Mary's Story

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Mary Frances Gist Simpson passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016.
She was born on May 1, 1932, in Arkansas, to Effie Newton and Patrick Gist (raised by her step-dad, Ambers Jones).
She met, fell in love, and later married James Fleetwood Simpson on Thursday, July 25, 1946, in Tulare, California. They were happily married for 65 years and raised seven children together.
Mary completed her GED in 1967. From 1968 to 1975 she was a nurse's aide. In 1975 she completed her EMT certificate in the state of Missouri. In 1977, she worked for Eufaula and Checotah ambulance service along with becoming a CPR instructor, and an EKG technician. She was an EMT for 20 years and won Oklahoma EMT of the Year in 1986. In 1990 she worked for city of Checotah as the mayor's secretary until she retired in 1994. Mary and James moved from California to Oklahoma in 1977, living in Prague, Indianola, and settling in Muskogee in 1998.
Mary was a great wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed watching John Wayne westerns, cooking for her family, crocheting and reading. She also enjoyed working in the garden and canning.
She was a member of First Baptist Church in Indianola.
She was always the one to take care of others before herself. Along with raising her seven children, Mary also took care of her mother, her sister, Ruth Blackman, and her brothers, Jack Jones and Oscar Simpson. She will be truly missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Brenda Knoepli and Ruth Blackman; four brothers, Algene Gist, Jack Jones, Robert Jones and Donald Jones; her husband, James F. Simpson, of 65 years; one son, James Patrick Simpson, and one daughter, Sheila Venable.
She is survived by her brothers, Harold Jones and his wife, Judy, of Harrah, and Jim Jones and his wife, Diane, of Boise, Idaho; sisters, Bonnie Langston, of Shawnee, and Darlene Churchill and her husband, Winston, of Del City; her children, Donald Simpson Sr. and his wife, Debbie, of Rockford, Illinois, Barbra Chandler. of Muskogee, Richard Simpson and wife, Theresa, of Tulsa, Robin Barnes, of Watts, and Tammie Simpson-Brakensiek and her husband, Wayne, of McAlester; 14 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren, and many niece, nephews and other extended family.
A celebration of Mary's life will be at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Cornerstone Chapel with her brother, Harold Jones, and her granddaughter, Tabatha Bryant, officiating. Interment will follow at 1 p.m. at Fort Gibson National Cemetery. Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 North York Street, Muskogee.
Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.
Published on January 1, 2017
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