Tue. Jun 21, 2016 obituaries

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Mary Loretta Shearrer, 91 longtime resident of Muskogee, entered Heaven's gates Sunday, June 19, 2016. Loretta, as her family and friends knew her by, was born December 28, 1924 in Kiowa, OK to Alfred and Francis Elnora (Marsee) Smith. At an early age her family moved to Muskogee, OK. She grew up in Muskogee and graduated from Central High School with the class of 1942. On January 3, 1943, Loretta married the love of her life, Louis Cleveland Shearrer, in Muskogee. Together they shared over 48 years of marriage and life together. After Louis's honorable discharge from the United States Coast Guard, they made their home in Muskogee and raised their family. Loretta worked with Muskogee Regional Medical Center for many years as a Unit Clerk, retiring in 1990. Louis was called to be a pastor with the Pentecostal faith and was at Grandview Chapel, and Mary helped him with his ministry. She enjoyed being a pastor's wife. Her family recalls Loretta's hobbies included cooking, attending Church and spending time with family and friends. She was loved by all who knew her and will be dearly missed. She is preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Francis Smith; her husband, Louis Shearrer; her siblings, Wyman, Leona, Carl, Elnora and Mildred. Loretta is survived by her children, Janice Ross of San Antonio, TX and Michael Shearrer of Muskogee, OK; her grandchildren, John Shannon Shearrer of Muskogee, Jim Wall and wife Cathy of San Antonio, TX, Denice Fryar and husband Kelley of San Antonio, TX; her great grandchildren, Britni Wall, Brandi Wall, Bradlie Wall, Ashley Fryar, Ridge Fryar and wife Taylor all of San Antonio, TX, Katlynd Shearrer, Christian Shearrer, and Kelsey Shearrer all of Muskogee; her two great great grandsons of San Antonio, TX; other family members and friends. A celebration of Loretta's life will be 11:00 AM Friday, June 24, 2016 at the Committal Shelter of Fort Gibson National Cemetery with Minister John Trent officiating.


Mrs. Lois Jean Burkhalter, after 74 years, "breathed her last on Earth" Tuesday morning, June 14, 2016 from Muskogee, Oklahoma.

On January 10, 1942, in Rentiesville, Oklahoma near Checotah, a baby girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Ragsdale. They named her Lois Jean. Shortly after her birth, her mother moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma. There, she attended Dunbar Elementary School, Sadler Jr. High School and Manual Training High School, where she graduated witht he Class of 1959.

The family united with Metropolitan Baptist Church, and after her schooling, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she married Earl Thurston. To this union, six children were born. She later moved back to Muskogee after the marriage was dissolved.

In 2004, she united in Holy Matrimony to Doyle Burkhalter, Sr. They joined Historic First Baptist Church in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma and later moved to Wagoner, Oklahoma, where she resided until her death.

She was preceded in death by her father, J. W. Ragsdale, her mother, Laura [Walters] Ragsdale, and a sister, Mary Ellen Johnson.

She leaves in God's care; her devoted husband, Doyle Burkhalter, of the home in Wagoner, Oklahoma; four daughters and two sons, Valerie Thurston, Muskogee, Richard Thurston, Muskogee, Jacquelyn Blue [Terry], Fort Gibson, Antonio Thurston [Phillis], Muskogee, Karen Thurston, Tulsa and Deirdra Savage [Darrin], Kansas City, Missouri; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; three brothers, Charles Ragsdale [Polly], Tulsa, Oklahoma, Isaac Ragsdale [Lea], Las Vegas, Nevada and David Ragsdale, Sr.[Celestine], Muskogee, Oklahoma; along with a host of other relatives and friends.

The Sacred Farewell for Mrs. Burkhalter will commence on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in the most Holy sanctuary of the Saint Mark Baptist Church. Reverend Rodger LB Cutler is the gracious host Pastor and Reverend Marcus Burkhalter, Pastor of Historic First Baptist Church of Fort Gibson, will officiate.

Burial will follow in the Booker T. Washington Cemetery in Muskogee.

You may visit Lois, as she slumbers in sweet repose at the funeral home on Sunday from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.

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