Miscellaneous Payne County, Oklahoma Obituaries


First Name:
Last Name:
George Smith

George Smith, 93, died on Thursday, April 5, 2001, in Enid. He was a former longtime resident of Cushing.
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Fairlawn Cemetery. The Rev. Larry Eslinger, Mehan Union Church minister, will officiate. Services are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home.
Smith was born on Nov. 18, 1907 in Gainesville, Mo., to Martin Matthew Smith and Rosie Isabell Robison Smith. He came to the Council Valley community with his parents and family in 1919. He was united in marriage to Alta E. Tilley on June 7, 1939. She preceded him in death in December 1994.
He farmed for many years in Payne County and he also worked in construction. He retired in 1969 from the Cushing Grocery Wholesale where he returned to farming.
Smith is preceded in death by his parents, wife, five brothers, five sisters, and one great-grandson.
He is survived by his children, Frank Smith and wife Juanita, Muskogee; Jack Smith, Ft. Collins, Colo.; Gary Smith and wife Marlene, Stillwater; Betty Ruth Andrus, Bakersfield, Calif.; Georgia Miranda, Victorville, Calif.; grandchildren, Karen, Anna, Norma, Anissa, Melany, Josh, Eric, Michelle, Marilyn, Cathy, and Bobby; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Chapter Alzeimer’s Association, 6465 S. Yale, Suite 206, Tulsa, OK, 74136, or obtain the forms in the office of the Davis Funeral Home. 

Zella Eppler-Littlesun
Zella Eppler-Littlesun, 65, died Saturday, April 7, 2001, in Tulsa. 
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Pawnee Indian Baptist Church with the Revs. Duane Pratt and Bruce Pratt officiating. 

Interment will be in North Indian Cemetery under the direction of Poteet Funeral Home of Pawnee.

A lifelong resident of Pawnee, Eppler-Littlesun was born April 2, 1936, in Pawnee to Thomas and Cecelia (Grover) Hand.

She married Bob Littlesun on June 29, 1973, in Stillwater.

Eppler-Littlesun was a member of Pawnee Indian Baptist Church and Pawnee Indian War Mothers, Chapter 12.

She helped with the Pawnee PowWow Homecoming Book and served as treasurer of the Veterans Monument Committee. She worked with the youth in the Boxing Club and officiated AAU Golden Gloves.

Eppler-Littlesun retired from Munsingwear as a seamstress.

She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her home was always open to everyone.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by two brothers, George and Thomas Hand; four sisters, Ruby, Ruth, Christine and Molly; and one grandson, Zachary Rice.

Survivors include her husband of Pawnee; three children, V. Thomas Eppler of Anchorage, Alaska, and John Eppler and Leslie Rice, both of Morrison; two brothers, Leslie Hand of Pawnee and Marvin Hand of Lexington; and four sisters, Verlas Hawkins of Pawnee, Eva Hill of Crow Agency, Mont., and Phyllis Morales and Pauline Cox, both of Lawton. 

Eppler-Littlesun is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Joey, Devine, Osheana and Rhonda; two brothers-in-law, Bill Littlesun and James Littlesun; one sister-in-law, Colleen Hendrich; and many other relatives and friends. 


Oda Owen Ashcraft
Former Yale resident Oda Owen Ashcraft, 93, Sapulpa, died Friday, April 6, 2001, in Ranch Terrace Nursing Home in Sapulpa. 

Graveside services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday in Lawson Cemetery north of Yale. The Rev. Harley Hunt will officiate. 

Services are under the direction of Yale-Palmer Funeral Home.

Ashcraft was born Feb. 16, 1908, in Missouri to Robert Henry and Carrie (Adkinson) Ashcraft.

He married Dollie Bernice Bickell on Oct. 9, 1928, in Stillwater. They made their first home in Yale and lived there until moving to Sapulpa in 1957.

Ashcraft was a farmer and also worked in the oil fields. He served in the U.S. Army and was a World War II veteran.

He was predeceased by his wife, Bernice; two sons, Oda Warren Ashcraft and Lonnie David Ashcraft; and two brothers, Joe Ashcraft and Robert Ashcraft. 

