Gene Fletcher, age 94, of Coweta passed away on Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2022 while at the hospice Clarehouse in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gene was born on December 10, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan. Not long after her birth, her father and mother decided to move to the Shawnee, Oklahoma area toward the end of 1928 where Gene’s dad had relatives living close by. They farmed that area and her mom and dad had a baby sister on April 18, 1929. Her name was Dorothy Virginia. Elizabeth Louise (Betty Lou) was born May 5, 1931. The family moved from Newalla, Oklahoma about 1933 and lived on a farm southwest of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma where a new baby sister, Thelma Joan was born on December 13, 1934.
In the summer of 1943, Gene’s mom (whose name was also Margaret) drove to New Orleans to determine if they could get welding jobs there, as due to WWII, there were more jobs becoming available. They determined that it was not a fit. (They had previously gone to Muskogee to take welding lessons.) Income producing jobs were very much needed at that time.
In the Fall of 1943, the family of six traveled by car to Southern California, leaving the farm in care of a renter.
Later on in 1943, Gene’s father William Gay, along with her mother Margaret, and sisters Gene and Dorothy were able to get jobs at the shipyards in Long Beach, California.
After the war the family moved back to Webbers Falls to continue farming.
Marvin Fletcher and Gene Gay were married on January 24, 1948. Later that year they found out big ranches in California were in desperate need of farm hands to help bring in their crops of barley, wheat, cotton, and milo corn. Later that year they moved to a small town in the valley called Stratford. While in Stratford they had a son named Marvin Wayne and a year later they had a daughter, Shirley Gay. At this point Gene became a stay-at-home mother.
As time passed, some of the biggest ranchers started buying out the smaller farmers and consequently Marvin got laid off. So back to Oklahoma they returned and settled in Tulsa. Marvin got a job with the City of Tulsa as a Traffic Engineer. A few years later they bought 80 acres with a house on site near Tahlequah. After a few years of driving to Tulsa for work, they sold the property and moved to Coweta. This property had a house and 2 1/2 acres.
Their love for horses took over and they bought 2-3 horses and joined the local Roundup Club. Gene started training horses in her pasture and in no time, she had horses ready for showing in the “Show Class”. She won ribbons and trophies and then started training horses for the “Trail Class” and “Barrel Racing”.
She loved going to the roundup club arena and working with horses and visiting her friends. Gene and Marvin’s life was complete and that was obvious as they were club members for 36 years.
Gene is survived by her son, Wayne Fletcher and his wife Beth of Huntsville, Texas; her daughter, Shirley Garman and her husband Steve of Coweta, Oklahoma; 7 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; her sister, Thelma Freeberg and her husband Larry of California; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Gene was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin Henry Fletcher; her parents, William C. and Margaret Gay; her daughter, Barbara McNeeley; and her sisters, Dorothy Martin and Betty Lou Martin.
We’ll miss you, Gene Fletcher.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made in memory of Gene to the Clarehouse, www.clarehouse.org/donate.
Visitation will be from 6:00-8:00 PM on Friday, April 29, 2022 at Brown Funeral Home in Coweta, Oklahoma. Services celebrating Gene’s life will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the First Christian Church in Coweta, Oklahoma with Tony Holmes officiating. Gene will be laid to rest at Vernon Cemetery in Coweta, Oklahoma.
Family and friends may share memories online at www.brownfamilycares.com. The family of Gene Fletcher entrusted her care and services to Brown Funeral Home & Cremations, 210 S. Broadway, Coweta, Oklahoma 74429, 918-486-5515.
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