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Marjorie A. Spees, (Jan 17, 1927 - Jan 2, 2011)

 Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society

Homemaker, piano teacher. Born in Tulsa , January 17, 1927, Marjorie A. Bacon, passed away January 2nd, 2011. She attended Tulsa Central High School and Chickashea College for Women, majoring in science and physiology.

TRMS has lost another long-time member, Marjorie Spees,  Marjorie and her husband, Richard, loved to go out collecting and attending other club functions.  Even after Marjorie was ill, she still would attend club functions.  She talked about her family all the time.  She loved them dearly.  The last time I saw Marjorie on a club outing was on a fieldtrip to Lake Texoma .  Some of the guys had to help her across some logs on the beach.  Her awful illness has taken another lovely person. -(JoAnn Mounce)

John Chewning Cassity, (March 3, 1917 - Dec 17, 2010)

Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society

97, passed away Friday, December 17, 2010, in Durham, North Carolina.

Born March 3, 1913 on a farm near Gentry, Missouri, he was the only son of Steven and Bernice Schaumloeffel Cassity. He grew up in Gentry and nearby Albany, Missouri, where he completed high school. He attended the University of Oklahoma where in 1935 he received a BS in mechanical engineering, with a focus on aeronautics.

During college he began training in field artillery and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Army Reserves before graduation. During WWII he served active duty from 1941-1946 with the 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions primarily as a field artillery training officer and unit commander. Following the war, he continued in a reserve role, retiring from Army service as a Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1938 he married Odessa Crunk from Paintrock, Texas from whom he was widowed in 1957. In 1958 he remarried to Elenor Mitchell Bryant of Tulsa from whom he was widowed in 2006.

For most of his life he called Tulsa his home. His early career was in Texas and Oklahoma iwth Sinclair Oil and Gas Company in their Gas Products Division where he did field testing and later designed pipeline systems. He subsequently worked as a production design engineer for Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa and was involved in modification programs for military aircraft. He completed his working life with the U.S. Treasury as an IRS tax valuation engineer of oil and gas properties. He also attained a commercial pilots license with a flight instructor's rating and was a licensed real estate broker in Oklahoma.

Following retirement in 1975, Mr. Cassity and his wife pursued their common interest in travel and mineralogy. They crisscrossed the Southwest and Rockies with their travel trailer and friends collecting minerals and attending rock shows ( of the non-musical variety). they were members of the Tulsa Rock and Mineral Society, where he served as President and Show Chair.

In his late retirement, Mr. Cassity moved in 1990 to Durham, North Carolina where he was a member of Mount Sylvan United Methodist Church an the Sylvan Seniors. He will be be remembered and cherished by family and friends for his salt-of-the earth nature, his willingness to help on practical matters and his vast experience and understanding of all things mechanical.

He is survived by his daughter, Diana Bryant Jackson and her husband Robert of Durham, two grandchildren, Kyle Bryant Jackson of Raleigh and Genesa Jackson Trogdon and husband Leonard of Summerfield, NC two great granddaughters, Paige Eleanor and Allison Elizabeth Trogodon.

Max A. Burkhalter (July 1, 1925-Oct 17, 2010)

Oklahoma Mineral & Gem Society

Was born July 1, 1925 to Louis A. Burkhalter and Marguerite Sheeley Burkhalter in Blackwell , Oklahoma . He enlisted in the Army Air Force in May 1943 and was inducted August 3, 1943 after graduating from high school. After his basic training, he entered his training as a pilot and spent the rest of his tour receiving instructions. He was discharged in October 1945 after the war. He remained in the reserve and was retired as a Captain in 1963. In 1951, he met and married Arlene Farrington, also from Blackwell. He is a member of the American Legion Post No. 127 and the Oklahoma Mineral & Gem Society. Max and his widow Arlene have been very active members not only in our local OMGS group, but also holding positions in the Oklahoma State Association, The Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, that serves the Seven Regional Federations. -(legacy.com)

Max Burkhalter, another Air Force veteran of WWII, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 17th, 2010, after a long decline in his health due to dementia. Max and his widow Arlene have been very active members not only in our local OMGS group, but also holding positions in the Oklahoma State Association, The Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, that serves the Seven Regional Federations. -(Paul Cinnamon)

Lt. Col. Chester A. (Chet) Hazelwood, (April 8, 1916 - Oct 16, 2010)

Oklahoma Mineral & Gem Society

Passed away Saturday, October 16th, 2010. He was born on April 8, 1916 in Kansas City , MO to Albert Frank Hazelwood and Violet Evelyn Hazelwood (nee Swanson). Chet was preceded in death by his parents, 4 of his 5 siblings, Lois Violet Kreamer, Doris Evelyn Draper, Francis Godfrey Hazelwood and Harry Lee Hazelwood, his beloved wife of 66 years Jackie Hazelwood (nee Blair), three sons - Baby Hazelwood, George F. Hazelwood and Paul C. Hazelwood. He is survived by his brother, Richard D. Hazelwood, son Larry C. Hazelwood and daughter-in-law Farhat Husain, daughter Pamela Hazelwood Kellogg and son-in-law Calvin Kellogg, four grandchildren (spouses) - Christopher Stiglets (Jissica), Eric Stiglets (Stacey), Carol Hazelwood Plemmons (Daryle) and L. Steven Hazelwood; 5 great-grandchildren- Allison Stiglets, Ashley Stiglets, Cy Stiglets, Keaton Stiglets and Eloise Stiglets. Chet was a graduate of Kellyville High School and attended University of Oklahoma before enlisting in the US Army Air Corp as a non-flying Aviation Cadet in early 1941. A 23-year career in the Air Force led to him retiring back home in Oklahoma City and starting a fifteen year career at Tinker AFB with the civil service. One of his military accomplishments that he mentioned many times dealt with his last tour of duty. He was the only Air Force officer stationed at the Navy Air Development Center , Johnsville Naval Air Station, Johnsville (Warminster), Pennsylvania . The Navy was gearing up for the TACAMO Project and they could not find a cable winch big enough for their requirements. He found one that the Air Force had and secured it for the Navy. Many years later the Navy's TACAMO would be stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. Upon full retirement, his life became even busier with travel and his two favorite past times of Amateur Radio (W5GDL) and Rock Hounding. He loved to teach young people all about the world of florescent minerals. He and Jackie would get in their motor home with their cat and be gone for four months out of the year going to various rock shows around the southwest part of the country. He was a member of many rock and mineral societies around Oklahoma and the US . At home, he loved to feed his wild birds and deer and grow wild flowers on his acreage. -(smithandkernke.com)

