Lucile's Story

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Lucile Blasdel, a 100 year old long time Woodward resident, died Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Woodward. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017 in the Living Word Fellowship Church with Pastor Eric Cox officiating. Interment will follow in the Elmwood Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Billings Funeral Home.

Lucile McClung was born on January 17, 1917 to Henry Matthew McClung and Phoebe Ferris James McClung on a cold winter night on a farm homestead six miles south of May, Oklahoma. The McClungs were blessed with five children: Robert, Vivian, Elizabeth, Lucile, and Pauline, with Lucile being the fourth of the five children.

Lucile lived in May until she went to college. There were many business establishments in the thriving town of May. There were two grocery stores, a drug store, a bank, a post office, a hotel, a dry goods store, hardware store, a cream station, barber shop, lumber yard, blacksmith shop, telephone office, furniture store, filling station, dance hall, grain elevator, and three churches. The town also had a jail, but it was later pushed into the river by some young high school boys during a large storm. Now there is only a post office, one church, and the May Country Store, which happens to be owned by Lucile's great niece.

Of the three churches in May, the McClung family was part of the Methodist Church. Lucile gave her heart to the Lord at an early age at a Methodist revival in May. Her spiritual life was also deepened and enriched by the teachings and guidance of her mother Phoebe.

Lucile grew up in hard times. The indescribable economic disaster of the Great Depression was so bad that many farmers sold their land or just left and moved away. She saw banks close their doors and people she knew lost everything. But she never let it break her spirit. She continued to believe in The Lord.

Lucile's father, who was a farmer and cattle buyer, traveled all over the country buying cattle. She often helped her father round up the cattle on horseback so they could be shipped to Kansas City. Lucile also learned to milk cows alongside her sisters. Each morning they would drive to the country in their Model T Ford Coup.

There were special events going on constantly in May and Harper County. Lucile's mother made sure that the girls played the piano and were given the opportunity to take music lessons. Before she reached the 7th grade, she was playing difficult classical music and won many contests. Lucile was also interested in drama and in her junior year she was chosen to play the part of "The Red Headed Step-Child" and in her senior year she played a two-part character in "I Will, I Won't." Lucile graduated in 1934 from May High School as valedictorian of her senior class.

Lucile's parents regarded education as a foundation of wisdom, and they encouraged their children to obtain an education. The McClung children were taught by their parents and a very strict Grandmother McClung, from an early age, to know right from wrong, to tell the truth, to practice good manners, to respect one's elders, to have a positive attitude, and be self-sufficient. All of these wonderful characteristics she then passed down to her family. Lucile was one of those women that touched the life of every person she came into contact with.

In the fall of 1934 Lucile enrolled in College at Oklahoma A&M College, now Oklahoma State University at Stillwater. After Lucile's parents had given Lucile their checkbook for her college use, they said, "Now don't spend any more than you have to." That statement stayed with Lucile for the rest of her life. Lucile and all of her sisters had always been conscious of the value of money and had not been extravagant.

Lucile, coming from a small town, didn't really know what to expect of college. She was overwhelmed at first with all the responsibilities and was homesick. Soon she became involved in different classes and was fascinated with college and the many activities. She belonged to the Kappa Delta Sorority. This is where she met Jack Blasdel, who was a member of the Farmhouse Fraternity, located next door to her Kappa Delta House. Their acquaintance soon blossomed from friendship to a life-long love.

In June 1938, Lucile graduated from Oklahoma A&M (OSU) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. On June 25, 1938 the college sweethearts Jack and Lucile were married in her parents' garden in May. The newlyweds traveled to Colorado on their honeymoon and and upon their return made their home on a ranch near Mutual. Lucile found it quite different living on the ranch, but she accepted the challenge with interest and with enthusiasm. She appreciated the beauty of the land, and the big native elm trees around the house, as well as Persimmon Creek, which was across the road from the house. She had always enjoyed the country and marveled at what the land could produce if it had the rainfall. At this time the country was still suffering from the Great Depression, droughts, wind and dust storms, along with food and gas shortages during World War II. Lucile not only supported her husband and the activities on the farm, but she baked bread, cooked for the family and the hired men, raised chickens, was the family seamstress, and became involved in the Mutual community and church.

