Virginia Ruth "Froelich" Harkins, 92, Nowata County resident, passed away May 12, 2013 at the Jane Phillips Nowata Health Center. She was born November 24, 1920 north of Childers in Nowata County to Warren C. and Gertrude (Childers) York. Virginia grew up just east of Childers, attending school there and after graduation, married Arthur Froelich in Delaware on August 2nd, 1940.
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They moved to their farm in the Ruby Valley area where they farmed and ranched. There they raised their three children, Sylvia Shipley and longtime companion, Woody Walker of Nowata, Pat Woldridge and husband Ron of Claremore, and Richard Froelich and wife Sharon of Nowata.
Virginia enjoyed her life as a homemaker, caring for her family, flower gardening, cooking, and sewing. She and Art enjoyed family trips to town on Saturdays and the pastime of country dancing.
Art passed away in 1985 and on February 13, 1988, Virginia married Ernie Harkins. They continued the farming and ranching operation and enjoyed a number of years of retirement, travelling and also spent many evenings of country dancing.
After Ernie's death in 2006, Virginia continued the farming operation with the help of close friends and neighbors which enabled her to spend her final years entertaining family and friends on the farm where she moved to as a bride in 1940, over seventy two years!
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, brothers Bill and Bob, sisters Mary and Helen, her son-in-law Walter Shipley and grandson Jerry Shipley.
Survivors are one sister, Maxine McMains of Little Rock, Arkansas, her three children, a step son, David Harkins and wife Roberta of Coffeyville, 11 grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren and a host of friends and neighbors. She is also survived by her companion and protector friend Charlie, her Golden Retriever.
Virginia was a longtime faithful member of the Lutheran faith and was known to burst into song, singing the doxology and various gospel hymns, much to the enjoyment of us all! She was an inspiration and encouragement to everyone and although we have released her to go be with her savior, she will be missed by all who knew her.
Funeral services for Virginia are 11:00 A.M., Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Benjamin Funeral Service Chapel with Pastor Richard Peckman officiating. Interment will follow at Martin Cemetery in Childers. Online condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com. Memorials in Virginia's name may be made to the 1033 Wheelchair Van.
Benjamin Funeral Home
114 West Cherokee
Nowata, OK 74048
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from May 15 to June 14, 2013