch and husband Boyd and Pat Hickman; one brother Jack Hickman; seven grandchildren, one great grandchild, and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Memorial services were held Saturday July 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Shaw Funeral Home Chapel in Leedey, OK. Condolences may be made to the family at shawfuneralhome.net. Shaw Funeral Home of Leedey.
Helen Smith was born June 14, 1921 in Riverside, California to Alta Floice (Boone) and Hugh Randolph Nabors. She passed away Sunday, July 5, 2020 at Sayre, Oklahoma at the age of 99 years and 21 days.
Helen moved with her family as a young child from Riverside, California to the Dempsey community where she attended school at Reydon schools. She completed her schooling and graduated in May of 1939. After graduation she remained with her family and helped on the farm until she was married to Hugh Edward “H.E.” Smith in Cheyenne, Oklahoma on September 16, 1941. Together they made their home in the Dempsey and Sweetwater communities. While she was raising her children she found employment with the Sweetwater schools working in the school cafeteria. For the next 30+ years she continued there and became supervisor upon her retirement. One of Helen’s greatest accomplishments was making sure that the people of Sweetwater received greeting cards for their birthday, at Christmas, during times of sorrow, and if they were feeling under the weather. Helen spent several hours a week getting her cards ready to mail. Helen was a member of the Sweetwater Baptist Church and enjoyed attending worship services, reading and cooking for her family and friends.
Helen is preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter, Debbie Anderson; grandson, Daniel Smith; brother, Pete Nabors and sister, Betty Barker. She is survived by son, Donnie Smith and wife, Carolyn, Erick, OK; two daughters, Judy Hutchinson and husband, James, Kingfisher, OK and Millie Greene, Sayre, OK; son-inlaw, Pat Anderson, Sweetwater, OK; sister-in-law, Athena Nabors, Colorado City, CO; seven grandchildren, Micheal Smith and wife, Shelia, Elk City, OK, Felicia Barrera and husband, Ivan, Elk City, OK, Todd Hutchinson, Kingfisher, OK, Jerilyn Johnson and husband, David, Kingfisher, OK, Jamie and husband Robert Wilcheck, Richmond, VA, Shannon Yowell and husband, Jared, Sweetwater, OK, Kristen Woodruff and Jason Bohannon of Sayre, OK; fourteen great grandchildren; special friend, Jan Henson, along with a host of longtime friends, neighbors and other relatives.
Services will be held Thursday July 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Sweetwater First Baptist Church officiated by Greg Henson and Rev. Bill Smithey. Burial will be immediately following at Buffalo Cemetery under the direction of Chris Whinery and staff of Affordable Cremation Service – West. Condolences can be made online at www.classicfunerals.com.
Suzann would play the piano with such feeling and inspiration that she could bring tears to the eyes of her listeners. She freely shared her gift of music by playing in church for the past 36 years. She was so dedicated to this service that she continued to play the last five years of her life, even while she endured chemotherapy, fighting advanced stage cancer.
Suzann Marie Lewis was born on August 22, 1955, to Archie Martin Lewis and Mildred Marie Hartley of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and passed away to be with her Lord on June 30, 2020. She grew up in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, going to church, was active in the Girl Scouts, and graduated from Pauls Valley High School. Following high school, she worked her way through El Reno, Junior College (now Redlands Community College), and graduated with an Associates in Arts Degree, with distinction. She began her career as a legal assistant working in a law office in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and later graduated from the Oklahoma University Law Center Paralegal Program. In 1982 Suzann met a young Assistant District Attorney who would become the love of her life. Pat VerSteeg and Suzann Lewis were married in May of 1983 and shared a wonderful life, raising two very caring and talented children, Jami and Patrick.
In 1991 Suzann began her career in public service in the Durant District Attorney’s Office and later worked in the Sayre and Cheyenne District Attorney’s Office, retiring in 2016 after 27 years. In the course of her state service she received numerous honors for her outstanding work. She was active in the Cheyenne Eastern Star chapter, serving as its Organist for many years. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of The Metcalf Museum and Break ‘O Day Farm for many years, serving as the Board’s secretary for most of those years. She was active socially attending many community events such as the Dempsey Community Social and the 2nd Sunday Poetry Club. She is an active member of the Cheyenne Methodist church and has served on numerous church committees. She organized the Methodist Church Bell Choir and served as its director until recently. She loved the bell choir, singing in the choir, and serving as the church pianist. She was always was willing to serve as an accompanist to the choir or encouraging young people to develop their skills to play in church.
She loved traveling the world with Pat. Her favorite activity was being grandma to grandchildren Keelyn and Daniel. While she courageously battled the cancer that she knew would rob her of years, she never lost sight of living each day to the fullest. She faced her challenges with faith, grace, and dignity. She was fond of saying, “I have peace because it is well with my soul.” Suzann is preceded in death by her father, Archie Lewis.
She is survived by her husband, Judge Pat Ver- Steeg of the home; daughter, Jami Bohanan, granddaughter, Keelyn, of Gilbert, Arizona; Patrick VerSteeg (wife Brandi) grandson, Daniel, of Troy, Illinois; mother, Mildred Lewis of Mt. Pleasant, Texas; brother, Marty Lewis (wife Bobbie); “adopted” sister, JoRetta Morris of Sulphur, Oklahoma; and a host of relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made in Suzann’s honor to the Methodist Sack Lunch Ministry or the Cheyenne Education Foundation.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Cheyenne First United Methodist Church on Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. All are invited to make expressions of condolences at www.classicfunerals.com and the Memorial Service will be streamed on the Affordable Cremation Service – West Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ Affordable-Cremation-Service- West.
In order to protect all concerned and comply with CDC guidelines all attendees will be required to wear masks while in the building.
William (“Bill”) D. Kendall died peacefully on June 7, 2020 in Aurora, CO and has now rejoined Phyllis (Cottrill) Kendall, his wife and love of his life, who died in 2012.
Bill was born in Cheyenne, OK on September 10, 1928. He joined the service after high school and later received his Geology degree from the University of Oklahoma, leading to a long career in the oil and gas industry. Bill was a kind, gentle soul who enjoyed the outdoors through his favorite pastime of fly fishing and mountain hikes with Phyllis.
Bill is survived by nieces and nephews Judith Sempson and Jennifer Johnson, of Denver; Craig Cottrill, Susan Albayya, and Catherine Cottrill, all of Michigan. He is preceded in death by nephews Doug and Greg Shelton of Oklahoma. Bill will be interred with Phyllis in a private service at Christ Episcopal Church in Denver. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to his church, christchurchdenver.org or The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, Canaan in the Desert, canaaninthedesert.com.