Naomi Joyce Hankey Cullen, 88, of Cherokee, Oklahoma, passed away in Oklahoma City on November 30, 2019 from complications of an earlier injury. Naomi was born in Cherokee on January 3, 1931 to Fred Walton Hankey and Rhoda Lenore Millspaugh Hankey. Her birth was the first caesarean section recorded in Alfalfa County. Naomi attended schools in Burlington and Driftwood, graduating from Cherokee High School. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee in 1953. Throughout her life, she taught school in Lexington, Oklahoma, Lexington, Virginia and Las Vegas, Nevada. Naomi was married to David Paul Cullen on April 10, 1953. While living in Houston, Naomi earned her Real Estate Broker’s License.
Naomi was a passionate believer in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Cherokee. Her most important life’s work was raising her children. This task was occasionally more complicated than normal when David’s impish and sometimes subversive behavior (which was indeed passed down to all three children) created pandemonium instead of proper etiquette. Naomi focused on creating memories for her family. She pieced quilts, sewed clothing for her children, and painted up a storm. On more than one occasion her art earned her the Best in Show ribbon at the county fair. Her works hang in many places of honor in homes from California to the east coast, with a few in England and Germany.
Naomi was an accomplished musician. She played piano and violin and sang bass (yes, bass) in the OBU’s Women’s Quartet and OBU Women’s Choir, as well as the First Baptist Church Choir in Cherokee. She inspired her children to carry on her love of music through keyboards, violin, cello and bass. You will appreciate the resulting cacophony that reigned at the Cullen house early in their training years. Three stringed instruments plus piano being practiced with youthful enthusiasm before school every day. Oy!
Mrs. Cullen was also an accomplished huntress (she caught David after all). Her quarry included turkeys, waterbirds, deer (bucks and does), but the one she was most proud of was the 300-pound black bear she shot from high perch in a tree in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her family also fondly remembers her sitting on the front porch in Colorado, calmly taking aim at any rabbits daring to approach her strawberries in the front garden. She was an excellent cook, especially in the area of wild game.
Naomi was a proud member of PEO, Daughters of the American Revolution, and OHCE Farmerettes.
Naomi is preceded in death by David, her husband of 66 years; her parents; two brothers; three sisters and two sisters-in-law.
She is survived by three children, Eva-Marney Lynne Cullen and husband, John Fread, Amy Elisabeth Madison, and Andrew David Cullen and wife, Kathy; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; special son-in-love, Kevin Burleson.
Visitation with family present will be Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. in Cherokee. Funeral service will be Friday, December 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Cherokee. Burial will be in Cherokee Municipal Cemetery. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Fred W. and Rhoda L. Hankey Scholarship Fund at Oklahoma Baptist University through Lanman Funeral Home