|Birth: ||May 20, 1923|
|Death: ||Mar. 22, 2009|
Duncan Banner, Tues., Mar. 24, 2009
JARITA PYRL BICKNELL ASKINS, 85, of Duncan, Okla., died at her home on Sunday, March 22, 2009, after a long illness.
Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in First Christian Church, Duncan, with the Rev. Arnold C. Nelson officiating. Burial will be in Duncan Cemetery under direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home.
Jarita was born in Tecumseh, Okla., to William Stanley and Pearl Hunter Bicknell on May 20, 1923. She attended elementary school in Tecumseh before moving to western Oklahoma with her parents. She graduated from Sayre High School.
After attending one year at Sayre Jr. College, Jarita was offered a job as wire editor for The Oklahoma Daily student newspaper at The University of Oklahoma. Thus began her long love affair with journalism and OU. She was selected as the first female editor of "The Daily" and served in that leadership role for one year, later earning a bachelor of arts in journalism. She was a member of the Psi Chapter of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at OU. She later served as president of the OU Moms Club, was a member of the OU Associates, and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
The Altus Times Democrat employed Jarita upon graduation. Later, she would serve as director of public welfare for Greer County. After her father's death, she moved back home to Sayre and lived with her mother, commuting daily to Mangum. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Ollie M. Askins. They were married April 22, 1951, and moved to Duncan, where Jarita became an active helpmate with Ollie in growing the family's business, the Stephens County Abstract Company.
Jarita was the consummate volunteer. Her leadership and communication skills were in high demand. She has chaired the local United Way fund drive; led the public relations campaign to create Duncan Regional Hospital; served 11 years as director for DRH, including president of the hospital board; and completed 15 years on the board of directors of Security National Bank and Trust (now BancFirst) in Duncan.
With Ollie as her teacher, cheerleader and partner, Jarita also began to establish a record as one of southwest Oklahoma's best golfers. She won dozens of tournaments throughout Oklahoma, including couples' tournaments. Twice, she won the women's state Seniors Championship and was the perennial local club champion. Her commitment to improving the opportunities for Oklahoma women to play golf competitively resulted in decades of involvement with the Women's Oklahoma Golf Association. She was instrumental in the birth of the first Women's Golf Team at the University of Oklahoma in 1975. In 2005, she became the first woman inducted into the new WOGA Hall of Fame.
For 19 years, Jarita taught the Inspiration Sunday School Class at First Christian Church. She served on numerous committees for the Christian Church throughout southwest Oklahoma and in her local church as deaconess and elder.
Her tenacity for rules and procedures resulted in many parliamentary positions and bylaws committees. She was a member of Chapter EE of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and a past state president of the Oklahoma Chapter. For her community service and leadership, Jarita has been recognized with numerous awards. She has been honored as Distinguished Citizen by the Duncan Jaycees, Woman of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, and last year received the prestigious Liberty Bell Award from the Stephens County Bar Association. Jarita's life was full of energy and enthusiasm and was always guided by her devotion to her faith, her family and her community of friends. Her influence will leave a positive imprint on the lives of those she touched.
She is survived by her daughters, Jari Askins of Duncan, and Carrie Askins of Oklahoma City; her son and daughter-in-law, Marty and Dana Askins of Duncan; a grandson, Aaron Askins, and a granddaughter, Allison Askins; numerous nephews and nieces and a multitude of friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; and two brothers, William S. Bicknell and Wilson Hunter Bicknell.
Pallbearers will be Jim Askins, Bill Card, Charles Anderson, John Anderson, Terry McCoy and Kent Bicknell.
Honorary bearers are Gene Nelson, Bill Wetzel, Cecil Conner, Don Grantham, J.D. Carter, Jack Smith, Buddy Campbell, Reginald Lasater and Jerry Whitten.
Ollie Martin Askins (1914 - 2005)*
Duncan Municipal Cemetery
Created by: Jean
Record added: Mar 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35091321