Delores Curran

Delores Evelyn Curran, formerly of Oklahoma City but long-term Hennessey resident, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.  She was born in Sumner, Oklahoma on October 8, 1929, as the third child of Walter and Iva Bowers.  She was incredibly small at birth, and the attending doctor advised she be put at the end of the bed as “she was going to die anyway”.  Always a fighter, Delores postponed the inevitable for 94 years.

Delores attended school in Sumner through 8th grade, then graduated from Perry High School in 1947.  She held several jobs throughout her high school years to help support her family.  She managed to put enough aside, though, to eventually purchase a sewing machine that became her pride and joy.  In her Home Economics classes she learned to sew, developing a creative outlet and lifelong love of sewing.

Her best friend introduced her to her older brother when he returned from the war, and they soon began dating.  Within months, she and Johnny Curran decided to get married, and did so on January 31, 1948.  She used white corduroy to make a suit for her wedding.  She worked a variety of jobs to support the couple while he attended college.  One of her jobs was wrapping freshly baked loaves of bread in wax paper for sale.  She was paid 15 cents per hour.

After 5 years of marriage the couple started their family.  John was born in 1952, with Jim following closely in 1954.  That white wedding suit was soon repurposed to make coats for growing toddlers.  In 1959, the birth of Joy completed the family.  In early 1960, the Curran family made their way to Hennessey.

Delores found incredible delight in raising her family, encouraging and supporting each child in extra-curricular activities.  If her boys were playing baseball, she managed the concession stand.  Halloween costumes, decorated bikes for parades, and boxes for school Valentines were serious child’s play for her.  She always had clever ideas and a quick hand.  Making something from nothing was her specialty.

Her real passion was discovered with the birth of her first grandchild in 1977.  Her happiest place was on the floor, playing with her grandchildren.  She had plenty of opportunity for that as she was blessed by 9 beautiful grandchildren.  The blessing continued with 4 step grandchildren, and eventually grew with 28 great grandchildren.

In addition to time with family, Delores was a member of the Perry branch of VFW.  In Hennessey, the family joined the First United Methodist Church where she volunteered for Vacation Bible School, often serving as director of the program.  She joined the Child Study Club, where she served as President for a year.  Delores presented a program for her club in the form of a skit, which she then presented at the State convention.  She was a member of the Hennessey Country Club’s Women’s Association.  In that role, she was responsible for calculating (by hand!) the handicaps for all the other members.  Delores served for many years as the Judge on the County Election Board in the Hennessey precinct.  Her role there was a microcosm of her life – she wanted to be sure everyone had a voice and an opportunity, and things were as fair as she could make them.

Delores’ sage advice and quick wit will be sorely missed by her family and friends.  In her final days, in addition to family, many staff members in her community came to visit her, and none left with a dry eye.  They all spoke of her kindness and support, showing us that she cared for and gave to others throughout her life.  All who knew her basked and flourished in the sunlight she brought.  She was surrounded by family and a halo of love at the time of her passing.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John, her parents, and 5 of her 6 siblings: Forest Bowers, Maxine Tisdell, Dorothy Phillips, Barbara Reed, and Ronald Bowers.  She leaves behind a legacy of love that can be witnessed through her sister, Donna Richardson, children, John & Jan Curran, Jim & Kim Curran, Joy & Randy Lasley, 13 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and her beloved caregiver, Carmen McCalvin.

A Celebration of Life was held at Quail Ridge Senior Living on December 14th.  A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Hennessey on December 28th.  The church address is 201 S. Cherokee, Hennessey, Oklahoma.  The family will be available at 1:00, with the service beginning at 1:30.  Interment will follow the service at the Hennessey Cemetery.  Donations in honor of Delores can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.