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Reprinted with Permission
© Parks Brothers Funeral Home
1929 - 2015

Martha Lou Costner was born on September 8, 1929, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She lived all of her childhood and most of her young adulthood In Sparks, Oklahoma. Her grandmother, Vern Dolby, raised Martha while her mother, Dorothy Barton, worked hard to see that Martha had the necessities in life. Her father left the family when Martha was young. During the Depression, work was hard to find and the three of them struggled to make ends meet.
In 1947, her mother married Wayne Hart and he became very much a part of Marthaís life. Another man, Sam, had also become an important part of her life. After returning from World War II, Martha and Sam eventually were married in 1951. They had two children together, Dan and Tom, but it was common knowledge that Martha raised all three boys, with Sam being the most challenging.
Martha worked countless hours for many years as a bookkeeper in Chandler and yet somehow managed to provide a great home for her family as well as all their friends. The Costner house was the place to be for all activities with close friends well beyond when the boys left Chandler for college. Martha and Sam loved to make others feel welcome and enjoyed helping others in need. Marthaís cooking abilities were renowned, and she loved to feed those who stopped by. The Costner home on Chigger Road was headquarters for fun and their backyard was legendary.
Several years after retirement, they moved to Tulsa to help meet some of their health needs and to be close to their grandchildren. They became very special grandparents and transformed their new home into a warm, inviting place for their grandkids and new friends and acquaintances.
After Sam passed away in 2009, Martha moved to Oklahoma Methodist Manor. For the past 5 years, Martha has stolen the hearts of many of her caregivers and friends. They, in turn, have made her feel loved and special throughout her remaining years. She loved them all and expressed her love for them daily.
There have been so many special people in Marthaís life. Martha and Samís older son Dan continued in Samís military footsteps, and provided a source of so much pride as he progressed through the ranks to reach Colonel. He served his country for 31 years. His wife Joy and their children were sometimes quite removed by great distance as Danís career took them afar. Despite the distance, Martha and Sam always managed to maintain frequent contact and involvement in their daily lives. She was so proud of her younger son Tom, whose medical career, in family practice and later hospice and palliative care, not only created a sense of pride but also became a guide through the more difficult phases of her later life. Tomís wife Patty and their kids were lucky enough to have many years of close involvement and joyful times.
Phil, Gina and Audine were instrumental in making Marthaís working years so enjoyable. Even during the difficult tax season, Martha would have humorous stories of fellowship and fun. She had continued to do some work for Phil after her retirement as she felt productive and needed, and her job meant a lot to her.
Martha lived her life making everyone comfortable and happy. Her caregivers loved her and she influenced them to become great caregivers, expressing their love and preserving Marthaís dignity. Cindy Smith-Cooper, Trudy Martin, Rhonda Thompson, Linda Wilson, Timetra Martin, Joyce Holmes, and Carlene Williams were wonderful in caring for Mom and were part of our family. Josh, Denise, Rhonda, Kathleen, Melissa, and Pastor Alan from Saint Francis Hospice were instrumental in her comfort. Dunel, Rosal, Dee and all the others at OMM were always there for Mom and the family will always be grateful that she was allowed to stay in her apartment and enjoy her gazebo and all her animals and flowers. Martha enjoyed nature and loved to share what she could with others.
Martha passed away peacefully with her two sons at her bedside on January 26, 2015.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Saint Francis Hospice or the Oklahoma Methodist Manor Employee Fund in memorial of Martha.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 30, 2015, at Parks Brothers Funeral Chapel in Chandler with Pastor Alan McBroom officiating.
Burial will follow at Oak Park Cemetery.
Services are under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Service in Chandler, Oklahoma.

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