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Obituary for Juanita Leona (Patterson) LaMunyon

Ponca City Now - October 8, 2019 11:11 am

Juanita Leona (Patterson) LaMunyon

June 19, 1913 – October 2, 2019

Juanita Leona (Patterson) LaMunyon was born June 19, 1913 to Felix “Virgile” & Eva “Mom Pat” (Lacy) Patterson. She left this earth on October 2, 2019 at her home in Pryor, Oklahoma. Aunt Nita grew up in a world of struggle and conflict. Too young to go to school, she was sent to live with her Grandma & Grandpa Lacy during the influenza epidemic of 1918. She survived WWI, the Dust Bowl days and Depression era. As a single young woman living with her family, she knew she was just another mouth to feed and worked really hard on the farm to carry her own weight.

Nita married Prince Rupert (Rex) LaMunyon in 1935 in Woodward, OK. They were on a bus ride to Englewood, KS, they married in Woodward because they had to stay the night and could not afford separate rooms. As a young couple, they struggled through the Depression and WWII where Rex served with the Navy Seabees, while Aunt Nita worked for Beechcraft in Wichita, KS as a Rosie the Riveter.

Aunt Nita went to beauty school in Ponca City with her special friend Hope. However, she spent most of her working career as an inspector for GTE, which then transformed into Southwestern Bell/AT&T in Indianapolis. She retired in the mid 1970s and moved back to Tonkawa.

Aunt Nita spent most of her life with strong family ties to her mother Eva Patterson (Mom Pat), sister Veola Miller, her best friend Hope LaMunyon-Schardein & her brother-in-law Jim Miller. She helped care for all of them in their later years. Having no children of her own she formed a special attachment to her surrogate child Miquelyn Schardein-Ailey and her older brother Robert Schardein. During Thanksgiving dinner of 2012 with Miquelyn, Nick, Debbie and Darla, we asked her if she would consider moving to Pryor since she had outlived all other relatives in Tonkawa. With great enthusiasm and the spirit of a true pioneer, she prepared for her next journey in life at the young age of 99 ½. She purchased a new home in Pryor and renewed her driver’s license in January 2013. She spent the next few months driving around Mayes County learning all the roads and streets of Pryor. She also made new friends, especially neighbors Carolyn & Pat Engles who would drive across the street to pick her and Sassy up and take them across the street to shelter when the sirens blew. Aunt Nita always had an adventurous spirit, young at heart and grateful for God’s blessings. She was baptized when she was mid-aged and kept her faith the rest of her life. She touched many lives and will be missed by all.

Juanita was preceded in death by her parents Felix and Eva Patterson, sister Veola Miller and husband Jim, special friend Hope LaMunyon Schardein, nephews Dub Ailey, Bob Schardein and numerous aunts and uncles.

Juanita is survived by her two nieces Miquelyn Shardein Ailey of Strang, OK and Carolyn Tillman of Independence, MO, great nieces & nephews Nick Ailey and wife Debbie of Pryor, OK, Terri Barrus and husband Jeff of Anchorage, AK, Mike Ailey of Strang, OK, Darla Metheny of Broken Arrow, OK, Mark Schardein and wife Jeanie of Perry, OK, Cindy Leigh and husband Rick of Glencoe, OK, Candy Box of Stillwater, OK and numerous other great great nieces and nephews and a host of beloved friends.

The Celebration of Life Services for Juanita was held Monday, October 7, 2019 at Stephens-Key Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor John Mozingo officiating and interment in Tonkawa IOOF Cemetery in Tonkawa, OK with Pastor Mark Schardein officiating. The family met with friends at Stephens-Key Funeral Home. Casket bearers were Mark Schardein, Robert Schardein, Jacob Ailey, Rick Leigh, Mark Barrus, and Jerry Epperly and Honorary Casket bearers were Jonathan Barrus, Chuck Mills, Chris Kinder, and Kent Mc Aninch. The family entrusted the arrangements to Stephens-Key Funeral & Cremation Care of Pryor.