Stillwater News Press

Obituaries

August 15, 2012

Mary Francis Coffey Gholson

Mary Francis Coffey Gholson died Aug. 9, 2012 in Stillwater, Okla.   She was born in Walpole, Ill., on Nov. 25, 1930, the first child of Arthur R. and Ruth I. Jones Coffey who are deceased.

Mary attended a one room elementary school at Hamburg, Ill., in Saline County where she graduated at the top of her very small 8th grade class of three students. The family moved to Eldorado, Ill., where she attended Eldorado Township High School and graduated as valedictorian of her class. As a result of this honor she received a full scholarship to Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale where she was again at the top of her class and received a B.S. in English and a minor in Physical Education.

While attending college, she met and married Robert Karl Gholson with whom she had three children:  Bruce (Samantha) Gholson, Mary Jane (Chronis) Panciera, and Greta (David) Panciera.  They survive her along with two brothers:  Ralph J. and William R. Gholson and sister, Martha Jane Gholson.  Her brother, James, and sister, Margaret, preceded her in death.

As a young person, Mary was interested in reading and sports. She strived to excel at all sports in which she was involved. After her three children were in school she turned to racquetball, bowling and golf and became a champion golfer.  She was the Stillwater city champion several times and the seven-time Stillwater Women’s Golf Association champion at Lakeside Memorial.  After her health started failing, she was selected to be an honorary member of the Lakeside women’s golf group, SWGA.  

Another avid interest for Mary was the writing of poetry. Some of her poems were published. She also was a keen fan of the “Frank and Ernest” cartoon published daily in Stillwater NewsPress and would share the humor in it with her children and friends.

It was Mary’s wish to be cremated and her ashes buried next to her parents in Ill.  There will be no Stillwater services for Mary.  However, the family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wings of Hope Family Crisis Center in Stillwater.

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