Wynona Faye Sooter died peacefully at her home in Welch, OK on January 2, 2017 at the age of 86. Her life legacy was epitomized by the love of her husband, children and many friends.
Wynona is survived by her five children, Lynn Hickey and husband Bill of San Antonio, Texas; Mark and wife Shelva of Wichita, Kans.; Monty and wife Mindy of Boulder, Colo.; Bruce of Dallas, Texas; Matt and wife Kristy of Springfield, Mo.; sister Carla Jones of Marlow, Okla.; sister Ruth Ann Jackson of Ada, Okla. and brother Jim Miller of Stratford, Okla. She also leaves behind 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Sooter, parents Bill and Mary Miller of Statford Okla., brother Billy Miller of Ada, Okla. and sister Helen Riner of Swainsboro, Ga.
Wynona was born on June 26, 1930 in Hichita, Okla. and graduated from Hichita High School as valedictorian of her graduating class. She attended Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Okla. where she met the love of her life Kenneth and married on July 3, 1950.
Wynona had a distinguished teaching career. Her first teaching position was in her hometown of Hichita when she was 19 years old. She taught 35 fifth and sixth graders, one of whom was her sister. In 1950 Kenneth and Wynona moved to Welch, Okla. where she lived until her death. During the 1951-52 school years she taught in a one room country school in Plateau, Okla. She taught all eight grades, did the janitorial work and used her car to transport some of the students to and from school. It was a challenging experience, but one she treasured.
For the next nine years, she was a stay at-at-home mom for her growing family. In 1958, she started attending summer school at Pittsburgh State University to earn additional credits for her eventual B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Northeastern State College in 1961. In the fall of 1960, she resumed full time teaching at Welch Elementary School and continued to teach in the same classroom until retirement in 1987. She was a member of OEA and NEA, held various offices in local Classroom Teachers Group, including several committee chaired positions and serving two years as president. For several years, she served as a consulting coordinator to the newly-hired first year teachers. She also chaired the committee for the process of Welch becoming a member of the North Central Association.
Upon retiring she was active in Craig County Retired Educators and chaired several committees and served as vice-president. Wynona was also active in Delta Kappa Gamma, Vinita Pilot Club, Redbud Garden Club and a local book club. She took leadership roles in all of the organizations and held office in each.
Wynona’s calling and passion to care and provide for others was apparent at a young age. During the summer of her 11th year she traveled by herself on a train from Hichita to Cardin, Okla. to help care for an ailing aunt’s new born child. Wynona said that was the best summer of her life. The next year her mother was sick and Wynona, as the oldest child, took over the responsibility of the household, which included her five siblings. She not only cooked all of the meals for her brothers and sisters but also for the men that were working on the family farm. Throughout her life she truly loved serving and caring for her family, students, friends and community. Welch, Okla. was the perfect setting for Wynona’s life. In Welch she was able to provide the foundation that allowed her husband to be totally dedicated to his teams and players while she taught full time and maintained a loving household for her five children. As her children left the household she received great joy serving all her loved ones, family and friends, by taking food to their homes, driving them to doctor’s appointments and monitoring their circumstances. Her home was always open to garden club, book club and church events. Wynona cherished her freedom and was still driving until October. Wynona Sooter is eternally grateful for the love she received from her family and friends during her time on earth. She is now at peace.
A funeral is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 6th at the First Baptist Church Welch where she was an active and dedicated member. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 5th at the First Baptist Church Welch. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Welch Public Schools Enrichment Foundation and designated for the Kenneth & Wynona Sooter Scholarship Fund; P.O. Box 129, Welch, Okla. 74369.
Interment at Welch City Cemetery, Welch, Oklahoma.
Online condolences can be made to www.thomasfuneralhomewelchok.com.
Services entrusted to Thomas Funeral Home, Welch, Oklahoma.