Mary Louise Chastain (March 25, 1936-July 8, 2023)
Mary Louise Chastain, age 87, left her earthly life on July 8, 2023, a little after 7 p.m. She was at home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with her family. She seemed to sleep peacefully as she left us to be with her Heavenly Father and those who’d gone before her. She was born as Mary Louise Winkler on March 25, 1936 in Wann, Oklahoma to Frank William and Sarah May Winkler. She already had two sisters, Norma Jane and Dorothy May. Within a few weeks of her birth, her mother passed away; Mary was raised with her two sisters by their father and maternal grandparents, Andy and Hulda Jane Keence. Mary went to Pleasant View School in the Wann area for grades 1st through 8th, graduating from Copan High School on May 21st, 1954. She told many amusing stories about her childhood, including how she often rode a pony to school that would get himself loose and head for home, leaving her on foot when school was dismissed. She spent a lot of time helping on the family farm and in their garden. In school, she especially loved reading and diagramming sentences in English Class. Mary loved athletics and won many ribbons for track meet events. She intended on training to become a nurse after high school but became involved in caring for her grandma. She lived in Dewey with her grandma, working at a job as a key punch operator for Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville. It was there she met her husband, Al Chastain, a native of Caney. Al and Mary were married on January 1st, 1960, living in Dewey, Oklahoma. They had their daughter, Lisa, on August 7th, 1961, and moved to 106 West Eighth Street in Caney, Kansas when Lisa was only a few months old. Mary enjoyed sewing, people-watching, going on lake trips, homemaking, and visiting with family and friends. She was full of energy: a devoted wife, mother, friend, and a dedicated caregiver for those who needed her help. She loved cheering for the Caney Bullpup football teams and was an avid OU fan. Mary also enjoyed researching family history, looking into the genealogies of both the Winkler/Keence and Chastain/Hook sides of she and Al’s families. Being Cherokee, Mary was especially interested in her Native American ancestry. She enjoyed visiting with people at the Caney City Library where she frequently served as the substitute librarian. Mary and Al were members of the First Assembly of God Church in Caney for many years; they also attended the Christian Church in Caney, and First United Methodist Church in Copan. Mary frequently taught childrens’ Sunday School classes and was involved in summer Bible School for many years. Mary and Al were also members of the Caney Valley Historical Society.
The Chastains moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in November 2011 where Al passed away in February 2015. Mary suffered a stroke in June 2015 and moved to Green Country Village Assisted Living Center in Bartlesville, living there from August 2015 until July 2018. To be closer to her family, she moved to Brookdale Broken Arrow Assisted Living, residing there for the next year. On July 1, 2019, Mary moved to her daughter and son-in-law’s home in Broken Arrow, living there until her death. She will always be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor, her endless and usually humorous stories about life experiences, her love of friends and family, and her devotion as a caregiver for others.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Sarah Winkler; father and mother-in-law, Al and Mae Chastain; two sisters, Norma Griffin and Dorothy Prather; two brother-in-laws, Gene Prather and Earl Griffin; a nephew, David Griffin, and niece, Lora Griffin; a son-in-law, Richard Starks; and her husband, Al Chastain, Jr. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and David Thayer of Broken Arrow; Grandson David Alan Clayton Black of Little Rock, Arkansas; Granddaughters Jaleigh Grace Marie Thayer of Wichita, Kansas and Olivia Skylar Thayer of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law John and Kathy Chastain of Hutchinson, Kansas; Nieces Lana Deshazo of Bartlesville, Nikole Cohen and Husband Dale of Pulaski, New York, Cathy Lynn Diggs and Husband Jeff of McPherson, Kansas; Nephews Ken Prather and Wife Debra of Wann, Gary Griffin and Wife Carol of Arvada, Colorado, Craig Chastain and Wife Amy of Savannah, Georgia, D.J. Chastain and Wife Kellie of Hutchinson, Kansas ; and many grandnieces and grandnephews on both sides of the family.
A graveside gathering for all friends and family will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 13 in Sunnyside Cemetery, Caney, Kansas. A memorial get-together will be held in celebration of Mary—date and time to be announced. The family offers special thanks to the aides and nurses from Enhabit Hospice, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for their compassionate and exceptional help with Mary’s care!
Mary’s family requests donations to the Caney Valley Historical Society in lieu of flowers. (301 West 4th Avenue; Caney, Kansas 67333; (620-879-2233)