Meridian Star

May 16, 2013

Pauline Sexton Tooman


The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Visitation for Pauline Sexton Tooman will be held today, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home, at which time a Celebration of Life will be held.  Her remains will be interred in Fairview Cemetery, Apache, Okla., Memorial Day weekend.

    Mrs. Tooman was born near Prichard, Okla. on April 21, 1920 to Delbert and Julia McCarty, the eldest girl of eight surviving children. She celebrated her 93rd birthday in April and went to her heavenly home Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

    The McCarty family moved to Apache, Okla. in 1930. Pauline met her future husband when she was 14 and she and Collins Sexton eloped her junior year in high school. During the Dust Bowl, they joined her brothers in working the fruit harvests in California, returning to Oklahoma in 1937. Their only child, Margaret Yvonne, was born the following year. They moved to Oklahoma City during World War II, where Collins worked at Tinker Field servicing B-29 bombers. Returning to Apache after the war, Pauline was encouraged to finish high school. She walked to school every day with her 9-year-old daughter and graduated with the class of 1947. While in school, she worked afternoons for the local International Harvester dealer. After graduating, she worked for Dr. Ray Waterbury until she and Collins bought out her father's grocery business.

    Pauline was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, was a Woodman of the World secretary and was especially faithful to First Baptist Church, where she worked with youth, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and provided pulpit flowers. A very creative person, Pauline had a strong desire to learn to paint; and at age 50, she started driving to a vocational/technical school where she took oil painting lessons every week for most of 5 years. She started traveling to art shows in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, where she won 138 ribbons, including six Best of Show.

    The Sextons sold the grocery business after 27 years and enjoyed traveling to Mississippi to visit their daughter and grandchildren and spending winters in South Texas as "snowbirds." Collins died July 4, 1988, a year after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Pauline later married Eli Tooman, who died in 1994, three years after suffering a stroke. At that time, Pauline moved to Meridian, where she continued painting. When Habitat for Humanity did an all-women build, 75-year-old Pauline showed up in overalls every day to do her share. At that age, she accompanied her daughter and son-in-law to Australia for two weeks.

    Active in Highland Baptist Church until she moved to Silverleaf Assisted Living Facility, Pauline remained an inspiration to those who knew her and a generous and compassionate friend.

    Survivors include her daughter, Margaret Remy and husband John of Meridian; grandchildren: Colline Hime and husband Forest, and Kevin Remy and wife Toby; great-grandsons: Zachary Hodges, Micah Hodges, Blake Remy and wife Amber, and Joshua Remy; great-great-granddaughter, Piper Blake Remy; sisters: Billie Ruth McDonald of Lawton, Okla., Bettye Harrison of Mountain View, Okla., and Evelyn John of Lawton Okla.; and, dear family friends: Tommy Kittrell and Betsy Rutledge.

    She was preceded in death by her husbands: Colline Sexton and Eli Tooman; parents, Delbert and Julia McCarty; brothers: Marvin McCarty, Irwin McCarty, and Pete McCarty; and sister, Louise Moydell.

    In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Highland Baptist Church's Building Fund.

    Friends and family may sign the online guest book at robertbarhamffh.com.