A celebration of the life of Lowanda Irene Cantrell will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 13, 2013 at Blue Star Church of Christ. Burial will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Stilwell City Cemetery, Stilwell, OK. Visitation will be Thursday at the funeral home from 1-7 with family receiving visitors from 5-7 p.m.
Lowanda passed away on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. She was 84.
Born in Stilwell, Okla. on Dec. 5, 1928 to William and Willie (Yingling) Parsons, Lowanda was reared and educated in her birth community. After graduating from Stilwell High School in 1946 at the age of 17, she attended Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah from 1946-1962. Lowanda was an exceptional student, earning her a spot on the Dean’s Honor roll. She also earned several degrees including a Bachelor’s of Arts, a triple degree in Social Studies, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and 6 hours of post graduate work.
In August of 1949 Lowanda married D.F. Cantrell in a ceremony in Stillwell, Okla. Their union was blessed with 4 children. Lowanda relished her role as mother. She said that her children never called “Mama” but one time at night and she would be there. Every Sunday Lowanda made her children a grand breakfast of pancakes, sausage or bacon and eggs before they would all go to church. Lowanda stated she had lived for her children as she was married for 13 years before she got Rita Sue, four years later Jayne was born and four years later David was born and finally David Trentham became a part of their family.
Lowanda had many interests that kept her busy. She loved to sew and sewed many things for her family including Rita’s wedding gown, Jayne’s bridesmaids’ dresses, evening gowns, costumes, suits for her sons and neck ties for all the men in the family. Lowanda was always involved in her children’s lives. She was their homeroom mother and Band Booster sponsor among other things.
Belonging to many organizations, Lowanda was a member of the Oklahoma Education Association, Will Roger’s Good Samaritan’s club in Claremore and President of the Good Samaritan’s club of Tenkiller. She and D.F. were members of the Church of Christ and also belonged to the Sojourner’s club which sponsored missions for retired Christians with recreational vehicles. Together they traveled all over the United States as well as Canada and Mexico visiting churches, orphanages and children’s home. Alaska was one of her most treasured trips.
Not only was Lowanda dedicated to her own children and grandchildren but she also taught from Headstart to 12th grade in 13 different schools in Oklahoma and Michigan until she retired in 1983. Retirement did not slow her down; Lowanda continued volunteering at schools and churches, as a substitute teacher and at Vacation Bible Schools. Lowanda and D.F. had lived in five states including Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Arizona and Louisiana but Claremore was home for the last 13 years.
This loving wife, mother and “Granny” will be missed by all who knew her. Lowanda is survived by her husband of 64 years D.F. Cantrell; children Rita Morris, Jayne Jackson and husband Thomas, David Cantrell and wife Terri, David Trentham; grandchildren Ronny and Danita Morris, Chelsea, Brittany, Sierra and Daniel Cantrell, Aaron, Sara and Josh Shaw; great grandchildren Logan, Alex, Sto and Vy Kane; brother Wadell Parsons and wife Vera Lee and numerous nieces and nephews. Lowanda was preceded in death by her parents.