Ashcraft is survived by two daughters-in-law, Darlene Barnes of Joplin, Mo., and Nellie Ashcraft of Hennessey; five grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. 


Jesse L. James
Jesse L. James, 60, Coyle, died Friday, April 6, 2001, in his home. 

Graveside services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday in Marena Cemetery. The Rev. Randal Boyce will officiate. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Strode Funeral Home.

James was born July 19, 1940, in Tularosa, N.M., to Claude and Loice (Harrell) James. He attended school in Yale and Fairfax.

He married Sandra Rogers on Aug. 15, 1959, in Las Vegas, Nev. The couple later divorced.

James married Dena LaNeave on Dec. 28, 1977, in Kermit, Texas.

James lived in Arcadia, Calif., and later moved to Jal, N.M., where he worked for a chain link company, Durai Fence Co.

He married his second wife and then worked for B.M. Well Service Co. The couple moved to Coyle in 1984.

James’ greatest joy in life was spending time with his children.

He was predeceased by his mother, Loice Goforth; his father; his stepfather; two brothers, Gene James of Dallas and Frank James of Coyle; and one granddaughter.

He is survived by his wife, Dena James; one daughter Elena Ann Garner of Cushing; five sons, Jesse V. James of Tecumseh, Emery Dee James of Arkansas City, Kan., Larry D. James of Hobbs, N.M., and Joshua James and Justen James, both of Coyle; and one brother Bill James of Jal, N.M.

James is also survived by his grandmother, Delia Howze of Cottonwood, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; four maternal aunts; one maternal uncle; and three paternal uncles.

Harold Holinsworth
Harold Eugene Holinsworth, 76, died Monday, April 9, 2001, in his home at 1201 S. Fern. A memorial service will be Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Colonial Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Tom Kirby officiating. Holinsworth was born Sept. 30, 1924, to John Wiseman Holinsworth and Clara Arena (Sparks) Holinsworth in Newkirk. He married Betty Louvenia Kirby on Jan. 23, 1943, at the Lost Creek Parsonage south of Stillwater. 
Holinsworth was a butcher by trade, salesman by heart and on the road for Old Gold Cigarettes in the 1950s. He and his wife Betty later started Harold’s Wholesale Candy and Tobaccos and Betty’s Homemade Sandwiches. 

In 1953, he bought Smith’s Cafe on Main Street in Stillwater from Charlie and Sue Smith. The building, which was later The Hub Restaurant was eventually sold to Stillwater National Bank. He and Betty expanded to the Spudnut Shop, The Chalet Restaurant and The Waffle Shop. Holinsworth and his wife stayed in the restaurant business at the Holiday Inn in Stillwater.

In 1969, they moved to Fayetteville, Ark., for a career in retail tires. Holinsworth briefly entered the world of financial planning for several years, then returned to the retail tire business in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1973.

He returned to Springdale, Ark., in 1983 to open Big 8 Tires. He and Betty sold that business and retired in 1992. They returned home to Stillwater in 1998.

Holinsworth was a member of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nev., and Springdale Christian Church in Springdale, Ark. He was also a past member of several Stillwater organizations: Lions, Toastmasters, Road Knights of Stillwater, Odd Fellows, the Moose Lodge and the Elks Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and two sisters.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, Stillwater; one son, H.E. and Donna Holinsworth, Humboldt, Kan.; three daughters, Yvonne and Bud Hornberger and Pam and Doug Roberson, all of Stillwater; and Daphne and Lyle Hoffman, Las Vegas, Nev.; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; 14 step grandchildren; 18 step great-grandchildren; two step great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Memorials may be sent to Judith Karman Hospice in Stillwater. 


Mary Hughes
Mary R. Hughes, 83, died Sunday, April 8, 2001, at her residence in Lincolnton, Ga. 

Graveside services, with Rev. Pierce Norman officiating, will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Pineview Memorial Gardens. 

Stephen D. Posey Funeral Home, 1307 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta, S.C. 29841 is directing the arrangements.

She was a native of Memphis, Tenn., and a former resident of North Augusta-Beech Island area. She lived in Lincolnton for the past 27 years.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church and the Lincolnton Women’s Methodist Guild.

