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Logan Co: Guthrie News Leader
May 5, 1999
Funeral services for Winfield Scott BERG, 32, of Perry will be Saturday, May 8, 1999 at Calvary Baptist Church in Perry. Burial will be in Highland Park Cemetery under the direction of Poteet Funeral Home in Pawnee.
Winfield was born March 3, 1967 to John Herbert and Orbie (WATSON) BERG in Cushion. He died May 2, 1999 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Funeral services for John M. HARRIS, 89, of Guthrie, will be Thursday, May 6, at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will be in Summit View Cemetery under the direction of Pollard Funeral Home Inc. of Guthrie.
John was born April 4, 1910 in Logan County to John O. and Janie HARRIS. In 1951 he married Ruth L. WILBURN and to this union six children were born. The untimesly death of Ruth left John without a soulmate, but he was blessed with another angel, Vera King, who he wed in 1992. He died May 3 after a lengthy but fearless battle with his failing health.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother, two brothers, James and Willie; two sisters, Mary and Lovie; and the mother of his six children and wife from a previous union, Ruth Wilburn Harris.
He leaves to cherish his memory a devoted wife; three daughters; three sons; and eleven grandchildren.
Graveside services for Elizabeth Marie KINNEY, 79, of Sterling, Kansas, formerly of Guthrie will be May 7 at Valley Falls Cemetery, Valley Falls, Kan. under the direction of Sillin Funeral Homes of Lyons, Kan.
Elizabeth was born Aug. 29, 1919 in Guthrie to Frank Everett and Jessie Belle BLANCHARD.
May 6, 1999
Funeral services for Alice Hunt PAGE, 89, of Guthrie will be Friday, May 7 at First Christian Church of Guthrie. Burial will be in the Victor Cemetery in Mulhall under the direction of Smith Funeral Home.
She was born on Dec. 9, 1909 in Britton to Louis and Nola WOODS. She died May 3, 1999 in Edmond.
She is survived by two nephews and one niece. She was preceded in death by her parents and twin brothers, Douglas and Marvin WOODS.
Funeral services for tornado victim Molly KYGHN, 76, of Guthrie will be May 7 at Lawrie Cemetery in Guthrie.
Molly was born Feb. 21, 1923 in Buffalo to John and Alice FRANKLIN. She died Monday, May 3 in the Abell Community west of Mulhall.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by one son and one daughter; four sisters, Fay, Edith, Elsie, and Alberta; three grandchildren.
The casket will be closed at all times. Memorial contributions may be made to Camp Joy in Abell.
Jack G. TRENCH, 70, died at home May 2, 1999. He was born in Dallas, TX. on Sept. 16, 1928 to Lester and Ethel TRENCH.
At the age of 16, Jack was signed by the Chicago Cubs organization and continued to play professional baseball for the next eight years.
Jack is survived by his wife, a daughter and two grandchildren; one sister.
Memorial services will be Saturday, May 8 at Gene Adams Funeral Service, in Bethany.
Sunday, May 9, 1999
Mulhall Stands Tall,
Residents Claim Town Will Rebuild
by David Hutchings
The Guthrie News Leader
Make no mistake, it is going to take more than a tornado to knock down the people of Mulhall.
As national news media swarmed around the wrenching devastation in the Oklahoma City metro area last week in the aftermath of Monday night's tornadoes, the 200 residents of Mulhall quietly did what they have always done when confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to their way of life in rural Logan County - they rolled up their sleeves, bolstered their courage and went to work.
As word of Mulhall's plight spread through Logan County Tuesday morning, the ravaged landscape along the road from Guthrie to Mulhall became a somber right-of-way for what would soon become a massive convoy of relief-bearing pickups and transport vans from Guthrie and other nearby communities.
Having already risked their lives just hours before to warn the resident of the impending twisters, Logan County law enforcement, emergency services and firemen swept through the scattered ruins to find survivors.
