Celebrating the life of Velma Harrell McKinzie
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She was one of the first children born in Jackson County, on March 11, 1893, North of Altus. She was the daughter of Asa Harrell and Ola Russell Harrell. She went through the public schools of Altus and graduated from Altus High School in 1911. She attended Kingfisher College in Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 1911-1913, completing the two-year junior college program. She was an artist and pianist. She did paintings in oils and other media,and was an accomplished pianist, playing classical, religious and popular music.
After graduating from Kingfisher College, she married John A. McKenzie and they had two children, Mary Weber of Elmer, OK, a daughter, and Jim David McKenzie, a son, who died at age 18 in 1943.
She joined the Postal Service in 1928 and was the Postmistress at Elmer until 1963 when she retired after 35 years of service. Upon retirement she moved from her home in Elmer to the ranch South of Elmer where she resided until her death.
She was an active member of Eastern Star, the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Hugenot Society and the United Methodist Church. In 1983 she was named Pioneer Woman of the Year upon nomination of the Historical Society and was welcomed by the Governor of Oklahoma for that honor. She was a State Grand Officer of Eastern Star.
Postal journals she kept at the Elmer Post Office were noteworthy for her special handwriting and were placed in the U.S. Postal Museum in Memphis, TN.
Survivors include: her daughter, Mary Weber of Elmer, and Mary's children, Russell Weber, David Weber and Rosemary Johnson, all of Colorado Springs, CO, June Tate of Port Isabell, TX and Nona Westfall of Surewood, Wisconsin.
Lowell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Graveside rites will be Friday, July 17, 1987, at the Altus City Cemetery at 2:00 o'clock p.m. She will lie in state Thursday and Friday mornings.
Altus City Cemetery
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