A celebration of a life well spent will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 25, 2014, at First Baptist Church, 225 1st Avenue SW, for a longtime Ardmoreite, humanitarian and educator, Mentha Mitchell Varner. Her niece, the Rev. Mary Finley, and nephew, the Rev. Frank Lewis Cox, will officiate the celebration. Interment will follow in Clearview Cemetery.
With family at her bedside, Mrs. Varner heard the voice of God calling her from labor to reward for many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Ardmore, Carter County, Oklahoma and America. Mrs. Varner, as she was affectionately called, departed this life on April 19, 2014, following her 100th birthday celebration with hundreds of family members and friends in attendance. This native Oklahoman was one of 10 children born in Tatums to W.E. and Mary F. Mitchell. The family relocated to Ardmore in 1930. Mentha graduated from Douglass High School in 1932. In 1936, she earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary and physical education from Langston University. Post-graduate studies included Claver Catholic College, Guthrie; University of Iowa; Southeastern State University; East Central State University; and Oklahoma University. She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church, where she was committed and dedicated to the service of the Lord. Her hobbies included reading, sports and traveling with her family. She has been to every state in the United States, including Hawaii and a motor trip to Alaska, and has traveled to 15 countries abroad. She was a writer, having written an editorial column for The Daily Ardmoreite for 10 years, and she is the author of a book, “Words of Wisdom,” published in 1997. Her many awards are too numerous to mention. Mrs. Varner, mother, grandma, granny and auntie, lived her life with a philosophy, “I cannot change the world, but because of me, someone’s world is different!”
Those left to mourn her passing are her beloved son, Thomas Carl II, and daughter-in-law Dorothy; a niece, BettyE Cox (Charles), whom she raised like a daughter; two loving grandchildren, Shauna “Nikki” Varner-Boyd (Anthony) and Thomas Carl III “Trey” (Bridget); seven great-grandchildren, Elyeese, Kiana, Thomas Carl IV “TY”, Kerrigan, Thomas Charles, Malik and Marquon; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Services are entrusted to the care of Kirk Funeral Home. Viewal for friends will be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. today.