The Oklahoma State Bank, damaged but not destroyed by the winds, opened its doors as a command post and meeting place for an increasingly steady stream of volunteers from the Logan County Red Cross and others ready to lend a hand.
With the first sign of daylight a few hours behind them, heartbreaking news circulated the Abell friend and neighbor Molly KUGHN had been found dead a few hundred yards from her north Logan County home. Miraculously, as the day progressed, the 76 year-old grandmother, described as a good neighbor and a good Christian woman, remained the storm's only fatality.
The almost unbelievable news about the fate of Mulhall resident J. Ritter also filtered from friend to friend - he is alive.
As his neighbors would soon find out, Ritter's heroic last-minute attempt to save his family left him too close to the door of his storm shelter. Furious winds ripped the shelter door open a split second after Ritter, who was still holding the cord, slammed it shut. He was sucked into the air and then mercilessly slammed to the ground.
In shock and bleeding profusely, he arrived at Stillwater Medical Center where doctors and nurses rushed to repair a gash running from his elbow to his wrist. Later they would tell his family that they were baffled he survived.
Then came the even more amazing story of P. Kiespert - the man who became known as the "human plow."
When storm warnings increased Kiespert grabbed his dog, Lydia, and took cover in a closet in his home north of Crescent. Moments later, the two were airborne, riding the tornado more than 400 yards before plowing into the ground, narrowly missing surrounding piles of brush and debris.
Having never lost consciousness, he began to call f0or help. Neighbor V. Davis found Kiespert bloody and battered. With the help of her husband, she moved her friend to a storm shelter, hiding him from other possible tornadoes, until paramedics arrived.
NO TIME FOR TEARS
With no electricity, no water, no gas and, for many, no sleep, Mulhall residents waded through piles of broken brick and shattered wood Tuesday. They were looking for any reminder - from the ordinary to the precious - of their battered homes.
A. White, principal of Mulhall Elementary School, left her mangled home to join teachers, parents and students as they sifted through the soaking books, papers and supplies of the town's school.
"We are going to come back strong," white said as she sheltered her eyes from sandy blasts of wind blowing through the school's twisted playground fence. "We'll get there because that's the kind of people we have here."
Not far away, Oklahoma State Bank President and CEO Mr. Vandaveer paused outside his bank-turned-command-post and agreed.
"This is a tough old community," he said. "It will be hard to rebuild, but they will."
As the majority of the town's 200 residents gathered Friday evening on the lawn of the Baptist church, many were seeing each other for the first time since the tornado drove them to hotels, rental homes or the waiting hospitality of Logan County family and friends.
When asked why they were determined to stay in Mulhall, F. Pitts answer spoke volumes about the will and determination of the people around him.
"We could leave. It would be easier to leave," he said. "But that's not us. That's not the kind of people we have here. We're going to stay here and deal with this."
A few minutes later, Mulhall Mayor J. Pangburn reached inside the cab of Logan County sheriff C. Platt's mud soaked pickup and retrieved the mouthpiece of a crackling loud speaker.
"This is my town. This is your town,"Pangburn said as a soft "Amen" floated back from the encircled crowd. "When we get through this, this town is going to be a better town."
"There has been a tremendous outpouring of help from around the state - it's overwhelming."
He told the residents that he had garnered promises from Gov. Frank Keating for help and that plans for rebuilding were steadily falling into place.
"This is not a bad time," he said before pausing for a moment. "This is the beginning of tomorrow."
"We know what we have to do, " said resident P. Patterson as he strolled past the crumpled hull of the town's 100 foot tall water tower. "We just don't have the means to do it yet. We know it going to be a while.
And while Patterson wants it made clear that he and the others are grateful for any help the government can give them, they aren't the kind of people that are going to be lost when time diminishes the attention and concern of the outside world.
"We look after each other," he said, smiling. "That's the way we've always done and that's never going to change."
As Patterson thought more about it, he turned and looked the the stream of friends passing behind him and began to laugh.
"I guess we don't make very good victims," he said.
