Mary Ellen Coldiron
June 5, 1932  -  November 25, 2017

Mary Ellen Coldiron

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BrownDugger Funeral Home
1010 N. 7th
Perry, OK  73077
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
12:00PM - 8:00PM
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First Presbyterian Church
1922 North 15th Street
Perry, OK  73077
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
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Grace Hill Cemetery
501 Memorial Drive
Perry, OK  73077
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Mary Ellen (Dunivan) Coldiron was born June 5, 1932, to John Douglas and Gertrude (Speer) Dunivan, on the family farm homesteaded by her grandfather, Lawrence Speer, near Morrison, Oklahoma. She attended first grade at a country school, “Windy Center” 3/4 mile south and one mile west of the family farm. Sometimes she and her brother, Everett, would walk to school and sometimes her grandfather would take them in his Model A car. Mary Ellen attended Sumner School, 2nd grade through 12th grade, graduating in 1950. She enjoyed school and especially playing basketball. There were seven students in her graduating class, taking a senior trip to Galveston.
Mary Ellen enjoyed life on the farm. During the 1930s, her family had the only farm home in the area with electricity, using a wind powered generator that provided for the use of some lights and a washing machine. They also had running water by gravity flow from a tank in a tower next to a windmill well pump. She was involved with all the usual farm work of that time, chopping weeds from crops, picking cotton, canning fruits and vegetables and processing meat butchered on the farm. She went barefoot in the summertime and usually stepped on a nail, with treatment by soaking her foot in turpentine. When she was four years old, she met her best friend, Roberta McQuiston who lived on a neighboring farm. They have continued a close friendship for over 80 years.
In 1945, due to her father’s poor health and unable to do the hard work of farming, the family bought the grocery store and filling station, called Bill’s Corner, one mile from the family farm. The business was started in the 1920s by her mother’s uncle, Bill Turner. The family lived there and operated the business until the death of her father, John Dunivan, in 1947. Her mother then bought and moved a house onto land that she owned west of Bill’s Corner. Mary Ellen lived there until moving with her mother and brother, Everett, to Perry in 1958.
After graduating from high school in 1950, Mary Ellen began work at the Exchange Bank in Perry. Her salary was $120.00 a month. She saved her money and bought a new 1956 Chevy. On August 4, 1962, she married Kenneth Coldiron, a fellow employee of the Exchange Bank. Kenny had 4 sons. Clark, Dan, Reed and Carl. Carl died in April of 1987. In 1964, Kenneth and Mary Ellen built a new home at 1008 Delaware Street on property that belonged to Kenny’s father, Dr. D.F. Coldiron. She continued living in that home until her death. After her marriage, she joined the Presbyterian Church, where she served on different committees and served as financial secretary for 30 years.
Mary Ellen retired from the bank on Dec. 31, 1980. She then cared for her mother, who had dementia, in her and Kenny’s home for many years. One of the great joys of her retirement was caring for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren while their parents were working.
Kenny and Mary Ellen enjoyed taking trips throughout the U.S. and Europe. They also traveled to Maui several times and stayed with Kenny’s niece, Vicki Coldiron. They enjoyed travelling with their grandchildren on many occasions.
Mary Ellen lost Kenny, the love of her life, on January 18, 1998. She always said what a special blessing he was in her life. After his death she was involved in numerous volunteer activities, including the Hospital Auxiliary, Blood Institute and Operation Blessing. She was a member for 53 years, of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) that provides opportunities for young women world-wide. For the past several years, she has been “speeding” through the streets of Perry, delivering Meals-On-Wheels to home-bound folks in need (with cousin Clyde Speer backseat driving).
She had some wonderful friends, including those known as the “Wild Women of Perry”, who spent time together enjoying life!
Mary Ellen Coldiron was dearly loved and had a very special relationship with her family and all who knew her.
Visitation will be held at Brown-Dugger Funeral Home in Perry, Oklahoma from 12pm-8pm on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 where the family will be present from 6pm-8pm. Funeral Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Perry, Oklahoma on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 10:00am.
She is survived by her brother, Dale Dunivan and a beloved uncle, Wayne Speer, of Perry; three step-sons and their wives, Dan and Beverly Coldiron, of Perry, Reed and Roni Coldiron, of Perry and Clark and Beth Coldiron of Florida; 7 grandchildren, Derek Coldiron and his wife Daphne of Perry, Brett Coldiron and his wife Kim of Perry, Daniel (Trey) Coldiron III and his wife Marty of Perry, Abbi Coldiron of New Mexico, Nathan Coldiron of Florida, Nicole Coldiron of Florida, and Nolan Coldiron of Florida; 9 great-grandchildren, Zac of Perry, Audra of Perry, Izabella of Perry, Dalton of Stillwater, Keely of Perry, Aspen of Perry, Hunter of Perry, Spencer of Kansas, and Destiny of New Mexico; 1 great great-grandchild, Amariana, of Perry; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Coldiron, a step-son, Carl Coldiron, her parents, John and Gertrude Dunivan, and one brother, Everett Dunivan.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the PEO scholarship fund through Brown-Dugger Funeral Home.


