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Washita County, Oklahoma

Edna Mae Gattis was born on September 26, 1920 to Blanch and Jacob Merkey in Cloud Chief, Oklahoma. She was raised on a farm with three brothers: Joe, Jessie, and Edwin Merkey; and two sisters, Marietta Duncan and Marjorie Prentice.

After her father's death the family moved to Cordell where Edna worked for Hartroft Funeral Home. She cooked and cleaned for them and was known for roller skating to work.

She also worked at Cordell Hospital where she assisted with patient care and delivering babies. Her "claim to fame" was assisting with the delivery of former U.S. Congressman Glenn English.

It was at the hospital that she met Curtis Edgar Smith whom she married March 11, 1947. Curtis fought in World War II and the "Invasion of Normandy" where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. They were married for 20 years until his death in 1967.

Edna married her second husband, Curtis Newton Gattis in 1968. They spent much of their married life traveling the states with a circus tour and volunteering with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the summers cooking and going to camps.

Curtis Gattis preceded her in death in 1980.

Edna loved children and spent time working for day care centers and baby sitting in her home. A big part of her life was her church and family, both of which brought her a lot of joy.

She enjoyed Bible study, church activities and listening and singing Christian hymns.

She also enjoyed helping her elderly neighbors with daily tasks until 1995 when she was unable to live alone and moved to Amberwood Nursing Home. Later she moved to Central Oklahoma Christian Home and Grace Living Center at Brookwood where her daughter Zena worked as a nurse and could be close to her.

After a two week stay in Edmond Regional Hospital, God took her home on June 18, 2003.

Edna is survived by her three children: Paul Elbert Smith and his wife, Shirley of Carter, Zena Sue Matthew and Wade Eugene Smith, both of Oklahoma City; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; as well as many step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other relatives whom she loved very much.

She was preceded in death by her mother and her youngest brother.

Source: Cordell Beacon

Contributed by Marti Graham, August 2003. Information posted as courtesy to researchers. The contributor is not related to nor researching any of the families mentioned.


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