Chet Hazelwood, perhaps the most knowledgeable and active collector of fluorescent minerals that I have known, passed away Oct. 16th, 2010 after a long decline in his health. Chet was 94 years of age. He retired as a Colonel in the U S Air Force. Chet and his wife Jackie were very active in OMGS holding many positions over the years. -(Paul Cinnamon)

Gloria Meadors-Stratton (Aug, 2010)


The Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society suffered a terrible loss recently in the passing of long-time member, Gloria Meadors Stratton.

Gloria was perhaps not the easiest person to get acquainted with; however, getting to know her was well worth the effort many times over.  Her knowledge of minerals was probably unparalleled in the club and perhaps a much larger circle as well.  In fact, when the Elsing Museum needed to have Willard’s incredible mineral collection appraised, they did not have to look any further than Gloria.  This was not an easy job, even for her.  If memory serves me correctly, she labored for several months on the project, despite her failing health.

Old-time club members will remember her first husband, Vic.  Beginning around 1966, the two of them were regulars at club meetings, as well as their booth at the Tulsa Flea Market every Saturday for years.  Until Vic’s passing in 1999, the two of them introduced many kids to rock collecting at the flea market over the years. 

Though Gloria continued to set up at the flea market, there seemed to be something missing in her life.  That void was well filled in 2004 when she married Bob Stratton, a rockhound and flintknapper who also liked setting up at flea markets and shows.  From the time they were married until her passing, Bob and Gloria were inseparable.  Gloria was very lucky to have found Bob and the club was fortunate in having such people as members.  We will miss her half of the twosome. -(Harvey Shell)

Leon Neff (March 27, 1928-June 19, 2010)


Oklahoma Mineral & Gem Society


Our beloved father, Leon Perry Neff, died in Integris Baptist Medical Center on Saturday, June 19, 2010, at the age of 82. He was born on March 27, 1928 in Ponca City and was raised by his dear aunt Elsie McQuaid, in Three Sands. Leon married Marilyn Elizabeth Downing on June 5, 1954, in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Marilyn died shortly before their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Leon retired from the United States Postal Service after working thirty-five years. He is survived by his four children, sons Stephen L. Neff and Christopher S. Neff of Yukon, and daughters Robyn L. Bolt and Beckie A. Neff of Oklahoma City; four grandchildren Courtney and Lauren Bolt, and Vance and Rachel Neff; and his brother Robert E. Neff, Sr., of Tulsa and his sister Betty J. Abel of Oklahoma City. He was a kind and gentle man and a friend to many people, young and old. He dearly loved his children and grandchildren. The highlight of his days was spending time with them. Leon enjoyed metal detecting and collecting rocks and minerals. He will be greatly missed.


Published in The Oklahoman on June 23, 2010


Leon has been a member of the Oklahoma Gem and Mineral Society since November 2001. He always had a ready smile and a gentle manner. I first got to know Leon when we worked together on the hospitality committee for the 2007 rock show. He would often come to work nights with a new specimen or two in his pocket to share with other members of the club. If you did not know Leon then you missed knowing a true “Gem” of a man.” You will be missed, my friend. 


Tom Manners


Kurtis Girty

37 - 2/2010, Stillwater Mineral & Gem Society

“Kurtis was very

creative in making rock necklaces that were given as gifts; he

loved to be with people."

Octavia Pons Octavia Pons

 - 2/2010, Stillwater Mineral & Gem Society

Octavia Pons passed away in late February. She was cremated and her ashes were

sent to her home country, Puerto Rico. She is survived by her son, Manny Munoz and his wife, Sabrina. Octavia enjoyed the SMGS programs and craft activities and we enjoyed her.

Marilyn Watts

 - 2/2010, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society

Mary was our bulletin Editor for several years. She did a wonderful job and truly enjoyed the camaraderie of rock-hounding. Mary enjoyed collecting all types of rocks, minerals, and fossils but one of her special interests was fluorescent minerals.

Richard Perkins - 2/2010, McCurtain County Gem & Mineral Club
Jeff Choate

 - 12/2009, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society

Jeff was a former TRMS member who had a passion for cutting stones and for jewelry design.

Jim Hunt - 2009, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society
Connie Rowlett - 5/2009, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society
Carol Bridgewater - 3/2009, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society
Peggy Stewart-Cockrell - 3/2009, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society
John Sanders - 2/2008, Tulsa Rock & Mineral Society
Donald Clark, 

83 - 11/2008, Ada Gem, Mineral & Fossil Club

Willogene Morris

, 65 - 10/2007, Shawnee Gem & Mineral Club

Robert Lee Halstead,

 86 - 1/2007, Shawnee Gem & Mineral Club


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