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Obituary for Marilee Helton

Ponca City Now - July 9, 2019 3:28 pm

Marilee Helton

September 18, 1929 – July 7, 2019

Marilee (Moore) Helton passed away on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Via Christi in Ponca City. A memorial ceremony will be held at the Tonkawa First United Methodist Church at on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:30 am with Rev. Lois Bartley officiating. Private burial will precede the service at Tonkawa IOOF Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Trout Funeral Home & Crematory.

Marilee was born September 18, 1929 in Wichita, Kansas to Orie George and Mildred (Stahlman) Moore. She grew up in Potwin, Butler County, Kansas, and attended local schools, graduating from Potwin High School in 1947. Marilee married Clarence Helton on July 12, 1947 in the Methodist Church in El Dorado, Kansas. They made their first home in Oklahoma City where Clarence was employed at Tinker Field, and where she worked in a medical clinic.

Clarence and Marilee moved to Tonkawa in 1955 where they opened DairyLand Drive-In. She fondly remembered that during their ten years of running the drive-in she became acquainted with virtually every kid in Tonkawa. Marilee did bookkeeping as well as other clerical work for Clarence’s various business ventures.

Marilee was a member of the Tonkawa First United Methodist Church, Builder’s Sunday School Class, United Methodist Women, and taught 5th and 6th grade Sunday School classes. She served many years as the church historian. She belonged to the Tonkawa Historical Society, PEO Chapter S, Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Auxiliary, and the D.A.R. Past associations included Twentieth Century and Delphi.

Marilee had a variety of interests. She enjoyed trapshooting, winning the Oklahoma Women’s title one year, as well as other trophies at registered trap shoots throughout the region. She enjoyed playing golf with her foursome at the Northern Oklahoma College golf course. An amateur artist, she worked in oil, watercolor, and acrylic paints, and taught art classes in her garage studio. During the 1970’s she taught Public Service classes at Northern Oklahoma College in tole painting, decorative painting, and crafts. Marilee was fond of antiques, especially family pieces, and collected antique greeting cards, nativities, and teapots. Other hobbies included quilting, counted cross stitch, needle point, and genealogy. Reading was probably her number one enjoyment through the years.

Marilee enjoyed researching and writing, publishing several booklets. Her first book, Horse and Buggy Doctor, centered on her Stahlman grandparents, their ancestors, and descendants. Moore and More Moores, about her Moore predecessors followed. For Tonkawa’s 1994 Centennial she edited Tonkawa, They All Stay Together – a pictorial history of the community. In 1996 Marilee compiled Recollections of Three Sands, a collection of first-hand stories about Tonkawa’s oil boom. That same year she researched and wrote Celebrating Our Heritage, a souvenir booklet detailing the history of the local Methodist Church and celebrating its 100th year. She compiled a booklet of the history of Tonkawa’s Prisoner of War Camp from articles that had appeared in The Tonkawa News.

Beginning in 1994 she wrote a weekly column for The Tonkawa News entitled Pieces of the Past. In 1999 she published a book of selected columns as a fund raiser for the Tonkawa Historical Society. She began a new column, Musing at the Museum, in January 2001.

The Oklahoma Heritage Association honored Marilee in 1995 with their ”Distinguished Service Award” for her work in preservation of state and local history. She received the Tonkawa Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” award in 1997 for her “dedicated leadership and service to Tonkawa”. Marilee served as president of the Tonkawa Historical Society for ten years, during which time she was instrumental in the establishment and development of the McCarter Museum of Tonkawa History. She then served another nine years as treasurer. In 2014 she was awarded the “Lifetime Service Award” by the Chamber of Commerce.

Marilee was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence, in 2000, and by her parents. Survivors include her brother and sister-in-law, Jerome (Jerry) and Carole Moore of Richardson, Texas, and nephews Barry Moore of Henderson, Nevada, and Alan Moore of Dallas, Texas, and his children, Alanna, Alexandria, Maddox, Myles, and Liam Moore. She is also survived by a close-knit group of cousins, faithful friends, and a loving church family.

In lieu of flowers make contribution to First Methodist Church of Tonkawa, 410 East Grand, Tonkawa, OK 74653.

Source: Trout Funeral Home