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McRay Funeral Home
January 2023 Obituaries 

Joseph Don Phillips

Joseph Don Phillips was born on March 6, 1992 in Chickasha, OK to Paul Phillips and Cheryl Phillips (Anderson). He passed from this life on Friday January 6, 2023. 

Joseph was raised in Chickasha and attended Chickasha High School, graduating in 2010. From a very young age he assisted his dad, who was a mechanic, where he developed a passion for cars. After he moved on from working with his dad, he worked at the local NAPA store where he enjoyed his job and especially the people he worked with. 

He played several sports including soccer and t-ball, but his favorite was bowling. He was a very competitive bowler and participated in league bowling all his life since he was 6. He also enjoyed fishing. He loved his sister Shayla very much, but that didn’t stop him picking on her all the time. 

Joseph was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Sam and Pat Phillips.

Joseph is survived by his parents Paul Phillips and Cheryl Anderson, his sister Shayla Phillips, 3 aunts: Ginny and Joe Mills, Beverly and Monty Daniels, Karla and Jess Schenk, his 8 cousins, a niece and nephew belonging to half-sister Sierra Barnett and maternal grandparents. Joseph will be missed by all his family and his many friends. 

The Phillips/Anderson family would like to thank the community for all of the prayers and support during this time. 

Memorial services for Joseph will be held at 1:00pm, Friday, January 13, 2023 at New Life Christian Church, 1828 S. 13th Street in Chickasha, OK. Pastor Matthew Reiber will officiate. Interment will be at Fairlawn Cemetery under the direction of McRay Funeral Home. 

Sonja Virginia Burns Hightower-Smith

Funeral service for Sonja Virginia Burns Hightower-Smith will be held at 1:00pm, Saturday, January 14, 2023 in the McRay Funeral Home Chapel.

Sonja Virginia Burns was born February 23, 1940 to JW Burns and Gertrude (Gray) Burns.  She died January 9, 2023.

Sonja married Olen Hightower in 1955 and to this union seven children were born.  Later in life she met and married Monroe Smith.  Sonja worked in nursing homes in the kitchen as a dietary.  She was known as a great cook to everyone.  All of her kids’ and grandkids’ friends also knew her as their mom/grandma.

She was preceded in death by her husband Monroe Smith; parents JW and Gertrude Burns; brother Kenneth Burns; sister June Flippo, two brothers-in-law Don Keef and Bill Flippo; two sons Stevie Joe Hightower and Baby Boy Hightower; daughter Becky Cheryl Hightower; two sons-in-law Johnny Horton and Johnny Robinson; and great-grandson Kaiden Trotter.

Survivors include son Arthur Olen “Pete” Hightower; daughter Donna Horton; son Kevin Hightower; daughter Sandra Robinson; brother and sister-in-law Coy and Deana Burns; sister Jean Keef; brother Wesley Burns; brother JT Burns; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.

Interment will be in the Blanchard Cemetery, Blanchard, OK.  Services are under the direction of McRay Funeral Home.

Alda Joyce Updegrove

Alda Joyce (Underwood) Updegrove was born in Gracemont, OK to Jefferson (Gus) and Wendell Underwood.  She passed away on Monday, January 2, 2023.

Alda started school in Wasco, CA where she went to first and second grades, then the family moved back to Cement, OK where she finished her schooling and started working in a café.  She enjoyed writing poetry and has a collection of over 100 poems–11 published in National Poetry Anthologies.  She also received three Editors Choice Awards, two Rewards of Recognition and she has belonged to the National Poetry Society since 1987.

Alda is survived by one son Randy Askins, Chickasha, OK; three daughters, Gayla and Ken Wise, CA; Connie and Gator Pyle, Chickasha; and Regena and Joshua Carlson, Yukon, OK; grandchildren Cody Wise and Dusty Wise; Dillon Pyle and Kira Diehl; Amy, Timmy, Mia and Tyler Carlson; great-grandchildren Noah, Liam and Logan Wise and Espen, Meridikan and Lynnleigh Pyle.

Alda was preceded in death by her parents Wendell and Jefferson (Gus) Underwood; great-grandson Keaton Diehl; brother Hoyt Underwood; twin brother Albert (Abbie) Underwood; sisters Jeannette Lane and Liquieta Sanders.

Graveside services will be at 2:00pm Friday, January 6, 2023 in the Cement Cemetery in Cement, OK.

Services are under the direction of 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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