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  1. Kurt Smith
    Norman, OK

    Mary Ellen will be greatly missed. She was a wonderful person. My grandfather Ted Coldiron and Mary Ellen's husband Ken were first cousins and trouble-makers together at Oklahoma A&M, haha. We always enjoyed our visits to their home. Thank you for wonderful memories, Mary Ellen! Rest in peace!

  2. Marge and Charles Martin, Kay Martin McCarthy, and all the Martins
    Tulsa, OK

    Mary Ellen was a joy to be around. Our sincere condolences to the family. She leaves a great legacy of friendliness, concern, and an upbeat outlook on life.

  3. Vicki Cook
    Perry, OK

    Mary Ellen meant so much to me. She was the most gracious loving lady I knew. Always welcoming with a smile and hug every time I saw her. I will miss seeing her around town. My heart is broken but I know she will always be smiling down on her family and friends from heaven. Rest In Peace sweet lady!

  4. Rich & Miriam Lambert
    Angier, NC

    So fortunate to have known Mary Ellen and her family for many years. She had a beautiful smile that reflected her zest for life. A few weeks before we moved to N.C., she told me that she was glad to have known me. She had a way of making each friend feel special. The town of Perry has lost a wonderful, caring, and gracious lady.

  5. Dave Mason

    Mary Ellen was always glad to see you, giving honest compassion. She will always helping with my son's wrestling career and keeping up with his military accomplishments.
    Mary Ellen was a true noble lady. The town of Perry lost a true crusader and she will never be forgotten.

  6. Sandra Dotts
    Raleigh, NC

    Mary Ellen (Dunivan) Coldiron was a stellar lady. She and my mother, Roberta Dotts, blessed each others lives for more than 80 years. I was blessed to have her in my life for many years. Her spirit and love will be a part of each of her family members for eternity. I extend my sincere sympathies to her entire family. May your comfort come from the treasured memories you carry with you into the future. God bless you one and all.

  7. Larry P. Stoops
    Perry, OK

    I have known Mary Ellen since I guess the first grade. Most recently I would see her down at Wheatheart for lunch 5 days a week, always smiling and always so friendly with people. I will miss seeing her at Wheatheart from now on.

  8. Ada Haefner Castonguay
    Bellevue, NE

    Clark, I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I never knew her but did know your dad somewhat and your grandfather was our family physician for years when I was growing up. Wonderful man. May the Lord bring your family peace and comfort during this time.

  9. Fran Little and Jeanie Vance
    Norman, OK

    To know Mary Ellen was a gift, always cheerful, always welcoming. We're so grateful to have been in her orbit of friends. She made the world a better place with her smile. Our heartfelt sympathy to the Coldiron family for your great loss. She left a wealth of fun and loving memories to see you through.

  10. Paul and Judy Haxton
    Edmond, OK

    Mary Ellen was one of the sweetest people I ever knew. She made whoever she talked to feel so important. She was a gift to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

  11. Janna Morel
    Dover, TN

    I was saddened to hear that Mary Ellen had passed. I remember how kind and genuine she always was. Perry will miss her. Thoughts and prayers to the Family.

  12. Janna Morel
    Dover, TN

    I was saddened to hear that Mary Ellen had passed. I remember how kind and genuine she always was. Perry will miss her. Thoughts and prayers to the Family.

  13. Tawnda Hopper
    Pawhuska, OK

    My thoughts and prayers to all. Hang on to the beautiful memories

  14. John and Peggy Haxton
    Perry, OK

    Wow, Perry will never be quite the same without Mary Elllen Coldiron. She was such a special person to us all. Our condolences to the family.

  15. Max Edgar
    Oklahoma City, OK

    What a wonderful soul. Bless her and her family. One of the people who made Perry great.

  16. Gary Voise
    Tulsa, OK

    My thoughts are prayers are with the family of Mary Ellen at this time.

  17. Leota henry
    Perry, OK

    Mary Ellen it was a pleasure to know you. I enjoyed your stories of your life that you shared,
    You will be missed . To the family , heaven gained another angel.
    Leota Henry

  18. Lonny and Susan Richardson
    Perry, OK

    Reed, Roni and Family,
    We were so saddened to hear of the loss of Mary Ellen.
    Our thought and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  19. Kristine Newton Hoffman
    Lawson, MO

    Dear Clark, Dan, Reed and families,
    I am so sorry to learn of you mom's passing. She was always so proud of her family, and was loved by all of her "Perry kids"! She and Kenny can now share eternity, together again. with love, Kristine

  20. Angel Moore
    Perry, OK

    What a celebration in heaven. Such a sweetheart and so many prayers sent to the family. We adored her. She was so kind to always. Many hugs and prayers sent your way.

  21. Kenneth & VernaFrank
    Perry, OK

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Mary Ellen was a special person and will be missed!

  22. Kenneth & VernaFrank
    Perry, OK

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Mary Ellen was a special person and will be missed!

  23. Lyle & Bobbie Davison
    Stillwater, OK

    Please accept our deepest condolences at the loss of Mary Ellen. She has been considered a family friend for a lot of years. The family is in our prayers.

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