May 11, 1999
Funeral services for James L. Carey, 89, of Guthrie were 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, 1999 at Davis Funeral Chapel in Guthrie. Interment will be at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, under the direction of Davis Funeral HOme.
Jim was born August 29, 1909, in Guthrie to Oliver and Delilah (WOODS) CAREY. He died Sunday, May 9 at Logan Hospital and Medical Center.
Jim had lived on a farm in the Abell comunity all of his life. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the United States Navy and a member of Masonic Lodge No. 35 and a 32 degree Mason.
He is survived by a number of nieces and nephews and two sister-in-laws.
He was preceded in death by his parent; eight brothers and sisters, Grace, Paul, Myrtle, Joe, Bus, Glen, Jake and Fred.
Memorials may be sent to Camp Joy, Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Leon Merlyn "Doc" POER, 85, passed away on May 9,1999. A fifty-year resident of Guthrie. He was born on November 11, 1913, in Jester, Oklahoma, son of Dr. E.M. and Blanche M. POER, and grew up in Mangum. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Guthrie and the Guthrie Masonic Blue Lodge #35, a Scottish Rite 32nd degree Mason, a member of the India Shrine Temple and served on the Shrine Hospital Board.
As a final gesture of service he has chosen to donate his body for research to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years; three sons and one daughter; two grandsons and six granddaughters.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, and grandson Gregory Smith.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, May 13, at the First United Methodish Church in Guthrie. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Untied Methodist Church of Guthrie, or your favorite charity.
May 12, 1999
Graveside services for Ella Mae Terhune, 75, of Mesa, Ariz. will be May 13 at the Oakland-Knowles Cemetery in Crescent, Okla. under the direction of Davis Funeral Chapel May 13.
Seh was born Oct. 12, 1923, in Belvedere, CA to Reese and Priscilla (WILLIS) WASSON. She died May 7, 1999 in Mesa, Ariz.
LONG - FAGAN
Funeral services for Mathilda Josephine Long-Fagan, 86, of Adelanto, CA. will be May 14 at Smith Memorial Chapel in Guthrie. Burial will be in the Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie under the direction of Smith Funeral Home of Guthrie.
Mathilda was born August 27, 1912, in Oklahoma, to Sherman and Selma Caroline WILEMAN. She died May 8, 1999 in Adelanto, CA.
She is survivied by one son, Harold; three daughters, Helen, Velma, and Darlene; three sisters, Emma, Purdy and Gladys; 14 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren.
May 18, 1999
Alberta "Bert" Jean Decker, 63, of Guthrie died Saturday, May 15. Burial at McKinley Cemetery in Meridian under the direction of Smith Funeral Home.
Alberta was born Sept. 5, 1935 in Tyron to Clyde and Mabel McDANIEL.
She was preceded in death by one son, Leslie Gobel and one daughter, Elnora Stout.
She is survived by her husband, Clyde Decker; one son; three step-daughters; and one brother.
Hildegarde (MOORE) Harris, 95, of Stillwater died May 15. Burial at Summit View Cemetery under the direction of Strode Funeral Home of Stillwater.
Hildegarde was born March 8, 1904 at Otoe Reservation, Indian Territory to Charles E. and Laura J. SANDERS MOORE. She married Walter D. Davis Sr. in 1923 in Red Rock. He preceded her in death on Sept. 20, 1982.
She was the oldest living member of the Otoe-Missouri Tribe (Bear Clan).
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her son, Walter D. Harris, Jr.
She is survivied by her daughter, Virginia and one sister, Cecelia Moore; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren.
George Ohmart Wilson, 83, of Guthrie, died May 17. Burial in Memorial Park Memory Gardens in Guthrie, under direction of Davis Funeral Home.
George was born Oct. 14, 1915, in Guthrie to James and Belle Wilson. He married Pearl Evaline PHILLIPS in Oct. of 1936 in Guthrie. She preceded him in death.
He was also preceded in death by a brother, James wilson; a sister, Helen Wilson; and one grandchild, Reid Whitten.
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