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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 14, No. 3
September, 1936

Page 387


In looking over the necrology columns published every day in the newspapers we are prone to give the names of those who have passed to the Great Beyond but a passing glance, except we chance to read the name of someone whom we have known personally and claimed as a friend, or if the notice tells of the death of a person of distinction whose name is well known. It is only then we stop to think and ponder upon their lives. Yet every day there is recorded the death of those whose lives have been worth while, and who should be remembered, yet three or four lines of type are all that are employed to record their departure, but not one line to speak of their virtues.

If one were reading an Oklahoma City paper on January 7, 1936, he may have seen this notice: "Ranck, Mabel A., died at St. Anthony's Hospital, interment at Gage, Oklahoma." These few words recorded the passing of one of Oklahoma's most intellectual and cultured women. As a writer she had the gift of writing on historic topics and expressing her thoughts not only to entertain the reader but also to convey knowledge.

Miss Ranck had long been a member of the Oklahoma Historical Society and had been a valued contributor to the Chronicles. In Vol. 8, page 378, Chronicles of Oklahoma, there appears an article by Miss Ranck entitled, "Some Remnants of Frontier Journalism." The reader will also find an interesting story of "John Rollin Ridge in California," in the December 1932 Chronicles. Miss Ranck had spent much time in educational work in California. We publish below the obituary of Miss Ranck taken from the Gage Record—January 1936.

"Mabel A. Ranck was born November 5, 1889, in Union County, Pennsylvania. She moved with her parents to the State of Nebraska in 1896 and to the State of Oklahoma in 1902. She attended the public schools of Ellis County and was graduated from the Gage High School in 1905. She taught school in Ellis County eight years; attended the Northwestern State Normal School, Alva, Oklahoma, and graduated from the latter institution in 1913.

She attended the University of Oklahoma, the University of Colorado, the University of California and was graduated from the University of California with degrees of A. B. and M. A. in 1920 and 1926. Later she studied at the National University of the Republic of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico. She taught in the high schools of the states of Arizona and California. In addition to her life work of teaching she had written and published a number of historical articles on early Oklahoma history and the Indians of the Southwest, as historical research was one of her major interests. She also spent a part of one year in extensive travel over Continental Europe.

Within recent years she experienced failing health and last fall suffered a complete nervous breakdown and was forced to give up her teaching position in the United States Indian School at Carson City, Nevada, and return to Oklahoma for rest and treatment. January 1, 1936, she went to Oklahoma City for further health treatment and died Jan-

Page 388

uary 7, 1936 in St. Anthony's Hospital, Oklahoma City. Interment was made in the I. O. O. F. Cemetery, Gage.

Miss Ranck united with the Methodist Church at the age of 16 years and remained an active church member and worker the rest of her life.

She is survived by her mother, Mrs. Kate E. Ranck, Gage; one sister, Mrs. F. W. Diacon, Oklahoma City; and three brothers, William A . Ranck, Denver, Colorado; L. B. Ranck, Gage; and George D. Ranck, Gage. Her father M. J. Ranck preceded her in death about six years ago."

—D. W. P.


Page 389


J. H. Snyder
Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore, Oklahoma

Citizens of Ardmore, regardless of creed or color, were saddened when the sudden death of Mrs. John Easley was announced on the morning of July 3, and genuine regret was universally expressed at the passing of one who had been so prominently identified with the civic well being of the city and community. Death came just one day after the anniversary of her birth, which occurred in Sonora, Gorden county, Georgia, a daughter of Dr. M. J. Dudley, who served as surgeon in the Confederate army and practiced his profession in that area for many years.

As a young woman she came to the southwest and as Miss Lucille Dudley, resided in Texas and in southern Indian Territory, and it was at the little inland town of Leon in Love County that she was married to John F. Easley, just a few days more than forty years before the time of her death. It was in 1896 that the Easley's moved to Ardmore where Mr. Easley became identified with the Daily Ardmoreite, of which he is now its editor and owner, and from that time until the hour of her passing she was regarded as a leader in every movement for the betterment of the city and community, and was frequently spoken of as one of the city's most useful women. It was her inspiration that suggested a women's civic organization in Ardmore. She enlisted the aid of her husband in the enterprise and the Ryonis club was the result, which is gradually spreading to more than local proportions. She was also an active member of the Ladies of the Leaf, one of the pioneer literary clubs of the state, and served as one of its presidents. Besides her club activities, her life was devoted to many deeds of charity.

Always deeply interested in the less fortunate, she made no discrimination because of race or religion, her kindly deeds were distributed to ail alike, and it was from those who were recipients of her bounty that genuine sorrow was expressed when her sudden death was announced. A devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Easley's was a quiet unassuming personality, always thoughtful of others, loyal to a fault of her friends, and devoted to an unusual degree to her home and family.

A sterling character, a generous, splendid representative of the womanhood of the great southwest, she has gone to that eternal reward which comes as the fulfillment of a life crowded with good deeds accomplished for all those she loved and served.

Mrs. Easley suffered much, yet, she bore her suffering with that Spartan fortitude that set her apart. She had sublime faith in the future, and her life was so coordinated with that faith that it intensified her trust in life beyond the grave. Although death came suddenly, yet there is little doubt but what she knew the inevitable was at hand. Her steadfast belief that death was not the end, that life was not all is exemplified in a poem by an anonymous writer she cherished and often repeated, a few lines which are appropriate here read:

Page 390

"If life were all,
Where were the recompense
For all our tears?
The troubled toil
Of all the long drawn years,
The struggle to survive,
The passing show,
Were scarce worth while
If life were all.

"Life is not all,
I do not understand the plans;
I only know that God is good,
And that his strength sustains.
I only know that God is just;
So in the starless, songless night,
I lift my heart to him and trust;
And God my spirit witness gives,
Life is not all."

Firmly she believed with the poet, that life is not all; that beyond that bank of shadows which men call death there is another life where we take up the higher, eternal tasks prepared for those who leave their earthly cares to enter straight another elysian chamber, larger than this we leave, and lovelier. The death of Mrs. Easley interrupted a beautiful home life, it severed the tie that bound relations and friends, it terminated the existence of one whose life had been devoted to service above self, it cast a pall of gloom over a community where she was so universally loved.

Besides her husband she is survived by one daughter, Maurier Easley Riesen, and three grandchildren.

That a life so devoted, a life so weighted with self sacrifice and steadfast devotion to the well being of others, will receive its just reward, a devoted husband, and innumerable friends believe, and with one accord all breathe a silent prayer that her soul today is finding that eternal peace and happiness it so richly deserves.

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