April 4, 1926 - March 4, 2013
Emma Lillian Fite, 86, went to be with her heavenly Father on Monday, March 4, 2013, at her home with her daughters at her side after battling melanoma of the liver for seven months.
Lillian was born April 4, 1926, to Claud and Opal McCollum in Mesa, Arizona. Her family moved to California when she was about 10 for her dad to work in the orchards. She has told her family stories of their travel on Route 66 and of living in a workers' camp in a small cabin. The family returned to Oklahoma and she attended Yeager Schools where she played basketball and softball and met her future husband, John. They were married on August 7, 1943, in Holdenville, Oklahoma. They moved to Henryetta, Oklahoma, and returned to Holdenville where Carolyn was born. John worked in a grocery store and Lillian was a housewife and mother. John surrendered to the ministry and began pastoring Fairview Baptist Church in Holdenville and Lillian began her life as a minister's wife. Shortly after Dana was born in Holdenville, they moved to Shawnee for John to attend Oklahoma Baptist University. John was called as pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, Shawnee, and Lillian began her working career as secretary/bookkeeper at Davis Hatchery. After John graduated from OBU, thev moved to Fort Worth, Texas, for him to attend the seminary. After one year the family moved back to Shawnee for John to be pastor of Oklahoma Avenue Baptist Church. While in Shawnee, Lillian worked at Montgomery Ward and Brown Furniture Companv. Lillian was always supportive of John's ministry whether it was attending associational meetings, visiting shut-ins, making hospital visits, arranging for wedding and baby showers, being a sponsor and assistant cook at Falls Creek. or whatever John needed her to do. After years in the pastoral ministry, John and Lillian felt called to serve as house parents at the Baptist Children's Home in Oklahoma City. After six years of being house parents, they spent the remaining fourteen years in other positions. During that time, Lillian was cottage coordinator during the construction of the present location in south Oklahoma City. After retirement, they moved back to Shawnee to be near their family. Lillian's many interests included cross stitch, attending OBU basketball, OU football, and OU Girl's basketball games, keeping her great grandchildren, and cooking for her family. When John and Lillian returned to Shawnee, they joined Immanuel Baptist Church and enjoyed attending church with their daughters and their families. One of her joys was seeing all four of her great grandchildren baptized.
Lillian was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; two brothers, Everett and Bob McCollum; and niece, Brenda Mullican, She is survived by her daughters Carol and her husband, Ken Barnes, of Oklahoma City, their son and wife Todd and Anne Barnes, daughters, Lauren and Mallory, of Norman; Dana Taylor and special friend, Billie Howard, her daughters, Stephanie Taylor and Andrea and David Depuy, and children, Ryan and Kassidy, of Shawnee; special friends, Vernon and Debbie Marlev and Melodv Williams: sisters-in-law Marie Bowen and Maxine Bowen; brother-in-law Wayne and Deloris Fite; nephews, Bill, Bob and David McCollum, Don and Tim Bowen, Earl and Kevin Lankford, Alan Fite and nieces, Alice Reeves, Beth Crane, Jeanne Smith, Traeda Caldwell. Cathy Ramsey, Laura Edwards, Janna Meler and many cherished friends. The family will receive visitors at Walker Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 6, from 5 til 7 p.m. The casket will remain open at the funeral home until 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 7. Memorial service is at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Immanuel Baptist Church with Dr. Todd Fisher officiating. Lillian requested, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Immanuel Baptist Church Building Fund, 1451 E. 45th, Shawnee, Ok 74804.