September 26, 1931 - January 25, 2022
Mary Irene Coleman Lewis went to heaven on January 25th 2022. Now she is singing with the angels. Mary Irene Williams was the third of nine children born to Paul Williams and Violet Frances Cross Williams. Born in Cromwell Oklahoma on September 26, 1931 she spent most of her childhood in Okfuskee County. When she was a little girl she loved to help her mother with her little brothers and sisters, but she always claimed her favorite chore was sweeping the floor and the porch too. When she was 13 her father got a chance to farm 160 acres on third and fourths. A common practice back then where you paid the rent by giving the landlord a third of the feed crop and a fourth of the money crop. The farm, near a road on Buckeye Creek included a house, a barn, space for a garden and a few other outbuildings. Mary joined her older siblings Buddy and Jenny working on the farm and taking care of her younger brothers Donald and Burt. Buddy was the field boss and a firm taskmaster. He always set the pace for the other children and only occasionally stopped to rest or draw something in the dirt to illustrate something he wanted to explain to his brothers and sisters. When they did get some time to play one of the things they discovered not long after they moved there was a basketball court at Buckeye school. Buddy and Mary would walk the half mile to the school and meet other neighbor kids to play basketball. Mary was surprised when an older boy hit her with a basketball one day. That older boy was Junior Coleman and he was smitten with Mary almost immediately. He and Buddy became best friends too and Junior would drive his little roadster over and pick up Mary, Buddy and Jenny for a movie in Okemah on Saturday night. If Buckeye creek was up and running Buddy would carry Mary across the creek and then he would go back and carry Jenny across the creek and then he would go back and carry Junior across the creek so he was the only one to get wet. Junior had a horse named Prince that he would ride over to see Buddy and Mary sometimes. If he stayed too long which was often the case the horse would untie himself and go home so Junior would have to walk the mile back home. Junior and his cousin Jim Largent both joined the army in January 1946. Before he left for boot camp Junior proposed while he and Mary were crossing a barbed wire fence one night. While he was in boot camp Junior bought Mary an engagement ring and mailed it to her from New Jersey. Junior, now going by his given name George, spent two years in Italy with the US Army of Occupation. He returned home late in October 1948 and he and Mary were married on November 7th 1948. Their first son Terry was born in 1950. Their only daughter Marilyn was born in 1951. Son Claude followed in 1963 and then their youngest son David in 1964. After living in Okemah, Seminole and Sapulpa George and Mary bought some lots in 1963 on Wildcat Mountain near Mannford Oklahoma. They cleared the trees and built a house which they call the home place. It was on a hill with the Cimmaron River on one side and House Creek on the other. Keystone Lake was just being completed and George’s dream was to go fishing every day and sometimes twice a day. Mary always had a fine sense of humor and used it often. One time when they were all sitting down for supper, Terry and Marilyn both turned over their full glasses at almost the same time. George lost his temper and said “if I ever sit down to a meal and one of these kids didn’t spill something I would fall over dead”. After that if someone spilled anything at the dinner table Mary would say “Daddy is saved again”. Then everyone, including George would laugh. Mary gave music lessons for over 40 years. She mostly taught guitar but also gave lesson on the mandolin and the piano. Over the years she taught hundreds of students and eventually teaching their children as well. Just like George’s passion for fishing Mary had a passion for playing music. She played and sang at churches, schools, weddings, funerals and every time her brothers Buddy and Doyle would get together. She was a regular at senior citizen centers in Okemah, Terlton and Mannford. She was also the first to play in the open mic part if the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah for many years. She always wore a purple cowboy hat and that became her trademark. Last year at the Woody Guthrie Festival about 10 people, all wearing purple cowboy hats, showed up to pay tribute to her. They called themselves the Mary Coleman fan club. Some of them were her former guitar students. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, her first husband George and her second Husband Bill Lewis, her sister Jenny and brothers Donald and Bert. She will be missed by surviving brothers Buddy, Francis and Doyle and sisters Annaruth and Kathy. Mary was always quick to make friends and could always remember their names as well as the names of their spouse and children too. She always had a positive outlook on life and loved to laugh. We will miss Mary and her Gibson guitar, her lovely voice and her gorgeous smile. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. Funeral services will be Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 10:00 AM at the Parks Brothers Funeral Home Chapel in Okemah. Interment will follow at the Highland Cemetery in Okemah. Services will be under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Home, Okemah, Oklahoma. Online condolences may be made at www.ParksBrothersFuneralHome.com. Donations, in memory of Mary, may be sent to the Rivercross Hospice; 2301 S.E. Washington Blvd., Bartlesville, OK.
Mary Irene Coleman Lewis went to heaven on January 25th 2022. Now she is singing with the angels. Mary Irene Williams was the third of nine children born to Paul Williams and Violet Frances Cross Williams. Born in Cromwell Oklahoma on September... View Obituary & Service Information
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Mary Irene Coleman Lewis went to heaven on January 25th 2022.
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