Survivors include two sons, Robert K. Hughes, of Stillwater, and Richard W. Hughes, of Augusta, S.C.; two sisters, Emily Jane Browning, of Ecru, Ms., and Georgia Hollingsworth, of Memphis; five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. 

Memorials may be made to the Lincoln county Library, P.O. Box 310, Lincolnton, Ga. 30817. 


Ricky Hillhouse
Ricky Dale Hillhouse, 46, Ardmore, died Saturday, April 7, 2001, in Oklahoma City. 

Services are at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Assembly of God Church in Carney with Rev. Lonnie Donaldson of Newlife Assembly of God Church in Del City and Rev. Curt Bellinger of the Assembly of God Church in Carney. Interment will follow at the Carney Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Brown Funeral Home in Luther. 

Hillhouse was born April 20, 1954, in Henryetta. He graduated from Carney High School in 1972. Hillhouse married Debbie Denice Bailey June 7, 1974, at the Assembly of God Church in Carney with Rev. Lonnie Donaldson officiating. Hillhouse and his wife were blessed with two children. They made their first home in Carney with subsequent moves to Stillwater and Ponca City. In 1986, Hillhouse established Trim World, his own very successful business in the auto upholstery industry in Edmond. He and his family lived in Edmond until 1995 after which they moved to Ardmore.

He built another successful business, Ardmore Kawasaki. This business fulfilled the dream in which he could incorporate his lifelong interest and love of motorcycles and racing. He was a longtime member of the Texas Cross Country Racing Association. He annually sponsored association races in Ardmore.

He is preceded in death by his father, Lonnie Ray Hillhouse, and his mother, Geneva Martin Harless.

Hillhouse is survived by his wife, Debbie Hillhouse of the home; two children, Eric Dustin Hillhouse of the home; Erin Denise Hillhouse of the home; his father-in-law and mother in-law, Bobby and Carolyn (Shaver) Bailey, Carney; several brothers and sisters, two brothers and sisters-in-laws, Cliff and Carrie (Bailey) Alford, Carney; Darrell and Tammy (Boudreau) Bailey, Carney; many nieces and nephews including Brian and Denise (Alford) Buntin, Kyle and Amy (Hale) Alford; and Brandi, Brianna and Bobby Jo Bailey; Matthew and Rachel Buntin; Shae and Kylie Alford, all of Carney, as well as a host of other family and friends.

Thelma Beard
Thelma Faye Beard, 75, Stillwater, died Tuesday, April 10, 2001, at Stillwater Medical Center. 
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Strode Chapel. William Vance will officiate. Interment will be at the Fairlawn Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Strode Funeral Home. 

Beard was born Dec. 15, 1925, in Three Sands to Thomas William and Dorcas Ruth (Bankston) Clark. She married John Lambert but the couple divorced. She then married Charles “Bill” Beard in 1947. Beard was a very spiritual person, very unselfish and compassionate. She loved life. She was a practical joker. She was always singing and enjoyed flowers. She loved and enjoyed her extended family. She was a member of the Stillwater Hall Street Church of God.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, one daughter, Thelma Ruth Lambert; one sister, Rebecca Francis Dunlap; and one brother, William Harold Clark.

Beard is survived by her two sons, Johnny Lambert and wife Carolyn of Texas; Steven Beard, Tulsa; two daughters, Charlene Scull and husband, Lee of Colorado; Thelissa Martin, Stillwater; two brothers, T.W. Hesser and Wayne Eugene Clark; three sisters, Betty Lou Keith, Virginia Ruth Wilson and Patricia Ann Sissel; nine grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Her extended family were her many friends she had in Stillwater.

Lorene Battles
Lorene Keeler Battles, 80, died Wednesday April 11, 2001, at her home in Stillwater. 
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Stanley Warfield officiating. Private interment will be at Enid Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Strode Funeral Home. 

She was born Sept. 6, 1920, in Hunter to Emmanuel E. and Helen (Bunch) Wulz. She graduated from Hunter High School in 1938 and received her bachelors degree in 1942 from Oklahoma State University. She earned her master’s degree in home economics from OSU in 1958.

