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Mary Jo Bullis

January 21, 2024 - 00:00
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  • Mary Jo Bullis
    Mary Jo Bullis

Mary Josephine (Browne) Bullis was born in Hunnewell, Mo., on Aug. 3, 1940, to Loretta Rose (Montgomery) Browne and Charles Chapman Browne. She passed away Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. She was 83.

Mary Jo had five siblings: Sue, Bill, Mike, Eileen and Charlie.

The family moved from Hunnewell to Kingfisher in 1949 after Charles had taken a job working for a telephone exchange that would later become Pioneer Telephone.

Mary Jo attended Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School and graduated from Kingfi sher High School where she was active in FHA, Pep Club, choral quartet, and was a cheerleader.

After graduating from Kingfisher High School, Mary Jo continued her education at Texas Women’s College in Denton, Texas, and Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kan.

On Oct. 29, 1960, Mary Jo married Ray Allen Bullis. Mary Jo and Ray moved to the family farm where they farmed with Ray’s parents, Wilbur and Lucy Bullis, and later their son, Chris.

Mary Jo and Ray had four children: Elizabeth Ann (Beth), Marcella Marie (Marcy), Christopher Kenton (Chris) and John Robinson (Rob).

Mary Jo was an accomplished homemaker, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Mary Jo rarely missed an event that her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participated in. It didn’t matter if it was a livestock show, Junior Miss, 4-H competition, basketball game or baseball game, Mary Jo was always there.

She got to enjoy watching her children and grandchildren participate in and win several different state tournaments.

Mary Jo took great joy in rearing her family with Ray. Whether it was teaching her daughters how to sew and cook or helping her sons with projects, she showed her love every day.

She was an accomplished seamstress who was a perfectionist and sewed many of the clothes that her daughters wore during their school years.

Mary Jo spent countless hours listening to speeches, traveling to events and supporting her family in their various activities. She was always eager to take meals to the field during harvest and kept the books for the farming operation.

In 2006, Mary Jo began writing stories about her and Ray’s childhood and married life for the grandchildren. These stories unfortunately stopped when her memory issues began in 2018, but they are a treasured reflection of the loving and talented grandmother that Mary Jo was.

Mary Jo was very active in her community and in her faith. She served on the Dover Board of Education and was a tireless volunteer for Dover Schools.

She led efforts to continually improve Dover Schools, including helping raise funds for items such as new stage curtains, can drives for library books, assisting with eye screenings for students, serving on the Dover Education Foundation and the Dover Booster Club.

Mary Jo was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hennessey. She taught Catholic education classes and was a member of the St. Joseph Altar Society.

Mary Jo was involved in Home and Community Education where she held multiple offices at the local and state level. Mary Jo was acknowledged as the Homemaker of the Year on both the county and state level.

Mary Jo is survived by her husband Ray of the home, daughter Beth Evans and husband Andy of Kingfisher, Marcy Eldridge and husband Steve of Deer Creek, Chris Bullis and wife Cheryl of Dover, and Rob Bullis and wife Tyree of Enid.

Mary Jo’s grandchildren include Jennifer Farrar and husband Chase of Kingfisher, Krista Peck and husband Matt of Kingfisher, Abby Briscoe and Charlie Forster of Fort Worth, Caleb Eldridge and wife Devin of Piedmont, Haley Eldridge of Oklahoma City, Lucy Bullis of Enid, Lyla Bullis of Enid, and Mandy Gulley and husband Clint of Canute.

Mary Jo’s great-grandchildren include Collin and Cal Farrar of Kingfisher, Palmer and Parker Peck of Kingfisher, and Peri Gulley of Canute.

Mary Jo’s surviving siblings include brother Mike Browne of Houston, sister Eileen Radunzel of Mc-Loud, brother Bill Browne of Dallas, and sister-in-law Mary Francis Streller of Edmond. Mary Jo also had numerous friends, nieces, nephews and cousins who will greatly miss her.

Mary Jo was preceded in death by her parents, granddaughter Shea Briscoe, sister Sue Dixon, brother Charlie Browne and brother-in-law Gene Streller.

The wake service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, at St Joseph Catholic Church in Hennessey. Mass of Christian Burial will be10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, at St Joseph Catholic Church.

Interment will follow at Hennessey Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Cordry-Gritz Funeral Home, Hennessey.

The family asks that donations in Mary Jo’s memory be sent to St Joseph Catholic Church, 211 N. Cherokee, Hennessey, OK 73742; Dover Education Foundation, P.O. Box 154, Dover, OK 73734; Russell-Murray Hospice, P.O. Box 1423, El Reno, OK 73036.

The family would like to express thanks to the caregivers of Homestead Memory Care Unit in Kingfisher. The sweet and gentle care given to Mary Jo during her time at Homestead is greatly appreciated and has been a true blessing to our family.