Graveside funeral services for Hazel Cathryn Yoakum, 99, of Purcell were held Monday, May 22, 2023 at the Paoli Cemetery with her nephew, the Rev. Rick Blackwell, presiding. Services were under the direction of the Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell.
Mrs. Yoakum entered Heaven’s Gates to reunite with loved ones on May 17, 2023, in Lexington, Oklahoma.
As one of six children of Hugh and Beulah (Lancaster) Whitfield, she was born on September 17, 1923 in Mountain View, Stone County, Arkansas. The town was named by her great-great-grandfather, Elijah Chappell. In 1927, the family moved to the Hopping area of Wayne, Oklahoma; before they eventually resided on the Whitfield family farm, one mile west of Rosedale on Highway 59. She was a 1941 Rosedale High School graduate. She lettered in softball as a catcher and in basketball as a forward; and she was a member of the National Honor Society.
On March 14, 1942, she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Jearl “D.J.” Yoakum. After D.J. returned from serving in the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII in Europe and North Africa, they resided in Oklahoma City and Loyal, before ultimately settling in Purcell.
As a member of Purcell Baptist Church since 1955, she volunteered and cared for children in Sunday School Nursery and Vacation Bible School and Girls Auxiliary. In the mid-1960’s, she became the Mary Simpson Elementary School secretary and later on at the Purcell Middle School. Before retirement she served as a McClain County Board Secretary under Commissioner Bill Wyatt.
Hazel was humble and admired for her quiet and constant nurturing and caring ways; not only for her family, but especially for the very young and very old. She had the special gift of a quick wit and a playful and encouraging smile, wink, or nod. She enjoyed and was talented in quilting, crocheting, sewing, baking, and gardening.
Preceding her to Heaven was her husband of 77 years, D.J. Yoakum in 2019; and an infant daughter, Ellen Jearldene in 1943. Also preceding her in death were her parents; her brothers, Nelce, Richard, H.T., Max; and her sister, Lucille Klepper.
Surviving loved ones are three children, daughter, Jane and husband, Doug Evans; daughter, Donna and husband, Scott Giauque; and son, Denny and his wife, Donna; six grandchildren: Eden Moore, Cameron Menghini, Kyle Giauque, Geoff Giauque, Catherine Pineda, and Caitlin Yoakum; and 13 great-grandchildren, Whitney, Maddie and Ainsley; Frankie, Henry and Samantha; Harley and Brooks; Mary Kate and Travis; Jack Roman, Hazel Jo, and Nora Rose.
Pallbearers were her six grandchildren.
Many heartfelt thanks to Dr. Bryan Dye, Lexington Nursing Home and Valir Hospice.
In lieu of floral gifts, memorial donations may be given to the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, 1233 W. Lindsey St., Norman, OK 73069 (https://dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org), or a charity of choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.wilsonlittle.com.