Tahlequah Daily Press

February 18, 2014

Mary Magdalene Elkins


KEYS — Funeral services for Mary Magdalene Elkins are 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the First Southern Baptist Church in Keys. Officiating will be Rev. John King. Serving as pallbearers are Rob Teague, Bret Teague, Jerrod Hood, Darrell Hood, Bret Baker, Gerald Halpain and Tommy Phillips.

Interment will follow in the Levi Cookson Cemetery under the care of Green Country Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at tahlequahfuneral.com.

Mary Magdalene “Keys” Elkins was born Nov. 18, 1915, on Greenleaf Creek in the Stone Chapel Community, now Keys, to Jim and Eliza Keys. Mary was the fourth child of seven, having two sisters and four brothers.

Mary attended Stone Chapel School during her primary days. Mary’s family had to move from Greenleaf Creek after the United States took the family farm to establish Camp Gruber. Moving to the Pettit Community, Mary attended school at Tick Ridge and Pettit. Her family moved onto Tom Cookson farm, where her dad share cropped.

Growing up on a farm, there were endless chores. Mary helped her mom and dad tend to all the usual farm animals, cooking, canning, preserving garden vegetables and fruit, and butchering hogs. Worked seemed to never end. Becoming a good cook was Mary’s expertise, feeding the hay hands and threshing crews.

Times were hard for everyone then, her family was held together by believing in God almighty, family and the love they shared, and graces sufficient for every need.

In 1942, Mary married Jack Elkins. They had three daughters, Rachel Sutton of Ada, Gail Teague of Tahlequah, and Margaret Hood of Park Hill.

 Mary worked at various jobs, including school cafeteria cook, restaurant worker and store clerk. Their home was full of hospitality to family members, friends and deer hunters. Her deer steaks, biscuits, pies, and cobblers, just to name a few, were delicious. Jack passed away on Nov. 5, 1987. He and Mary had shared 45 years of marriage.

Mary enjoyed her seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed traveling, taking trips to Branson, numerous vacations to South Padre, Texas, and taking adventurous charter fishing trips for Red Snapper in the Gulf.

 She would often get out and go to garage sales, and would attend the Senior Citizens Center in Cookson with her friends and neighbors.

God allowed Mary to live a long, full, blessed life.

She was able to live the last season of her life in a wonderful facility, the Cherokee County Nursing Center, with love and care.

Family and friends are invited to attend lunch at 11 a.m., at the First Southern Baptist Church of Keys, prior to service.

Green Country Funeral Home, 203 S. Commercial Road, (918) 458-5055.