Monday, December 17, 2018

Irma Swartz


Irma (78) had been ill for some time & when she was admitted into Hospice, her family was with her, were able to say their goodbyes, recited her favorite prayer out loud, ‘The Lords Prayer’, played her favorite song so she could hear it & she passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 5, 2018. 

Irma has a lifelong love & passion for dogs, painting, reading, football, baseball, Red Tailed Hawks and her AA & Al-Anon family. We enjoyed a family ritual of going to the horse races every Mother’s Day. 

This is a quote from one of her dear friends, “She was such an important part of the recovery community, in Enid. She helped start the Inner Joy Al Anon group, was part of the founding group that brought the Heart to Heart women’s retreat to NW OK, in Guthrie. The retreats have been going strong since 1986! She was a blessing to many. My children said they can still hear her voice and laugh & Irma sponsored many. When she moved to KS, we had a going away picnic that pretty much filled the south side of Meadowlake Park! We loved her so!!”

Irma loved the words to the song, ‘The Time of My Life’, & wanted all of her friends & family to hear it & know how much you meant to her. When you play it, think of her & know that she loved you. 

Irma was preceded in death by her father, Elbert R. French (68) and mother, Sarah Bernice French (72), from Phoenix, AZ, and her beloved grandson, SSgt Chad Carter Strohmeyer (31), from Broken Arrow, OK. 

Irma is survived by, her daughter, Carla Strohmeyer and son in law, Shawn Strohmeyer in Big Cedar, OK. Granddaughter, Shay Strohmeyer in Tulsa, OK, Great Granddaughter, Adreena Carla Ahn-Strohmeyer & her mother Seonim Tina Ahn Strohmeyer, in Seoul, South Korea. Her son Clay Hochwender, in San Antonio, TX, daughter in law, Janna Hochwender & grandson Cooper Hochwender in New Braunfels, TX. Her stepson Mitch Swartz and his wife Tammy Swartz, in Kansas City, KS. 

There will be a celebration of life for Irma, held at the 580 Coffeehouse in the private room, in Enid, OK, on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at noon, 12:00 pm, for all of Irma’s beloved friends & family. 


Anita Jo Sutter


Anita Jo Sutter, 56, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Ft. Smith, AR.  Anita was born April 26, 1962 in Poteau, OK to Tommy & Christine (Fair) Hastings.  She was Director of Admissions at CASC.  Anita was preceded in death by her parents & brother, Tommy Allen Hastings.

          Survivors include her daughters, Kristin Sutter & Brooklyn Sutter, Jodi Renae Sutter-Ramirez and husband, Leovigildo, Kayla Sutter & Tallon Wright; grandchildren, Jacqueline & Leonel Enrique Ramirez; brother James Hastings; former husband, Oran Sutter; other relatives, loved ones and friends.

           Memorial services will be 1 pm, Thursday, December 20, 2018 at CASC Auditorium, Poteau with Nicholas Hess officiating.


Lee Oda Long Wells ** see location of svc


         Lee Oda Long Wells, 79, of Talihina, OK passed away Friday, December 14, 2018, after months of illness, surrounded by loved ones and caregivers.  Lee Oda was born to Herman & Edith Woolsey Long at their home in Tuskahoma on May 25, 1939.  She was raised in the Tuskahoma area with 6 sisters & 4 brothers.  She graduated from Tuskahoma High School.  In 1961 she met and married Glover Wells.  They lived in the Honobia/Smithville area helping each other raise their children John & Dorothy.  After son Haskell was born they moved to Safford, AZ where farm life helped Lee do the things she loved: gardening, canning and preserving food.  She loved quilting, an art she learned from her mother, grandmother & aunts. These ladies were strong, loving role models for Lee Oda and they never left her mind and heart.  She was fortunate to make friends in  Arizona who loved the same crafts she did.  Many friends helped her learn new crafts that she shared with everyone.  She loved crocheting, knitting, making clothes, dancing, music, reading & playing canasta with her friends and family.  She could fish & camp with the best of them.  Her younger siblings looked up to her as a second mother.  She loved her family with no bounds.  In the late 90’s she and Glover moved back to Oklahoma and lived in Albion until Glover passed away.

            Lee Oda renewed old friendships & moved to Poteau, then back to Talihina where she lived at Talihina Manor; when she moved back to Talihina in July she said, “I am back home”.   She was there for only a few months but she kept her ability to love & be loved by just about anyone that met her.

            She loved her grandchildren  & great grandchildren.  She was especially close to her sisters & nieces looking forward to their visits, love and care.  She loved telling stories about her and her brothers.

            Survivors include her sons, John & Haskell Wells of Safford, AZ; daughter Dorothy of Poteau; grandchildren & great grandchildren, nieces & nephews; brothers, R.L. Long of Albion, Carroll Long of McAlester, Clyde Long of Talihina & Elmer Long of Albion; sisters, Doris Wells of Safford, AZ, Gloria Jean Duncan of Tuskahoma, Gail Hotella of Albion, Alberta White & Pat Wells of Talihina.  She was preceded in death by her baby sister, Trecia Long, a grief she carried every day.

