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McRay Funeral Home

Elizabeth Craig

On April 30, 1941, Elizabeth Lee Garrison was born to Sherman Garrison and Edwardene (Pfaff) Garrison in Okeene, OK. On the day she was born she can only be described as the most precious red head baby with, as her grandson Erik so eloquently describes them, the most beautiful Irish green eyes ever!

Liz graduated from Wayne in 1959 as the salutatorian of her class and was a starter for the girl’s high school basketball team.  On Aug. 4, 1960 Liz married the man who would be the one true love of her life, Ray Craig.  Though they divorced in 1987, they remained close, life-long friends.  In 1965, Liz joined Ray on Mid-Way Island where they spend a year, and then returned to the states where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in education from South Western Oklahoma State University.  After graduation, Liz taught for Moore Public Schools as an elementary teacher.  There, she started the first gymnastics program and a softball team called the Soul Sistas’.  In 1975 Ray and Liz moved to Paoli, OK.  For the next two years she taught elementary science, coached elementary basketball and started the first High School track team.  In 1977 the Craig family picked up roots and headed for the big town of Ninnekah, OK.  That is where Liz showed what she could do!  She became a member of the Holy Name Catholic church, she taught every grade from kindergarten through 12th grade; everything from P.E. to driver’s education, science and history to coaching basketball and even drove a bus on occasions.  She started the first sports banquet, cheerleading team, drill team squad, Ninnekah Heritage Day, organized the restoration of Muncrief Cemetery, started the first high school track team, and was instrumental in starting the Ninnekah Senior Citizens Center.  To say that Liz was an over-achiever would be an understatement.  When she retired, Liz became a member of the Elks Lodge and was the Lodge President in 2007. Liz loved going to Thunder games, gambling at the casinos and taking cruises and other long trips with her partner-in-crime, Gerald Baggett.  She enjoyed attending basketball games that her step-grandson, Scott Palesano played in, attending community theater plays that her grandson Erik was in, taking Trey fishing and teaching her grandchildren to drive.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Sherman and Edwardene Garrison; sister, Gloria Sparlin; brother, Dom Garrison; sister-in-law, Cindy Garrison and brother, Mick Garrison.

Liz is survived by: daughter E’Dena Craig, Chickasha, OK; daughter, Tammy Vasquez, Chickasha, OK; son Ray T. Craig and wife Amy Craig; her adored grandchildren Erik Craig Holman and his wife Jennifer Holman; Trey Craig, Santana Craig, Lexi Bowen and Michaela Ball; her very much adored great-grandchildren Jason Holman, Willow Ball and Emmitt Ball; sister Cindy Ritichison and husband Jerry of Eakley, OK; brother-in-law Tom Sparlin of Purcell, OK; sister-in-law Helen Garrison of Chickasha, OK; other family Scott Palesano, Kristopher Palesano, Elicia Romero, Karina Romero, Shirley Drewry and Rhonda Tupper who gave Liz love, attentiveness and really good homemade meals; and a host of nieces an nephews that she loved and enjoyed immensely!

Elizabeth departed for her exciting new adventures on Aug. 24, 2020 with a warm send off by her children, grandson Trey and daughter-in-law Amy.  She was also visited by Ray Craig, granddaughters and grandson Erik.

Due to the pandemic, there will be a private funeral mass for the family at Holy Name Catholic Church on Monday afternoon, August 31, 2020.  Following the mass there will be a committal service for friends at 3:30pm at Fairlawn Cemetery.  There will be no viewing

Services are under the direction of McRay Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association or the Arthritis Foundation.

Gary Surber

A much loved husband, dad, PePaw, son, brother, uncle and friend, Gary Byron Surber, 70, of Chickasha, Oklahoma, passed away peacefully at his home August 14, 2020 surrounded by his family. He bravely fought lung cancer for a year and five months. Gary was born November 13, 1949 in Chickasha, Oklahoma, and resided in the Chickasha/Amber area most of his life. He graduated from Amber-Pocasset High School in 1967 and then attended college at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 

Gary drove a school bus for Chickasha Schools while in college at USAO and it was said the other bus drivers were jealous of him because of the relationship he shared with the students.  He then worked at La Mesa Park in Raton, New Mexico for trainer Jack Brooks from Blanchard.  Gary and his dad, Burl Surber owned, trained and raced horses in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico and Shreveport Louisiana.  Some of his fondest memories included training his favorite horse, Indian Bush.

Gary was the owner and operator of Surber & Sons Oilfield Service during the early 1980’s. Shortly after that, horse racing came to Oklahoma and he returned to his lifelong passion of training and racing Thoroughbreds at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw and Remington Park in Oklahoma City.  

After retiring from training horses, Gary took over the family farm in Chickasha where he enjoyed all the ranching duties, relaxing with his dogs and the simple life. Throughout this time he also pursued a career in real estate where he worked for over 15 years with Chickasha Realty until his retirement in 2017.

 During his later years in life he cherished attending all of his grandchildren’s many activities, most recently watching his two oldest grandchildren be accepted into Division I schools in Oklahoma to play sports. 

If you stopped by for a visit with Gary, you could likely find him sitting in “his recliner,” watching the race horse channel, checking his many cattle and loving on horses he considered family. The casino was another favorite of Gary’s activities and “Lucky Ducks” paid him well over the years.  Others would tell you he used his winnings to help in whatever way he could even with the occasional stranger.  