Jack and Lucile were blessed with a son Merrill. A few years later their daughter Regena was born. Soon the family became interested in the school and community activities. Lucile helped form the 4-H Club and became a member of Helping Hands Home Demonstration Club in Mutual. She loved the people of Mutual and said they were so good to her.

After a period of time Lucile was healed by the Lord from Asthma. She served as President of Horace Mann Elementary School PTA as well as being a C&R 4-H Club Leader. She wrote many speeches for her children to present in demonstrations in 4-H Club well as providing encouragement to her children with their cattle projects that they showed at different county and state events. Merrill and Regena were in 4-H Club for several years, and they received numerous awards and honors.

After the children were in high school and junior high, Lucile saw an ad in the newspaper in 1955 that Bryan Billings, Sr. needed a legal secretary. She applied for the job and was hired. It had been seventeen years since she had graduated from college, so for a month she practiced her shorthand and typing of legal documents. It was hard, but she was determined that she could do it. Luciile claimed the scripture John 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence that we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." One lady remarked that Lucile would never last because she knew what a good lawyer Bryan Billings, Sr. was and that he would be hard to please. She worked for Billings & Billings Law firm as a legal secretary for forty-three years and retired in November of 1998. She loved her work and found it very interesting. There was never a dull moment and each day was a different challenge.

Lucile said one of the most challenging tasks in her life was to compile and edit the book "There Goes the West" that her mother, Phoebe Ferris James McClung, had started writing. Her mother had written stories of the pioneer days about her parents and life in the unsettled lands of No-Man's-Land and May where she grew up. Her mother's papers and notes had been accumulating over the years and were scattered here and there in boxes. After the death of Phoebe, the family wanted to see the book that she had written Lucile told them that there was no book, but there were bits and pieces located in boxes under her bed. After much thought, Lucile told her family that she would compile the book. She finished it by the Christmas of 1997, and with the aide of the McClung family copies were given to the family members at Christmas. She fulfilled her mother's sincere desire to have a written account of her past experiences as a legacy for her family to read and enjoy.

In 2011 Lucile was honored as a fifty-year-old charter member of the Chapter EN, P.E.O. an international women's organization that provides educational opportunities for young women. Lucile also enjoyed doing many projects such as refinishing many tables and chairs as well as the 1930's antique dining room furniture of Jack's parents. She also loved to raise flowers, maintain a beautiful lawn, and was a wonderful cook.

Lucile's home and family meant so much to her and she enjoyed entertaining her family in her home. Her home was also a gathering place for many family functions especially at Christmas with all extended family members.

After Jack died Lucile looked forward to the daily calls from Regena. She always liked to hear the reports of what the family was doing every day. Even though Regena and her family lived 360 miles from her, they were always in her heart and prayers every day. Lucile loved them so much and cherished the day when they will all be together in Heaven. Acts 16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

The Lord Jesus Christ was the most important part of Lucile's life. Her relationship with God and her faith in His truth and love became central in her life. She served the Lord by teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and praying for people. Also Jack and Lucile had held weekly prayer groups in their home for many years. She was known for her deep and steadfast faith in God and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. For the last twenty-five years she has been a faithful member of the Living Word Fellowship Church in Woodward and loved all the people there. They called her Ms. Lucile and she was an inspiration to many there. They treated her with great honor and love, and her family is truly grateful for that love and compassion.

Lucile was grateful for the compassionate care given by her caregivers: Melissa Pittman, Erica Solis, Catalina Willison, Becky Wares, and Patty Crow over the past few years.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children: Merrill of Pasadena, California, Regena Morris and her husband Mickey, her granddaughter, Rayleen, two great grandchildren, Courtney and Brennen, and a great-great granddaughter, Delaney, all of Burleson, Texas. Lucile is also survived by Lois Blasdel, her sister-in-law, of Woodward, and many nieces, nephews, and friends, who have been such a great help to her over the years.

Lucile was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Blasdel on May 19, 2007, her parents Henry and Phoebe McClung, her brother Robert McClung, and her sisters Vivian Vloedman, Elizabeth Glasgow, and Pauline Benbrook.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814 with the funeral home accepting the contributions on behalf of the family.

Remembrances may be shared online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com
Published on June 14, 2017
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