Earnest, Josie Mae (Russell)
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Updated: 16 Mar 2013
Created:  07 Nov 2011

Oklahoman Archives
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
September 12, 2011, p 19

Josie Mae Earnest , 80, of Choctaw, Oklahoma, died September 12, 2011. Born June 19, 1931, in Shamrock, Texas, to Freeman and Daisy Russell.

Preceded in death by her parents and husband of 50 years, Don Thomas, as well as her sister, Margaret Bird.

Survived by her husband, Ron Earnest ; four children, Donna Jo Davis, Gary Thomas, Jeanie Rakowski and Cindy Cauffiel; as well as grandson, Mark Davis; seven other grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; sisters, Billie Hatchett and Janie Winterheld; and brother, Austin Russell.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2011, at 10:00 A.M., at First Baptist Church of Nicoma Park, Oklahoma. Interment will follow at Arlington Memory Gardens in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

She is also survived by her sisters Billie Hatchett and Janie Winterheld, and her only brother Austin Russell.

Josie graduated from Chickasha High School. She married Don Thomas December 24, 1950, in the tiny Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Chickasha. She chose not to work while she raised her four children. In the mid-1960s she started working outside the home. She worked for an insurance company, then the YMCA. She taught herself how to type and take shorthand, and began her Tinker career in September 1971 as a secretary. She rose through the ranks at Tinker and retired as an Industrial Funds Specialist in March 1993 where she proudly supported the Air Force KC-135 fleet. She worked as a substitute teacher from 1994-1996, then from 1997-2000 worked once again as a Logistics Analyst for SAIC- again supporting the KC-135. After that she finally retired to do mission work and care for Don.

Josie served faithfully her entire life in her local church. From Michigan Avenue, to Howard Memorial, to Crest Baptist, to First Baptist Church Nicoma Park- she taught Sunday School, GAs.
WMU, bible studies, and sang in choirs.

Her mission work included trips to India, Malawi, France, Cuba, and Mexico. Her passion was the work she did in India, where she supported hospitals, children's schools, and helped start churches.

Josie married Ron Earnest in June 2004. They shared many fun travels and served God together at First Baptist Nicoma Park. Ron tenderly loved and cared for Josie during their time together.

Josie made full use of the life God gave her. She shared God's love and her love with all those she met. She is loved and admired by family, friends, and those she touched around the world.


... Complied and transcribed by Zoey Fryhover, 2010.
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