On February 19, our family lost its matriarch — my great-grandmother, Lucille Thurman. Granny, as she was affectionately known by all of her grandchildren, was 91 years old. Granny had been ill with leukemia for some time preceding her death. She was buried in Marietta, Oklahoma, next to my great-grandfather, Elmer Theodore “Ted” Thurman, who passed away two years ago this past October.
Granny was born Lucille Inez Willis, the fifth of seven children, to Grover Cleveland Willis and Melvina Meeks Willis on March 19, 1914 in Marietta, Love County, Oklahoma. She married my great-grandfather when she was fifteen and gave birth to six children: my grandmother Doris LaNell Thurman Cunningham, Willis Floyd Thurman, Billy Loid Thurman, twins Winnie Sue Thurman Bolding and Minnie [Penny] Lou Thurman Paul, and Lynn Doyle Thurman. She was preceded in death by her son Billy, husband Ted, and daughter Winnie.
At the time of her death, Granny had approximately 20 grandchildren, about 50 great-grandchildren, and about 20 great-great-grandchildren.
I will always remember Granny as feisty. There was nothing she wasn’t bold enough to say. She called all of us kids “Sugie.” She used to keep Dr. Pepper in bottles in her fridge, which was covered by more refrigerator magnets than I’ve ever seen on anyone else’s fridge. She used to let us play with them when we visited her. She had a keen sense of humor, and she enjoyed a good joke.
On February 16, she told family members she was “tired” and “ready to go see Ted.” She died in her sleep about 9:00 in the morning on February 19.