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 May 2015 Obituaries 

Benny Lou Buckminster

Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before." - C. S. Lewis

Benny Lou Buckminster’s earthly story came to an end, closing the last chapter and beginning her "Great Story" on May 4th, 2015. She was 84 years young.

Benny Lou Mathers was born on November 1st, 1930 in Enid, Oklahoma to Ben and Elva Mathers. She was the youngest of 4 children, sisters Grace and Mary Ellen, and brother Clay, all being raised on the family farm. As the baby of the family, most of her time was spent emulating and following in her siblings’ footsteps. Benny, along with Mary Ellen (her sister closest in age), spent most of their days sharing chores, playing on the farm, discovering their musical abilities and attending church activities. Her first schooling was at Victor Country School until 5th grade, at which time she entered Enid schools. Her musical background afforded her many opportunities both in and out of school. She was a bandleader in middle school and Enid High’s majorette for several years. She was sought after for countless events for her beautiful solo voice. Even in her last days, she sat on the side of her bed harmonizing with our family to classic hymns.

Benny would go on to marry her high school sweetheart, Jerry Buckminster in 1970. They were married for 38 years before Jerry’s passing in 2008. Benny and Jerry’s favorite season was the fall, when they would support their beloved Sooners. Their dedication to the University led to the financial backing for the construction of the Bud Wilkinson Athletic Dorms, in which one of their granddaughters later lived. Some of the grandchildren channel their inner "Sooner" to be first to stake their claim for the donor-parking pass, which is still in the family.

If you were to ask her grandchildren their favorite "Meme Memory," every one of them would recall visits to Meme and Papa’s house. Each grandchild seemed to describe the same sweet memories; which include swimming parties, homemade tents all over the house, breakfasts that could feed an army (which we kind of were), hugs that seemed to last forever, practical jokes, unconditional love, laughter to last a lifetime...AND COOKIE MAKING. Even though 13 grandchildren are counted as family, Meme has countless others that claim her as their own grandmother. In speaking with others since her passing, many people never knew her given name, because she was simply known as Meme.

As if being a fulltime grandmother wasn’t enough, she had another fulltime job at the Best Western in Chickasha. Benny and Jerry were owners of the Best Western from 1970-1996. Benny served as secretary, accountant, front desk clerk, cook, waitress, housekeeper, event planner, hotel mom and all around head honcho...Jerry signed the checks. Their employees and customers soon became lifelong friends and extended family.

In the last few years of her life, Benny struggled with several health issues. But even in her last days, she kept her sense of humor, dignity and elegance, and maintained her class act. She was a great example of faith, love, and tenderness. A celebration will be held honoring Benny’s life on Monday, May 11th, 2015, at 3:30 p.m., at First Assembly of God in Chickasha. Benny was preceded in death by her parents, sister Grace, brothers-in-law Virgil and Joe, brother Clay, stepdaughter Sandy, great-grandson Dakota and her high school sweetheart, and husband of 38 years, Jerry (Papa). She is survived by her sister, Mary Ellen, son Brad (Kathy), daughter Jan, stepsons Jerry Jr. (Deborah) and Darrell, stepdaughter Cami (Bill), 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Cremation and service are under the direction of McRay Funeral Home.


Mona Jean Kuhlman Wood

Private graveside service for Mona Jean Kuhlman Wood, 92, of Chickasha, Oklahoma was held at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2015 in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Chickasha.

Mona Jean Wood was born the daughter of Roy I. Edwards and Gladys Irene Larson on January 29, 1923 in Chickasha. She died on May 1, 2015 in Chickasha.

Mona graduated from Chickasha High School and then attended both OCW in Chickasha and Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater. She married Arthur H. Kuhlman, Jr. and lived in many different places due to his military career. Following his retirement, they settled back in Chickasha. Mona loved to play golf and bridge. After the death of Mr. Kuhlman she married John P. Wood and was married to him for 6 years prior to his death.

Mona was preceded in death by her parents Roy and Gladys Edwards; husband Col. Arthur H. Kuhlman, Jr.; son Curtis Larson Kuhlman; and husband John P. Wood.

Mona is survived by her son Art Kuhlman III, DDS of Rockwall, Texas; daughter Gari Edwards Kuhlman of Chickasha, Oklahoma; grandchildren Karen Kuhlman, Kathryn Nairn, Jill Suing and Meagan Runk; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Services were under the direction of McRay Funeral Home.


Jerry Ray Elston

Jerry Ray Elston was born January 25, 1935, to Frank James Elston and Mary (Alice) Duncan Elston in Chickasha, OK. He passed away May 1, 2015, in Oklahoma City. Jerry was a long-time resident of Chickasha, graduating from Chickasha High School in 1953, where he was a starter on the State Championship basketball team his senior year. During and after high school, he worked with his father as a masonry contractor, eventually taking over the business (Elston Masonry and Construction) and many of the homes, churches, and businesses in and around Chickasha are a testament to their craft. He was a military Veteran who served in the Oklahoma National Guard and the U.S. Army. Jerry’s life was filled with beautiful women. He was the only brother to three sisters, Fayetta Longwell, Barbara Sides, and Dixie (Ron) McWhorter. He married the former Floye Lee Mitchell on January 24, 1958, and had four daughters, Lynne (Mitch) Coppedge, Kelley Elston, Tamara Elston, Dixie (Jerry Smith) Elston, and one "unofficially" adopted daughter, Christy (Rocky) Red Elk. Lynne and Dixie made Jerry "Papa" to two granddaughters each, Erin and Allison Ledford, Brittany Williams, and Shelby Graves. When Jerry met Mary Florene (Flo) Ingersol, he gained four more daughters, Claudette (Ron) Hixon, Brenda Dale, Charlene Alsip, and Melanie Fielding. Jerry and Flo married on December 4, 1999, and moved to Grand Lake, OK where they enjoyed five years of fishing out of their back yard. They moved to Perkins, OK in 2005 so they could be closer to Flo’s large extended family. For the last ten years, Jerry loved being the "Quarter Grandpa" to 10 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren that Flo brought into his life. Jerry was an avid outdoorsman throughout his life and especially enjoyed time spent hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, and grilling. He and Flo were very active in the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) and Jerry was proud to have served as Worthy President of Chickasha Aerie #4070 (1991-1992, 1992-1993), Worthy State President of Oklahoma State Aerie (1994-1995), and Southwest Regional President (2000-2001). He is a lifetime member of the Chickasha Aerie and a dual-member of Stillwater Aerie #4277 and Bartlesville Aerie #610. A master storyteller and teller of jokes, Jerry was never at a loss for words. He lived a full life experiencing adventures that few had an opportunity to enjoy. The quintessential "Marlboro Man," Jerry succumbed to complications from COPD and emphysema and over the last few years was constantly cautioning friends and family members about the dangers of smoking. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Alice, and his step-daughters, Brenda, Charlene, and Melanie. The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at the Southern Oaks Church of Christ in Chickasha under the direction of McRay Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Chickasha FOE Aerie and/or the Stillwater FOE Aerie.


McRay Funeral Home
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 806, Chickasha, OK  73023
Location:  110 S. 8th Street, Chickasha, OK  73018 
Corner of 8th & Chickasha Ave. Near Downtown
Phone: 405-224-4141

Email: mcrayfh@aol.com

Fax:  405-224-1584

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