She married Clinton Keeler in Lamont Dec. 27, 1941. After his death Feb. 17 1979, she married Frank J. Battles, Jr. Sept. 6, 1986 in Stillwater.

During WW II she worked as a riveter for an aircraft factory. After the war, she lived in Minnesota as a homemaker and substitute teacher. She also lived in upstate New York before returning to Stillwater.

She joined the OSU faculty as a professor of home economics and received the Teacher of the Year Award. She retired in 1984. She was the author and editor of a collected volume of the history of the Home Economics School at OSU which was published in 1987. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989.

She had been a member of the First United Methodist Church since 1956, where she was a favorite teacher of the Richardson Sunday school class. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and PEO. She was a worldwide traveler and was gifted at sewing and writing poetry. She was a devoted mother and grandmother.

She was preceded in death by her parents and first husband.

Survivors include: her husband of the home; two sons, Dr. Gregory Keeler and his wife Judith of Bozeman, Mont. and Dr. Theodore Keeler and his wife Marjorie of El Cerrito, Calif.; three grandchildren, Daniel Keeler, Maxwell A. Keeler and Christopher D. Quinn; six step-grandchildren; one brother-in-law, Rev. Elon T. Keeler and his wife LoKiel of Stillwater and one niece and nephew.

Memorials may be made to the Lorene Battles Scholarship Fund, OSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076. 

Condolences may be e-mailed to the family at <strodefh@aol.com>. 


Rachel Potts
Rachel C. Potts, 99, died Tuesday, April 10, 2001, at Stillwater Medical Center. 

Services, with Rev. Bert Wise officiating, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Chapel of Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland. Interment will follow at Woodland Cemetery. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland.

She was born June 20, 1901, near Yale, Oklahoma Territory, to Henry Uel and Annie Elizabeth Caswell.

When she was a child Rachel moved often throughout Oklahoma and, for the most part, attended school at Greenwood School, south of Cleveland.

On Oct. 8, 1916, after she completed her education, she married John Frederick Potts in Terlton. The couple raised 10 children, Gene, Roy, Jerry, Paul, Bill, June, Peggy, Annabelle, Mary and Betsy.

The couple initially made their home in Terlton and later moved to an oil lease south of Cleveland. Later, they relocated to Mehan where they lived for nearly 13 years.

They were residing in Cleveland when John died June 14, 1960.

Rachel was a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She loved working with her hands, quilting and crocheting afghans even past the age of 90. She especially loved spending time with her family.

In addition to her husband she was predeceased by her parents, two brothers, Julius Friend and Robert Caswell, three sisters, Vida Pry, Anna Boyd and Ada Hudson Thomas, one son, Paul, a still born daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Survivors include four sons, Gene Potts, of Stillwater, Roy Potts and his wife, Ruth, of Lyons, Kan., Bill and Sami Potts, of Stillwater, and Jerry Potts and his wife, Jean Gay, of Glencoe; five daughters, June Bell, of Wichita, Kan., Peggy Prickett, of Stillwater, Annabelle Baker, of Glencoe, Mary Statom and her husband Tim, of Warrior, Ala. and Betsy Daniels, of Joplin, Mo.;

29 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. 

Robert Keating
Robert Dean Keating, 50, died Tuesday, April 10, 2001, at his Stillwater home. 
Services, with Rev. Emlyn A. Ott, Salem Lutheran Church and Kent Williams, Sunnybrook Christian Church officiating, will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at Colonial Chapel Funeral Home. 

Colonial Chapel Funeral Home is directing the arrangements.

He was born Nov. 11, 1950, in Barnard, Kan. to Robert and Thelma (Hickle) Keating.

He attended schools in the Barnard and Lincoln, Kan. areas. He served in the Army Security Agency and the Army Reserves.

He received his B.A. in English/journalism from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and received his M.S. in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University.

He married Sharon Edna Schonthaler in 1972. The couple had two children, Lori Joelle and Brent Daran Keating. The marriage ended in divorce.

He married Janice Renee DeMoss in 1995. This marriage ended in divorce.

He had been employed as the associate editor and managing editor of the High Plains Journal in Dodge City, Kan. and the managing editor of the press section for Agricultural Information Services at OSU. He was a member of the Agricultural Communicators in Education professional organization.

