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Lena's Story

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Lena Bell (Caldwell) Gantz was born on October 22, 1921 and departed her mortal body on September 11, 2016. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Marshall and Freida Elizabeth (Tingler) Caldwell and grew up on the family farm at Moscow Flats in Woodward County, Oklahoma. She attended the one-room school in that community.

Lena and Lewis (Doc) Johnson Gantz were married at Woodward, Oklahoma on February 14, 1940 and to their union five children were born. She was a homemaker and, after being widowed in 1967, was employed at Trego's Westernwear for several years.

Lena grew up during the Great Depression and developed into a very determined young woman. Her greatest childhood joy was riding her horse and later dancing at local dances and parties where many times Lewis, his brother Marvin "Sparky" and sister Edith would be the band supplying the music.

Lena was an excellent seamstress producing clothing for her family, quilts, pot holders for missions and gifts on her 1920's treadle Singer sewing machine which she declared did a job better "than any electric machine could ever do." As a young mother raising her family, she reached out to her community filling many an extra plate to share with widowers, the ill and many an unemployed individuals who were "riding the Santa Fe rails" while passing through Curtis, OK. She loved to bake and her cinnamon rolls were famous throughout the area. Later in life she became known as the "walking lady" of Mooreland, putting in many miles a day.

Lena was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and was affiliated with Mooreland Assembly of God and later Calvary Assembly of God in Stillwater.

Lena is survived by her two sons, Roger Lewis Gantz (Laureene) of Stillwater, Ronald Gene Gantz (Christie) of Edmond; three daughters, Carol Ann Bennett (Warren) of Guthrie, Reita Kay Knittel (Ross "Rocky") of Ponca City, and Colleen Marie Griffith (Hugh) of Waianae, Hawaii; 13 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, her sister-in-law Verda Gantz of Mooreland, as well as nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; infant brother and brothers Ralph Lowell Caldwell and Willard Marshall Caldwell; sisters Edna Mae (Caldwell) Hibbs and Fern Louise (Caldwell) Clark; and infant great grandson Daniel Griffith.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at Calvary Assembly of God Church, Stillwater, Oklahoma at 10:00am followed by graveside service and burial at Mooreland Cemetery at 4 o'clock. Arrangements are under the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 10:00am to 8:00pm at the funeral home. Family will greet guest from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Calvary Assembly of God, Stillwater, Oklahoma or Mooreland Assembly of God, Mooreland, Oklahoma, with Palmer Marler funeral home in Stillwater accepting contributions on behalf of the family.

Condolences may be sent to the family via an on line guestbook at www.pmcfh.com
Published on September 12, 2016
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