Graveside funeral services for Emma L. Thurman, 81, Walters, will be held, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at 2 p.m., at the Walters Cemetery, Walters. Masks are required.

Emma Luella (preferred Emma Lou) was born to Eddie and Effie Phillips in Randlett, on April 16, 1939 and departed this life Jan. 8, 2021 in Lawton.

Emma graduated Walters High School in the class of 1957 and continued her education at Cameron College with an Associate’s degree in 1960.

She was working at Fort Sill, when she met and married a soldier by the name of Jay Darrell Keehn. To this union two sons were born, Darrell Jay Keehn born July 22, 1963 and Kent Alan Keehn born Sept. 22, 1966. After leaving Fort Sill the family moved to Ohio where he was employed. Her husband passed away at the early age of 36 leaving Emma with two small boys to raise alone.

She moved her little family back to Walters, bought a home and began a new life in the hometown she loved where she was surrounded by family and friends.

Emma began a career with the United States Postal Service as a clerk in the early 80’s and that was also when she began a new chapter in her life. In March of 1980 Emma married David Lee Thurman of Walters. For 41 happy years they shared a life together and through sickness and health they were always there for each other.

Emma retired from the Post Office in 2000 while serving as Acting Post Master in various posts offices in the state.

David and Emma’s life together was an adventure. They both loved to travel and were able to see a portion of the world with friends. In 2002 they traveled to Russia on a cruise that remains to this day a favorite, often talked about, memory. From the Russian ballet (which has a story with it) to the fact you can spend 14 days on a cruise ship and never eat anything fried was a mystery to David even though Emma was OK with it. Other trips took them through the Panama Canal and eventually a long trip through Alaska. These adventures brought a group of friends together who bonded for life — all sharing one funny story after another. Emma loved it all.

The last few travel years found them with especially dear friends sharing a mid- summer retreat in Ruidoso, New Mexico. They looked forward every year to the trip to the mountains and all the fun they had there.

Emma was a sports fan – deluxe. She supported all of Walters teams and especially the Walters Golf Team where she remained a supportive fan. She loved helping with bringing lunch to the Walters players and was always there to help with various events. She also served on the Walters Women’s Golf Board for many years.

A huge OU girls basketball fan, she never missed a game and made a weekly drive to Norman with friends to every game she could manage. Emma not only watched – she absorbed and could quote the details of the game from start to finish. Only a true fan can do that. Boomer Sooner!

Emma Thurman was a kind hearted woman whose easy laugh and constant smile brought joy to all who knew her. She loved her husband, she loved her sons & their wives, loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved spending time with her friends. If you could sum up her life with one sentence it would have to be “She was a good woman — loved by all who knew her.”

She was preceded in death by her parents and her two siblings. Ivan and Naomi Phillips.

She is survived by her husband of the home, David Thurman; and two sons: Jay Darrell and Kent Keehn; grandchildren: Jay and Annie Keehn of Tecumseh; Rahshonda and Anthony Hurley-Bell of Norman; Shaun and Sarah Henricks of Walters; Summer and Juan Garcia of Moore; Kassie and Josh Hatton of Ada; great-grandchildren and special nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family request in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the Walters Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 485, Walters, OK 73572.

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