Bessie Maine, 91, entered eternal rest on September 21, 2016. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home and a service celebrating her life will be held at 2pm on Friday, September 23, 2016 at Christ Lutheran Church in Perry, OK. Public visitation will be held on Thursday from 9am-8pm at the funeral home.
Bessie Manning was born on September 5, 1925. She was raised on a dairy farm and later attended schools in Phoenix, AZ. Following high school, Bessie went to work for a local Sears store. The Manning family often invited soldiers stationed at a nearby base to come eat Sunday dinner at their home. It was at one of these dinners that she met the love of her life and her husband of over 70 years, Ernest Leonard Maine. Ernie and Bessie decided to relocate to Florida. On their way from Arizona to Florida they dropped by Ernie’s former hometown of Perry so that Bessie could meet other members of the Maine family. The visit went very well and 7 decades and 3 children later, they still called Perry home.
Bessie knew the value of hard work and for much of her life she worked up to 3 jobs to help put her children through school. She always had a positive attitude saying “I just do what I have to do.” She operated an in-home daycare caring for several local children. She eventually went to work as the cook for Christ Lutheran School, a position she enjoyed for over 25 years. She was well known for her sweet spirit and her delicious cinnamon rolls, cowboy bread, and chicken and noodles. She also worked as a seamstress at Eby’s Cleaners and enjoyed the chance to work along her husband Ernie at both the cleaners and the school. After getting off work at the school and the cleaners, Bessie made her way to the Cherokee Strip Restaurant where she worked as the cook for the evening shift.
Bessie retired in 1985 which gave her more time to volunteer at her church where she served as a Sunday school teacher and Sunday school superintendent’s secretary during her 60 + years of membership. She also served at the Perry Meals on Wheels where she spent countless hours cooking special meals for her special home-bound friends. She also enjoyed bird watching and was also excited when the purple martin’s made their yearly migration through Perry. Bessie was also an avid Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers, and Perry Maroons fan. A former violin player, Bessie also attended many Perry HS Band concerts, as well as multiple Bill Rotter performances. She loved to camp for weeks at a time and she was involved with the local Bluebirds and Campfire Girls. She was a talented seamstress and made beautiful handmade quilts for each of her kids and grandkids.
Bessie, a polio survivor, enjoyed her life to the fullest. Her motto was “A little bit of love goes a long way.” She was full of love and a selfless passion to serve others. She made a tremendous impact in the lives of her family and friends and she will be truly missed by those fortunate to be a part of her amazing journey.
Bessie was preceded in death by her parents; husband Ernie L Maine; a sister Myrtle Passey. She is survived by her three children: Dennis Maine and wife Gloria of Perry, Diana Hamburg and husband Daniel of Perry, and Janelle Keith and husband Terry of Perry. Eight Grandchildren: Stephanie Rames and husband Steve, Desi Stoops and wife Georgie, Darren Maine and wife Monica, Randall Stoops and wife Casey, Derek Hamburg and wife Alyssa, Dustin Hamburg and wife Mary, Lindsay Bernhardt and husband Billy, and Shayne Keith. She is also survived by a sister Nelda Nelson of Phoenix, AZ; 13 great grandchildren and a sister in law Virginia Eggers of Morrison, OK.
Donations may be made in Bessie’s name to The Lutheran Hour, Judith Karmen Hospice, or the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home. 203 Fir Street. Perry, OK 73077
Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at www.perrycares.com