Elizabeth's Story

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Elizabeth (Purcell) Hammer, 102, died on July 17, in Tulsa. She was born on Dec. 31, 1913 in Fairland, Okla., the daughter of Arthur Purcell and Rachel (Smith) Purcell. Elizabeth's childhood began Southwest of Zena, Okla., where the family lived on Downing Creek, a tributary East of the Neosho River. In 1920, the family moved into house on her mother's 80 acre Indian allotment, resulting from the Dawes Act of 1887. The property is just East of sailboat bridge, where you can still see the part of the property, as it remains an island on Grand Lake. Her childhood was spent growing up on the family farm, and at the age of 8, Elizabeth was able to prepare and cook a family meal. In 1928, Elizabeth's family moved to the McNair district, in Mayes County. Elizabeth attended Chouteau High School, where she graduated in 1932. She recently attended her 84th High School reunion. Elizabeth attended and graduated from Northeastern State University and began her teaching career in 1933 where she earned $60 per month. After a courtship which began during the summer of 1936, she married Ellsworth H. Hammer in Eufaula, on December 31, 1937. Sunday April 10, 1938, Elizabeth went to the Pryor, First United Methodist church for the first time, and attended church and Sunday school on a regular basis.
She received a Pioneer Teacher Award signed by then Governor, Brad Henry, for her efforts within the rural schools of Oklahoma. She remained very active in the community, and participated within the Red Hat Society and the Mayes County Business and Professional Woman's Club. She was also a volunteer at the Mayes County Medical Center. In later years, she enjoyed spending time with her family, including her children, grandson and great-grandchildren, and caregiver Allison Duffield. She was a lovely lady of faith who will be so very missed by all whose lives she touched.

Funeral Services are Thursday, July 21, at 2pm in the First United Methodist Church in Pryor, with Rev. Roger Parker officiating. Interment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery with Alan Yarborough, Flynn Strickland, John Mozingo, Randy Drake, Donnie Parsons, Dean Robertson and Terry Lamar (honorary) serving as casket bearers. A reception at the First United Methodist church will be held after grave side services have been completed.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m

She is survived by her daughter Peggy J. Yarborough of Tulsa, OK; son Elsworth H. Hammer of Pryor, OK; one grandson, Alan Yarborough; two great grandchildren, Elizabeth Anne Yarborough and Alan Jeffrey Yarborough Jr.; one niece, Susan Andres of Chouteau, OK; one nephew Earl Johnson Jr. of Lee Summit, MO; a several great nieces, nephews, family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Rachel Purcell; her husband, Ellsworth H. Hammer; sisters, Fern Andres and Ferrol Johnson.
Published on July 19, 2016
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