            Lee Oda’s family sends their heartfelt thank you to Talihina Manor caregivers & staff.  You gave loved and care when our mother needed it.   Thank you to Heart of Hospice for all you did for our family.  Thank you Choctaw Nation doctors for not being afraid to comfort her and her family.  Evans & Miller, Jim Cook & staff help to alleviate the pain of this event in our lives. You have a special place in our hearts.  May God Bless all of you for your compassion, patience, understanding care and love.  It will never be forgotten

            Memorial services will be 10 am, Tuesday, December 18, 2018,Valley Christian Church in Talihina.

Elton "Chouchie" Johnson


Elton “Chouchie” Johnson, 81, of Wister, OK passed away Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Wister surrounded by his loving family.  Elton was born March 24, 1937 in Kennedy, OK to G.O. “Otto” & Gracie Mae (Calloway) Johnson.  He was a veteran of the US Army.  He  loved his family, friends and his church family.  He was a hunter and fisherman.  He lit up every room he entered with his smile; he was always pestering someone.  Elton always praised the Lord and blessed the food at gatherings.  He was preceded in death by his daughters, Cheryl Seagraves & infant Mary Frances; his parents; 4 brothers, John, Tony, David & George; 2 sisters, Linda Fite & Nancy Butler.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 59 years, Pat; son, Michael Johnson of Monroe, OH; daughter, Michelle & Richard Gibson of Wister, OK; 8 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandchild:  Joshua & Jaclyn Gibson, Cheyenne, Lillie & Jonathan, Rachel & Justin Kelley, Grant, Madison & Natalie, Ms. Sarah Terry, Mercedes, Gracie, Britney & Stormie, Jeremiah Johnson & son Jeremiah Paul, Matthew & Tausha Johnson, Braxton, Mattox, Mason & Hudson, Lester James Seagraves II of Fayetteville, AR, Ms. Amanda Weaver, Lexi, Bethany, Brandon & Jaxon Cole, Rebecca & Robert Stubbs of Fayetteville, Beto Johnson & son Carter; sisters, Bobby Garner of Wister, Doris & Ron Shelton of Shady Point; brothers Leo & Marianne of McAllen, TX, Dennis of Sallisaw; sisters in law, Joan, Anna & Nina Johnson; other relatives, loved ones and friends.
Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at the Church of the Nazarene, Wister, OK with Pastor Jerry Townley officiating.  Burial will follow in Ellis Chapel Cemetery.    Pallbearers will be Joshua Gibson, Lester Seagraves II, Matthew Johnson, Beto Johnson, Brandon Weaver II, Braxton Johnson.  Honorary pallbearers will be Jonathan Gibson, Mattox Johnson, Mason Johnson, Grant Kelley, Jeremiah Paul Johnson, Jaxon Cole and Hudson Johnson.
In lieu to flowers please make donations to the Alzheimers Foundation or Gideon Bibles.
          The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Merle Searles



          Onita Merle Searles, 89, recently of Morgantown, WV and formerly of Cameron, OK, passed away on Friday, December 14, 2018 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown after a brief illness.
      Merle was born on August 9, 1929 in Lodi, OK to the late Newton Oscar and Myrtle (Midgley) Hill.  She grew up in Poteau, OK and went to work at Central National Bank in Poteau as a teller.  While working there, she met the love of her life, Clarence Patrick “Pat” Searles. They married in 1951 and Merle followed Pat all over the world, living in Venezuela; Tripoli, Libya; Singapore; Bossier City, LA; and Bay City, TX.  After Pat retired from Dow Chemical in 1983, they moved to his farm near Cameron where they lived together until his death in 2017.  Merle continued living on their farm in Cameron until moving to Morgantown over Thanksgiving 2018.
        Merle was preceded in death by her loving husband of over 65 years, Clarence Patrick “Pat” Searles of Cameron, and by her brothers Jerry Thomas Hill and Charley Neal Hill.  She is survived by two daughters, Deborah Louise Spencer of Coventry, RI, and Patti Bradbury and husband John of Morgantown; two granddaughters, Kelly Spencer of Coventry, RI and Sirena Spencer of Tulsa, OK; one brother, Joe Hill and wife Sandra of Oklahoma City, OK; two sisters, Nona Carmack and husband Roy Don of Poteau, and Letha Pope and husband Buddy of Pocola, OK; and many other relatives, loved ones, and friends.
         Merle loved to cook wonderful meals and desserts for family and friends, who loved to eat them, as she was an excellent cook.  She also loved to make beautiful quilts and to play Uno, taking great delight in playing the “Wild Draw 4” card on her son-in-law John who she always managed to sit next to at the card table.  In her younger days she was an avid bridge player, photographer, and golfer.  She always took excellent care of her family as they lived in and travelled the world for many years before settling onto the farm in Cameron.  She nurtured many pet dogs (especially her border collie mix Perra), cats, and other animals (some exotic) over the years, including naming many of the cows that Pat raised on the farm for slaughter. Merle was especially devoted to her husband, Pat, and she missed him tremendously after he passed away last year.
           Merle’s family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, aides, and staff at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for their compassionate care of Merle.  Funeral services will be provided by Evans and Miller Funeral Home in Poteau. 
               Services will be 10 AM, Thursday, December 20, 2018 at First Baptist Church, Poteau.  The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 from 5-7 PM to visit with relatives and friends.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of choice.