Mary's Story

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A beautiful baby girl brightened the lives of her mother, Rosa (Mercer) Willis, and two brothers, Harold and Everett, when Mary Ann arrived at their Camp Creek area home on May 9, 1929. Rosa had longed to have a girl since the loss of two infant daughters while living in Canon City, CO years before. Mary Ann grew up in the Camp Creek/Lenora area on her mother's farm, attending grade school at Camp Creek and Camargo. She then attended High School in Taloga. She and her brothers were joined by two younger brothers, Morris and Don, during her young life. A strong bond among them evolved and continued throughout her life. They all focused on the hard work necessary to provide and produce a good living with their mother. Mary Ann's parents divorced and her mother and family received valuable help from Beatrice and Melvin Winburn of the Camp Creek community. They nurtured Mary Ann's abilities to sing, to learn tasks and responsibilities and generally be a beautiful young woman. "Primp" became a permanent nickname placed upon her by Melvin. Lipstick was a favorite accent for her beautiful brown hair and eyes. She loved her extended family and shared many experiences with first cousins who carried the Mercer legacy around Camp Creek. Mary Ann eloped with Lynn Spake in January of 1946, marrying at Canadian, TX. They established life on a farm near Cestos, OK, and after daughter Judy and son Al were born, lived the farm life near Cestos and at Rosa's farm. Rosa married Ralph Taylor, who became a father figure and wonderful grandfather. Lynn, Mary Ann and children lived in the Camp Creek area a few years, ran a cafe at Taloga and worked hard. Mary Ann was employed during all but two of her children's school years, but she never missed a ballgame or school event nor ignored the need for baked cookies or sponsors for various functions. She encouraged like no other - "better yourself". Mary Ann was employed by ASCS offices in Dewey and Woodward Counties and in Wichita, KS, where the family lived for a few years. After their return to Oklahoma, Mary Ann joined the Bank of Vici as a teller in 1964. She advanced through positions, culminating with Executive Vice President/CEO before her retirement in 1994. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 1974 and remained so until the time of her death. She truly found her passion and life's work at the Bank of Vici. Interacting with customers and banking officials was satisfying and she took great pride in the growth of the community. Mary Ann mentored staff, took training and served on committees. She was ambitious and proactive in the National Association of Bank Women (NABW). She was responsible for the bank's scholarship program, giving Vici High School seniors help with college finances. She pursued a real estate broker's license two years before her bank retirement, and became recognized as a top seller at Caldwell Banker Real Estate after her retirement. Mary Ann had many interests and was active in the Dewey County Historical Society, often transporting Olive Ray, Leona Krows and others to the meetings. She was inducted to the Dewey County Hall of Fame in 1994. She loved to travel and did so with her daughter Judy and dear friend Barbara Krening. Shopping was a favorite past-time and she appreciated quality merchandise. She and Beatrice Winburn were joyful companions on many of these expeditions. She enjoyed reading biographies and novels with Danielle Steele as a favorite author. She treasured family gatherings of picnics and holidays, both with her maternal family and in-laws. A woman of impeccable style, Mary Ann eagerly joined the Red Hat Society, loving to be dressed in purple and wearing a special red hat and jewelry to match. She also belonged to the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Mary Ann was baptized as a young girl and was a member of the First Christian Church of Vici for over 50 years, giving of her time in the LMS and other ministries of the church. Mary Ann (Willis) Spake entered Heaven Wednesday, August 12, 2015, with her beloved family surrounding her. A dignified, smart and beautiful woman has left us better individuals as a result of having known and loved her. And so it is. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents Rosa and Ralph Taylor, father Roy L. Willis, brothers Harold, Everett and Morris Willis, infant siblings Theodore, Josephine and Fern Willis, special "sister" Beatrice Winburn, cousin Melvin Winburn and niece Kimberly Willis. She is survived by her husband Lynn Spake of the home in Vici, OK; daughter Judy Turner of Houston, TX; son Albert Lynn Spake, Jr of Vici, OK; brother Don Willis and wife Mary of Wellston, OK; sister-in-law Reta Hunter of Woodward, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. Funeral services were held Monday August 17, 2015 at 10:30 am at the First Christian Church, Vici, Oklahoma with burial following in Riley Cemetery, Vici, Oklahoma. Condolences may be made to the family & Memorial Tribute viewed at shawfuneralhome.net. Shaw Funeral Home of Vici
Published on  August 18, 2015
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