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Dewey County, Oklahoma
Bessie Oleta (Williams) Tullis

Bessie Oleta Williams was born to James and Lizzie Williams in Aledo, Oklahoma on January 21, 1920. She passed from this life on April 10th, 2008 at the age of 88. On December 12, 1936 Bessie married Albert Raymond Tullis in Taloga, Oklahoma. Bessie and Raymond continued to make their home in the Leedey area. They enjoyed their yearly trips to California to pick fruit with Raymond's brothers. Bessie also enjoyed her vacation to Oregon with her sister Jean, brother-in-law Perry, and sister Mabel. It was on this trip that Bessie and her sister, Mabel, decided it would be a good idea to pick-up unique rocks from the local state park as souvenirs to take back to Oklahoma Realizing it was illegal to take these, Bessie and Mabel road through the entire state of Oregon sitting on rocks.

Seven years after being married Bessie and Raymond started their family. On August 10, 1942 they welcomed their first born, Shirley Jean. Raymond Duane entered the world on December 3, 1945. Bessie happily settled into her role as mother and took great pleasure in watching her children grow and experience life on the farm. She was a master at chopping cotton, milking cows, and country cooking.

One of Bessie's favorite memories was when the whole family would get dressed up every Saturday and head into town to stock up on groceries and make the rounds visiting with other farm families. Clarice Davis joined the family as a foster child in the early sixties and continued to be part of the family.

Bessie enjoyed many activities after her children had grown. She loved going with Pauline Cates to Elk City where they would shop the entire day. It was not surprising to their husbands when they would not return home until well after dark. Bessie was also fond of getting together with her sisters to visit and quilt. Every year she looked forward to the William's Family Reunion where she could brag about her family.

Baptized at an early age, Bessie was an active member of the Leedey First Baptist Church. She spent many years teaching the Children's Training Union class and helping in the nursery. She was also a member of the Faithful Workers class. She looked forward every Sunday to sitting in her and Raymond's designated pew with Sharon and Wesley Metzier.

After Raymond's passing Bessie enjoyed going on trips to Branson and San Antonio with the church. These were memories she never forgot.

Bessie's greatest joy was her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great granddaughter. She loved making quilts and crocheting for each of them. She also took great pleasure from babysitting and teaching them how to play Dominos and Rummy Cube. Her favorite things to do were spoiling them rotten and sending them home. In her last years Bessie loved watching great-great- granddaughter, 3 year old Lexie, demonstrate new dances she had learned at dance class.

Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, James and Lizzie, husband, Raymond, two brothers, Charles and Lee (Pete) and two sisters, Mabel and Waneta. She is survived by daughter, Shirley Shockey and husband Johnny of Leedey, son, Duane Tullis and wife Vina of Choctaw, four sisters, Nellie Jackson, Mildred Koschesk, Jetie (Jean) Baker and husband, Perry, and Faye Watson. Bessie was blessed with ten grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren, one great-great-granddaughter and a host of family and friends.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 14, 2008 in the First Baptist Church, Leedey, Oklahoma with burial following in the Rhea Cemetery. Services arranged by Shaw Funeral Home, Leedey, Oklahoma.

Cheyenne Star, Cheyenne, OK 17 Apr-2008. Submitted by Wanda Purcell.

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