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Bernita Lucille "Nita" Blubaugh

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Blubaugh, Bernita "Nita" Lucille Henry
of Medford, OK (formerly of Phoenix) was born July 11, 1926 to Rosie Belle (Pumphrey) and the late David Cleveland Henry, her father having passed away 3 months before she was born. Bernita passed away on December 4, 2015 at Integris Bass Baptist Hospital after a very brief illness. At 8 weeks of age, Nita, five siblings, and her recently widowed mother packed up and drove to Arizona on Route 66 to live with her Uncle Chester in Tucson. From there, they moved to Phoenix where she attended Monroe Elementary and graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1944. She was very proud of the fact that she had perfect attendance for her entire twelve years in school. She was fond of saying that while she was in school "Roosevelt was always president, and the Yankees were always champs." After graduation, Nita moved to Kansas City, MO where she attended flight attendant school and worked for a brief time before returning to Phoenix to help her mother. Later, she moved to Albuquerque, where she took a job with a bank. It was there she met a young airman named Jack Blubaugh, going on their first date to the New Mexico state fair. When Jack left the Air Force, Nita moved to Enid, OK where she took a job with Central National Bank. Jack and Nita were engaged at the Tia Juana Restaurant on the corner of Willow and Grand. On November 11, 1953 Jack and Nita were married at the morning mass for the school children at St. Francis Catholic Church in Enid. The new couple moved into a garage apartment in Medford, OK where Jack sold cars for Fred Anderson Chevrolet and Nita worked for Scoot and Doris Hamilton's Tag Agency. In 1955, with the birth of their first child, Nita became a full-time homemaker. With her encouragement, she and Jack purchased the Pontiac-Cadillac Dealership and later the Ford Dealership in Medford. Jack always gave her credit for raising their four children, while they owned dealerships in Alva, Medford, and Caldwell, KS. In 1995, Nita moved to Enid to be close to Jack, who had been left paralyzed and unable to speak due to a recent massive stroke. During the three years of illness, she spent every day with him at the Methodist home. After his passing in 1997, she remained in Enid until her passing. Nita loved to do crossword puzzles, play on her iPad, take trips to Las Vegas, visiting her family in Phoenix, watching sports - especially baseball. More than anything, she loved having her children, grandchildren, and their families visit. Through her life, Nita was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Medford, First Seniors Ambucs, Phoenix Union Coyote Alumni Association, and a member of Women of the Moose, Phoenix Lodge, for 70 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jack, two sisters, and two brothers. Nita is survived by her four children, Janet Meinen and husband Terry. Tricia Blubaugh, Danny Blubaugh and wife Anna, and Tom Blubaugh. Her grandchildren - Ken and Lindsey Caldwell, and Carter, Mark and Maggie Reinholtz, Kelly Reinholtz, Lara Blubaugh, Steven and Alysia Gawrick, Katie Blubaugh, and Jack Blubaugh, Nick and Rebecca Donnell, Ryan and Bode, Andrew and Stacie Simunek and sons, David and Melissa Simunek and Sunday, her older brother Chester Henry and wife Eleanor of Phoenix, AZ, her "adopted" son Dr. William "Billy" Blubaugh of Enid, and many nieces and nephews. All are welcome to attend a celebration of life memorial service Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Medford with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Medford. The recitation of the rosary will be Monday, December 7, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.lanmanmemorials.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation or St. Mary Catholic Church Building Fund through the funeral home.


Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 8, 2015
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