Born Tuesday, April 17, 1923
Died Saturday, August 24, 2019
Our beloved Belle, 96, stopped ringing August 24, 2019 surrounded by family at her daughter’s home in Muskogee. She was born April 17, 1923 to Charles Brown and Edna Spurlock at home in Fort Gibson. The eldest of seven, she grew up a shy and hardworking farm girl. In her lifespan Belle endured the depression, dust bowl and war years that forever affected her values. She began a life and love of learning at home followed by her aunt’s teachings in a one room rural schoolhouse named for her Brown family. Encouraged in the company of her siblings, cousins and country neighbors, she thrived among them, gaining additional benefits of educational support through her Spurlock family. She joined the Fort Gibson Presbyterian church at age 12 and remained a faithful member into her nineties. Belle cared for both grandmothers while pursuing and finishing her education. She was part of the first class to graduate in 1941 from the newly WPA built high school. She furthered her education at Northeastern State College and Draughn’s Business school in Muskogee. Her initial work experience included USO Traveler’s Aid, OG&E, and the YWCA.
A chance meeting with Alvin Cahoon who was training with the Rainbow Division at Camp Gruber in the summer of 1943 led to a wartime courtship and marriage at Fort Gibson First Presbyterian Church on October 31, 1947. Al and Belle began their life together in Oklahoma City, moved East to Al’s home state of Massachusetts starting their family where all three children were born at Ft. Devens Army Hospital in Shirley, Mass. Unforeseen circumstances brought Belle back to Oklahoma where she continued raising her children in the same familiar surroundings where she was raised, providing a solid family and faith based foundation. Belle supported her family with the same determination and commitment she experienced in her childhood. As a Single Parent, with a nurturing spirit, she thrived with them and managed to attend and support most all activities. She retired as a legal secretary feeling grateful never having to interview for a job once during her career. She spent her remaining life traveling with her children and grandchildren. She loved poetry, music, reading, nature, solving puzzles, exploring and sharing in conversations. She will be remembered for her deep devotion and love of family and the countless friends she collected wherever she traveled. She genuinely loved meeting and sharing stories with everyone. Belle’s remarkable ability to recall life stories enhanced her love of genealogy. She was sincerely interested in everyone she met, always encouraging, supporting and validating them. Her memory was as deep as her contentment. She managed to thrive in spite of adversity or difficulty. She spent her life in service of others inspiring, encouraging and desiring the best for everyone. Friends describe her as optimistic, enthusiastic, hardworking, kind, compassionate, gentle with a beautiful smile and joyful spirit. The charity she expressed throughout her lifetime matched her huge and humble heart. Deeply contented until her life’s end, she never complained.
Belle is preceded in death by her husband, Alvin Cahoon; son, Charles Cahoon; sisters, Helen Castleberry, Edna Bastlanelli and Janie Cook; brother, Charles Brown; her parents, Charles and Edna Spurlock Brown.
Those left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Anne Marie Baldwin of Marina, CA and Carolyn Diane Watts and husband Bob of Muskogee, OK; granddaughters, Angela Rusher and husband Stephen of Moraga, CA and Dianna Vidales and husband Eloy of Concord, CA; great granddaughters, Avery and Willa Rusher of Moraga, CA., Arden Vidales of Concord, CA; brothers, Forrest David Brown and Dan ‘Mickey’ Brown both of Fort Gibson and a host of extended family and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly request memorial donations to the First Presbyterian Church @ PO Box 1563 Fort Gibson, OK 74434.
A visitation is planned for Friday, November 29, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Gibson with the family receiving friends 5PM-7PM.
A celebration of Belle’s life will be 1:00PM Saturday, November 30, 2019 in the Fort Gibson First United Methodist Church with Clergy, family and friends officiating. A social hour with refreshments will be immediately following Belle’s Life Celebration. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
The family of Belle C. (Brown) Cahoon has entrusted her cremation and memorial service to Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home, Fort Gibson. 918-478-2555.
Belle’s family would appreciate your thoughts and memories of her on our online condolence page @ clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com, as this would be most meaningful to them all.