On February 17, 2013 Elizabeth King Keys was called home to rejoice with Jesus and a host of her other loved ones. "Nana", as most of her family called her, was born August 6, 1917 to Vick and Blanche King of Wann, OK, the third of ten children. She played basketball on a dirt court for Wann High School making the all-state basketball team and Valedictorian of her 1936 class! She married her sweetheart, Maurice Skidmore Keys, in 1937 and eventually had four wonderful children.
Elizabeth's career path began at Commerce Printing Company in Bartlesville moving on to Leonard Printing Company where monthly Phillips 66 magazines were printed. She later worked at Myers Flower Farm (currently Hains Greenhouse) before she became the proud owner of the "Osage Lunch" café downtown after the war. She fed many college students, businessmen, a "D" league baseball team, and Phillips 66 pilots amongst other hungry customers! She sold the café to have her youngest son, worked for Cities Service for 10 years, finishing her career path as a Customer Service Representative at Reda Pump where she developed fond , lasting relationships with her cohorts.
Elizabeth and her husband purchased a farm in Ochelata and raised cattle. After retiring in 1985, Elizabeth often substitute taught at Caney Valley Elementary School and worked as a volunteer at the polls on Election Days, for blood drives, and for the Salvation Army. Her favorite activities included watching football and basketball games on TV, playing SkipBo with her sisters and Bunco with other family members. Throughout her rich, memorable life, she was an active member of Ochelata Methodist Church and later of Grace-Epworth Methodist Church in Bartlesville.
Mostly Elizabeth is remembered for helping others-with small gifts of cash, meals, cleaning, home visits, cards, and "taking old people to the doctor's" (when she was 10 years older than they!) Her gifts of mercy and kindness were numerous and quietly given to whomever was in need at the time.
Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Maurice Keys on January 10, 1990, her parents, four brothers, Clyde King, Jack King, Wayne King and Jerry King, one sister, Doris Thompson, and a grandson, Jayson Clayton Keys.
Survivors include two sons, Clayton Keys and wife Dorothy Kay of Ochelata and Jay Lynn Keys and wife Kimi of Riverton, Wyoming, two daughters, Carol King Kellenberger and husband Keith of Plano, Texas and Lois Bass of Bartlesville, two brothers, Junior King and Ted King both of Lenepah, OK, two sisters, Grace Hendrickson of Bartlesville and Claudine Bailey of Wann, five grandchildren, Barry Smith, Kenneth Kellenberger, Brenda Snook, Kelsey Keys and Kati Keys, eleven great grandchildren, Abbey, Hallie, Jordan, Anna, Andrew, Gabriel, Grace, Lauren, John III, Molly, and C.J. , 44 nieces and nephews, many other family members and a host of friends.
Memorial services for "Nana" will be held at 2 P.M. on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the Bartlesville Southern Baptist Church with Dr. John Snook officiating. Interment will be in the Memorial Park Cemetery directed by the Stumpff Funeral Home & Crematory.
Casket escorts will include Tommy King, Lynn Bailey, Jerry Allen King, Kelsey Keys, John Snook III, Skip Jones, Jimmy Ted King and David Bailey. Honorary casket escorts will include Barry Smith, Kenneth Kellenberger, John Snook II and Matt Fugate.
The Keys family will receive guests for visitation at the Stumpff Funeral Home on Tuesday evening from 5:30 P.M. until 7:30 P.M.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family may donate to the Ochelata United Methodist Church, 100 N. Leblanc Street, Ochelata, Oklahoma 74051 or to the Grace-Epworth United Methodist Church, 706 East Third Street, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 74003
Friends who wish may call for visitation at the Stumpff Funeral Home until 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday as the casket will remain closed at the services.
Friends who wish may sign the online guests book and leave condolences at www.stumpff.org.