Ella's Story

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A funeral ceremony honoring and remembering the life of Ella Mae Dennis will be 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 at Memorial Heights Baptist Church. Rice Funeral Service has been entrusted with the arrangements. The family will receive visitors from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Ella passed away Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 at Saint Francis Hospital South in Tulsa. She was 94.
Born March 30, 1922 in Claremore, Ella was the daughter of Thomas Harrison and Maude Inez (Christian) Cheek. She was a lifelong resident of Rogers County. The family settled near the Sequoyah School where Ella graduated with the Class of 1940. She married Lavell "PeeWee" Jackson Dennis in 1941.
Ella joyfully maintained close relationships with many of her classmates throughout the years via the alumni association, in which Ella was a past president.
Ella remained very active in many facets of life well into her nineties. She was always appreciative of people and never said an unkind word about anyone. Ella loved crocheting, particularly afghans and potholders. She also was known to make angels which she would give to everyone.
Her motto stated, "Anyone that came to her home did not leave without an angel." Ella enjoyed fishing, having accompanied her husband Lavell, a successful fisherman, on many fishing trips and eventually becoming quite a fisherman herself.
Ella devoted her time to various organizations such as the Home Demonstration Club, the Women's Missionary Union, and served as director for the Associational Training Union of the Rogers County Baptist Association. In later years, Ella socialized every Wednesday and Friday at the local Senior Center, being awarded Senior Companion of the Month on several occasions. She was a longtime member of both the Sequoyah and Memorial Heights Baptist churches where her contributions will not soon be forgotten.
A hard worker and great salesperson, Ella worked for several different retail establishments throughout her career as a clerk. She worked at the Montgomery Ward's and the T.G.&Y. locally, and spent many years at the Dillard's Department Store in the Tulsa Promenade Mall. Most of Ella's time was spent working in the children's department.
Her children and grandchildren were always dear to heart. They can all recall Ella regularly singing "Peanuts Sitting on a Railroad Track."
Surviving family members include her three children: Sandra Irwin and husband Michael; Carol Sue Lickliter; and Jack Lavell Dennis and wife Dorothy Ann; three grandchildren: Robert Irwin and wife Michelle, April Churchill and husband Robert; and Michael Dennis and wife Jennifer; nine step-grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends whom loved Ella dearly.
Ella was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Lavell "Pee Wee" Dennis; three sisters: Elfa Kowma, Elza Cooper, and Helen Cheek; one brother: Marion Cheek; one grandson Benny Carl Irwin; one granddaughter: Rebecca Lynn Irwin; one great-grandson: Montana Lavell Dennis; and her son-in-law Tannis Lickliter.
Published on February 14, 2017
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