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Karen Dee Surber of Chickasha; son Matt Surber and wife Deah of Tuttle; son Patrick Surber and wife Keri of Tuttle; daughter Saradee Griffin and husband Sam of Norman; Erik Terry and wife Jennifer of Tuttle; grandsons Luke, Karson, Parrish and Eli; granddaughters Allie Faye, Madison, Haddee, Emmee Kate, and Libbee; sister BurlDean Sidebottom of Yukon and sister Sharon Shoemake of Chickasha; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  

He was preceded in death by his parents Burl and Billie Surber, and sister Sue Boswell.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30am Saturday, Aug 22, 2020, at Bible Baptist church, Chickasha, Oklahoma officiated by Brother Kim Hayes. In honor of Gary’s affection for Hawaiian shirts, the family will be wearing Hawaiian attire and welcomes others to wear Hawaiian attire as well.

Services are under the direction of McRay Funeral Home.

Jannis Ferne Rethford McVey

Jannis Ferne Rethford McVey passed away at home on August 12, 2020 with her husband at her side.  A graveside funeral service will be held at 10:00am, Saturday, August 15, 2020 in the Fairlawn Cemetery, Chickasha, OK with Brother Kim Hayes officiating.  There will be no viewing.
Jannis was born at the family home to Frank and Mary Etta (Jones) Rethford during a blizzard on February 26, 1934 in Fordland, Missouri.  The family moved to Oklahoma City when Jannis was in grade school.  She was a member of the National Honor Society at Northeast High School, graduating in 1952.  She attended one year at Bethany Nazarene College before transferring to Oklahoma City University, where Jannis graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. She was one of only two women in the School of Business to graduate in 1956. During her senior year, she met her future husband in Economics class.  On July 26, 1957, Jannis married Bill R. McVey, Verden, OK. The marriage was blessed with two children, Jeffrey Ray and Shelli Kay.  Music lessons started in childhood with Jannis learning to play the piano and organ.  Many years ago, she gave her organ to the Salvation Army so they could have beautiful music in their chapel.  Jannis was very accomplished in sewing and she took many tailoring courses.  Jannis worked as an Executive Secretary for the Zone Manager at the Pontiac Division of General Motors Zone Office in Oklahoma City for eight years.  Following the family’s move to Chickasha in 1974 (when Bill returned to farming in the Verden area), Jannis wanted to learn about the Chickasha Public School System where Jeff and Shelli attended.  The best way to learn about a school is to work there so Jannis became a substitute teacher at the Chickasha Jr. and Sr. High Schools and at Amber-Pocasset High School.  As a great mom, Jannis was very involved with all of Jeff’s sports from Little League baseball to his high school teams; she was a Cub Scouts Den Mother, active with the Boy Scouts, and church activities.  She sewed many outfits and costumes for Shelli; helped on many writing projects and activities for the Latin Club.  Jannis was especially proud of her grandson, Mitchell, serving in the United States Marine Corps.  His deployments to Kosovo, Djibouti (near the horn of Africa), 2 tours in Iraq, and Afghanistan kept her constantly praying for his safe return.  Jannis encouraged, guided, and lovingly supported her children and grandson from infancy to adulthood; always proud of their accomplishments.  She loved spending time listening and talking with them and always knew their friends.  One of her most prized roles in life was being a grandmother.  As a devoted daughter, Jannis cared for her parents for many years; her mother had severe health problems and she assisted her father as he lived to be 104 years old.  She also attended to her aunt and helped manage her business, the Garden of Eden Mobile Home Park, in Cushing, OK.  Jannis was active in many community activities in Oklahoma City and Chickasha:  President of the Book Case Review Club in Oklahoma City in 1970; member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for more than 40 years; served as Treasurer for the Grady County Democratic Women’s Club; very involved with the MacDowell Music Club since joining in 1975 and becoming a Life Member in 2013.   Jannis also was a member of the Sororis Study Club, Chapter CR of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization), Grady County Historical Society, and the Epworth Methodist Church.  She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Franklin Leon who died in infancy, and her dear aunt, Ruby Belle Purdue.  Jannis touched many lives through her actions and words of wisdom.  She will be dearly missed by all her family and friends.  Jannis is survived by a very loving family that includes her very devoted husband of 63  years, Bill R. McVey of the home, son Jeffrey Ray McVey and wife Rena, Chickasha, OK; daughter Shelli Kay Wasson and husband Craig, Oklahoma City, OK; grandson Mitchell Hart McVey and wife Khari’ and their children great-granddaughter Mali’a K., great-grandsons Rayden Tully and Asher Zane McVey, Edmond, OK; step-granddaughter, Ashley Sharp and her son, Nicolas and daughter Emery, Chickasha, OK; sister-in-law Chloe Ann McClure and husband Darrell, Crowley, TX.; and close friends including Jeanne Huchteman (her best friend since the 7th grade) Oklahoma City, OK; and Jantana Laonoonchai of Bangkok, Thailand, a dear friend for more than 35 years. The family wishes to thank her caregivers Wanda Powell and Ruthie Gore for their loving service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation - Cardiovascular Biology, 825 NE 13th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104. 

Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.

McRay Funeral Home
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 806, Chickasha, OK  73023
Location:  110 S. 8th Street, Chickasha, OK  73018 
Corner of 8th & Chickasha Ave. Near Downtown

Phone: 405-224-4141

Fax:  405-224-1584


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