Born: November 14, 1933
Died: May 08, 2012
Norma Jean (Kelley) Damron of Talala, Oklahoma, passed peacefully into her eternal life on May 8, 2012 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean was born in Chockie, Oklahoma, on November 14, 1933, the youngest child of Larry and Ruth (Godsey) Kelley.
She met a young cowboy and ranch hand, Odie Damron. They were married on August 16, 1949—if you asked Jean, they were married in Sherman, Texas and if you asked Odie, they were married in Dennison, Texas. The mystery of their marriage location was the source of many stories and lots of laughter throughout their 63 years of marriage! A young Jean and her cowboy moved to Caddo, Oklahoma to begin their life together.
From Caddo, they moved to Oklahoma City, then on to Wichita, Kansas—until Odie was drafted. While he served his country in World War II, Jean moved to California to be near family. It was in California that their first son, Steve, was born.
When the war ended, Odie and Jean returned to Oklahoma working first on the Mullendore Trust Company in Pawhuska, and in 1956, moving to the Todd Ranch in Talala. They have remained in Talala throughout the rest of their married life.
Jean worked outside the house, as well. She worked 28 years as the Materials Manager for the Claremore Health Center, where she was forced to retire for health reasons.
When she wasn’t working, you could find Jean cooking for family, ranch hands, and anyone who showed up at the Damron house around mealtime. People would always find ways to return to Jean’s table! She also had her crafts—from her dollhouse to sewing to scrapbooking. Her hands were always busy. Another of her favorite pastimes was enjoying sports, supporting her own children in their interest as well as her grandson. She was a sports nut and highly competitive. Basketball season took on an almost reverent perspective in the Damron household—from high school to college ball, Jean was loyal to her teams…and the Oklahoma City Thunder? Even when she was so very ill, that television was on so she could follow Kevin Durant and his teammates…
Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend leaves a legacy of love and laughter for those who cherish her memory. Jean is survived by her husband, Odie, of the home; her son, Steve, of Talala; daughter Robin, of Talala; and daughter, Kandy, of Claremore. She leaves behind a grandson, Ben and his wife Megan, of Conway, Arkansas and their daughter—the great-granddaughter who put the sparkle in Jean’s eyes, her darling Gemma. Jean is also survived by a sister, Kathryn Kelley Tolton and husband of Corona, California; a brother Leon and wife of Euliss, Texas; a brother Bill and wife of Benton City, Washington; sister-in-law Sue Damron (Eugene) of Fairfax, Oklahoma; numerous loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
As those left behind mourn her passing, we realize that Jean is reunited in heaven with her parents, Larry and Ruth her older brother, Larry, Jr. as well as Odie’s brothers and sisters who became as her own siblings through her many years as a Damron. To this, we can only smile and look to the day when we, too, will see Jean again in eternity.
Services for Jean Damron will be held on Friday, May 11th at 10:00 a.m. at the Talala Christian Church with Pastor Tom Jones officiating. Interment will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Talala. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her memory to the American Lung Association.
Services are under the direction of Oologah Dolton Funeral Home.