Funeral services for Oleta Puckett, 90 year old Buffalo resident who passed away August 1st at the Amie Holt Care Center in Buffalo, will be held at the Story Community Church on Monday, August 19th at 11 am, with Reverend John Constantine officiating. Interment will be at the Colonial Gardens Cemetery in Marshall, Texas beside her beloved husband where their graves are marked with the quote: “Tread softly, A dream lies buried here”. Donations in Mrs. Puckett’s memory may be made to the Story Community Church or the Story Volunteer Fire Department in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo, who are in charge of local services and will also receive floral arrangements for the family which will be taken to the Church.
Oleta was born on December 29th, 1922 in Vivian, Louisiana, to L.H. and Eunice Freeman. She spent her youth in northwest Louisiana and northeast Texas. She met James Puckett during her childhood, and eventually corresponded with him after he was assigned to the Pacific theater during World War II. They were married on November 13, 1945, shortly after his return from the South Pacific and release from the active duty.
As James began a long career with Mobil Oil, the couple embarked upon a life together that was defined in many ways by the domestic oil booms of the 40s and 50s. They spent time in Duncan, Oklahoma, where their first son Jim was born, and moved soon to Kermit, Texas, were their second son Paul arrived. Oleta had now embarked upon the career she had always wanted, that of full-time Mom and housewife. It was to be the role she most cherished in her life.
As James progressed in his career, the couple enjoyed a life of constant relocation, as was normal then for folks in the oil and gas industry. Oleta enjoyed setting up new homes in Wichita, Kansas; Midland, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Casper, Wyoming; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Ardmore, Oklahoma, where James retired. In each city, Oleta was active in her church and enjoyed house work and gardening, and her favorite social outlets of bridge and square dancing. She was also a life-long avid reader.
Oleta and James travelled extensively during their 52 years of marriage, concentrating mostly on the beautiful scenery of US National Parks during family vacations. After James retired, the couple enjoyed numerous trips abroad, including Australia, Europe, and Israel. After James’ passing in 1997, Oleta continued to pursue her love of travel, including trips to Alaska, Scandanavia, and Nova Scotia.
Oleta was definitely happiest when she was in Wyoming, having moved there first in 1960 when James was transferred to Casper from Denver. After they moved back to Oklahoma in 1971, she always yearned to return, and she got her wish in 1983 when the couple bought a summer home in Story. They enjoyed many years there, eventually expanding their place, and enjoying the beautiful and idyllic setting of Story.
Oleta was a member of the Story Women’s Club, the Story Garden Club, and attended the Story Community Church. Welcoming two cherished granddaughters - MacKenzie and Allison - during the late 1980s, was a highlight of this period. Being a grandmother was another role that Oleta embraced with great joy and love.
She spent the years leading up to and following the passing of James dividing her time between Sedona, Arizona (where son Jim and daughter-in-law Karen reside) and Story, where son Paul lives, with her granddaughters living nearby. She began to reside full-time in Story beginning in 2007 and remained there until May of 2012, when she moved into the Amie Holt Care Center in Buffalo, where she spent her remaining days.
Oleta remained a loving, generous and gracious woman throughout her life, sticking resolutely to her values of Christian faith, family and country. She was lovingly loyal to all of her friends and family, including all of the many siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, in-laws and almost-family members. Her kind, considerate and serviceful nature endeared her to everyone. She remained grateful and positive to end. Her legacy of loving kindness and genuine concern, expressed to everyone who crossed her path, is a living memorial to a life well lived.
She is survived by two sons, Jim Puckett and his wife Karen of Sedona, Arizona, and Paul Puckett of Story, Wyoming; one sister Bernice Buchanan of Shreveport, Louisiana; one brother-in-law, Howard Brandt of Shreveport, Louisana; two granddaughters, MacKenzie Puckett of Sheridan, Wyoming and Allison Puckett Schram and her husband Corey Schram of Gilette, Wyoming; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband James, her brother, Ross Freeman, and two sisters, Olga Brandt, and Heloise Adams.