He was a member of Sunnybrook Christian Church.

In addition to his parents he was predeceased by a brother, Michael Keating.

Survivors include his son and daughter; a granddaughter, Scholar Rachel Keating; sisters, Janice Shirley, of Colorado, and Joyce Tolls, of Abilene, Kan.; a brother, Marvin Keating and his wife, Charlotte, of Minneapolis, Kan.; and seven nieces and four nephews. 

Memorials may be made in his name to Sunnybrook Christian Church, 421 E. Richmond, Stillwater, OK 74075 or Salem Lutheran Church, 101 S. Duck, Stillwater, OK 74074. 


Donald Branyan
Donald J. Branyan, 82, Cushing, died Wednesday, April 11, 2001. 

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Euchee Valley Memorial Park. Rev. Milo Steffen will officiate. Services are under the direction of Palmer Funeral Home. 

Branyan was born June 15, 1918, near Rattlesnake Hill in Hemphill County, Texas, to J. Thomas Branyan and Leona Branyan. He moved to Cushing as an infant and eventually attended Deep Rock School. He was proud of growing up in the company housing of the Deep Rock refinery. He was senior class president of Cushing High School in 1936. Branyan was a starter on the strong Cushing basketball teams of that era. He was an accomplished trombone player in the band. He attended Oklahoma University where he received his B.S. Degree in petroleum engineering and worked on his golf game.

In 1942, Branyan enlisted in the Army Air Corps and received his commission. He later became the chief engineering officer on the First Fighter Squadron of the Second Air Commando Group. The combat outfit flew P-51 Mustangs and served with distinction in Panama and the India-Burma theater in World War II. After the war, Branyan worked for Foster Drilling Company and Shell Pipeline before acquiring his own drilling company. He drilled wells in most of the oil provinces n the United States as well as supervising drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and England.

Branyan was a civic leader serving on the Cushing City Commission from 1960 to 1965. He served as Chairman of Commission for a number of years and was responsible for a number of major projects. He was an avid golfer, playing up to 54 holes a day numerous time. He served on the board of the Cushing Country Club and served as president. He scored two holes-in-one. Branyan was an avid private pilot with approximately 8,000 hours of flight time in his beloved Aero Commander, “Redbird.” Upon retirement, he acquired thoroughbred horses and enjoyed breeding and racing them. He was a great cook and enjoyed entertaining friends at his home.

Branyan marred Dorothea (Dot) Kerr June 26, 1948, and had four children. They were married for 48 years before she preceded him in death in 1996. 

He is survived by two sons, Tyson Branyan and wife Cathy, Cushing ; Tyrone Branyan, Cushing; two daughters, Lizabeth Branyan Mitchell and husband Matthew, Cushing; Valerie Branyan, Dallas, Texas; and grandchildren Tyler and Rachel Branyan, Cushing. 


Sally Long
Sally Lucille Long, 29, died Wednesday, April 11, 2001, in Pawnee. 

Graveside services will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Cemetery in Ralston with Rev. Rick Edwards officiating. Interment is under the direction of Poteet Funeral Home. 

She was born March 15, 1972, in Stilwell to Johnny Raymond and Wynona Sue (Perryman) Smith LeForce.

She was married to Jesse James Long May 6, 1986, in Pawnee. She lived in Ralston and the Pawnee area most of her life.

She worked at Southern Oaks, Click’s Steakhouse and was housekeeper supervisor at Mercury Marine. She enjoyed fishing, camping and embroidering. She was a member of Family Worship Center.

In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by one brother, Johnny Theodore Smith and one son, Frank James Long.

Survivors include her husband of Pawnee; her mother and step-father, Wynona Smith LeForce and Mike LeForce of Pawnee; her children, Jessica Long and Jackie Long, both of Pawnee and Kelly Smith, Wandy Smith, Johnny Smith and Wesley Smith, all of Sapulpa; grandparents, Fern and John Chambers of Ralston; two brothers, Raymond Smith of Broken Arrow and Nathaniel Smith and his wife of Lisa of Pawnee; two sisters, Rachael Perryman and Navanee Perryman of Colo. and a number of nieces and nephews.

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