Funeral services for Frances Emilee “Frankie” (Proffitt) Stephens, 88, of Owasso, OK, were held Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at Collinsville Baptist Tabernacle in Collinsville, OK. Pastor Gary Boyd and Reverend Charlie Watashe officiated, and burial was in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Collinsville, OK. Casket bearers were Ryan Flanary, Brody Flanary, Joe Gray, Cody Gray, Brandon Jarnagan, and Wyatt Whitworth. Honorary Casket bearers were Rich Flanary, Charlie Watashe, Richard Oliver, Terrill Hendrix, Dave Stephens, Randy Stephens, Don Flanary, Steve Baker, Danny Gannan, Ron Phelps, Chuck Bonebrake, Doug Bonebrake, Jerry Hawkins, and Tharyn Nachtigall.
Frankie was born to Melvin Ellis Proffitt and Luttie May (Thompson) Proffitt in a 2-room cabin in Mayes County on June 30, 1933. She passed away February 2, 2022, in Owasso, OK.
The second child, Frankie was "little sis” to Carl Melvin Proffitt. She was granddaughter of James Wesley Proffitt, a full blood Cherokee Baptist Circuit Riding Preacher and Sarah Emilee (Hays) Proffitt. They had hard times in Oklahoma and her father found work in Ft Sumpter, New Mexico where she lived as a young child. By the time she was 3 years old, her and Carl and Luttie were a family of 3. Carl, at the age of 6 became the provider of the home, trapping rabbits and shooting squirrels for their food. When Frankie was 10, she picked up a bow and arrow and that started her love of a lifetime sport. She attended grade school at Verdigris as well as Sequoyah Schools. When she was 12, she contracted polio and her life changed as she missed an entire year of school. Fortunately, her family moved north of Collinsville, and she attended Collinsville Schools. To the surprise of her family, Frankie decided she was going to march in the band. This created a situation for a farm family. Soon, she began staying over at her friend's homes; the Couch family, the Kreps family, and the Murphy family. Eventually, she and Carl rented a room at Mrs. Henshall's Boarding House at 14th and Center. She played basketball, marched in the band, acted in the Junior and Senior plays, and attended Church every time the doors were open. She made her grades a priority and achieved Honor Society. To pay her bills, she worked as a soda jerk at Howland Drug Store. It was there she met a Chelsea farm boy who she encouraged to live his dream and try out for the NY Yankees baseball team. This boy was Ralph Terry and for a summer he lived at the hotel in downtown Collinsville, and he would walk her home from her drugstore job. An opportunity then opened up for her to be a telephone operator during her high school years. Frankie’s life dream was to have a home, a loving Christian husband and be a mother and a homemaker. During a workday, a new employee came to work as a lineman and Frankie fell for the handsome Charles Hicks. They were married in November 1952. They had 3 children; June, Barbie, and Ronny. Charlie and Frankie made an old house a home and they enjoyed a fun life together in Collinsville. Archery became a family sport and Frankie used her skills she loved, her bow hunting, and turned it into target shooting. She won a 12-state tournament of the Southeast Region of the United States at the age of 26. In addition, she made history when she became the first woman in the State of Oklahoma to shoot a deer with a bow and arrow and made the front cover of the Tulsa World. 40 years later they did an update to the story, once again on the front page of the Sports Section. When Frankie became a single mother, she again went to work at Howland Sharp Drug. Eventually, she found love again. Frank proposed and she became Frankie Stephens, gaining a bonus daughter, Debbie, a true blessing to her. OK Food Market needed a new employee and Frankie was a natural at bookkeeping, grocery checking, and ordering. She also became a meat cutter, working with Steve Baker in the meat market there at OK's. It was there she and Steve talked about hunting, and fishing, and listened to KVOO country radio! They continued their friendship throughout life and Frankie's eyes would light up anytime she talked about those days in the meat market with Steve. Memories of the OK Food Market Christmas parties are forever etched in our minds. ln later years, after the loss of Frank, she went to work at Mercer's in Tulsa eventually finding a wonderful job she loved as the Hostess at Concessionaire, the Tulsa International Airport dining spot where celebrities and movie stars would stop in while waiting for a flight. It was especially a treat there, because her brother, Carl also worked for the City of Tulsa at the Airport. Frankie made many friends throughout the years at all of the places she worked. She enjoyed what she did; some called it work, but she called it a blessing. Having something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. The only thing was that her heart remained longing for Frank and his zest for life. Her family grew with the addition of grandchildren, Richard Oliver, Ryan Flanary, Rachel Oliver Jarnagan, Aaron Hendrix, Alex Hendrix and her God Child, Conni Werther. A special blessing of great-grandchildren came along, Brody Flanary, Natalie Phillips, Paige Flanary, Adalyn Flanary, Haylee Hendrix, and Quinn Hendrix. Always special to Frankie was her bonus grandchildren, Jimmy Stephens, Dianna Stephens, Dean Wilson, and Suzy Wilson. Life was ever so exciting when they came around. Frankie recently told a story on Frank. Seems when he heard the little ones getting out of the car, he hurried about the kitchen taking all the knobs off the stove so he could find them when the kiddos were gone! Boundless stories of the fun times, the Christmases, the cookouts, the lake trips, the birthday parties are forever etched in our minds with the Frank Stephens Family. Our momma, aka, Grandma Frankie, Grammy, and “GG” had a loving home filled with fabulous food, fun, and fellowship. She was always ready for a game of Wahoo or any other competitive game your heart desires. A competitor at heart, she wanted everyone to be blessed in her humble home. There was always room for a friend to come with you. Just get ready for her to send something home with you. She wanted everyone to feel welcome in her home and she did that with ease. Frankie was always ready to attend a ballgame with you and cheered for the Cardinals with such pride. She enjoyed baseball so much that she and Phyllis Ryal-Clark and Phyllis’ mom spent many trips to Arkansas to watch the Razorbacks with June and Rachel. Her latest days were spent playing Bingo at Brookdale and letting us know she won four games and got four prizes to boot. Frankie was a friend to anyone who came her way, as she realized her spiritual gifts early in life.
At the age of sixteen, Frankie accepted Jesus Christ as her savior. She was baptized in Eylers pond, south of the city park. This life decision allowed Frankie to live out a life of acceptance of God's will, no matter the circumstances. She was obedient to the Holy Spirit, and she enjoyed lifelong dreams, although many hardships came her way. She is reunited in Heaven with her loved ones and there are no tears and no pain. We rejoice knowing we will see her again through the promises of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
She is survived by her daughters, June Oliver of Springdale, AR, and Barb Flanary and husband, Rich, of Collinsville, OK. She is also survived by Dave and Karen Stephens and family, of Sulphur Springs, TX, Sue Wilson, and family of Collinsville, Randy and Mary Stephens and family of Tulsa, and Debbie and Terrill Hendrix, and family of Broken Arrow; grandchildren, Richard Oliver of Pea Ridge, AR, Ryan Flanary and wife, Lacey of Collinsville, Rachel Jarnagan and husband, Brandon of Centerton, AR, Aaron Hendrix of Broken Arrow, and Alex Hendrix of Broken Arrow; godchild, Conni Werther of Catoosa; great-grandchildren, Brody Flanary, Natalie Phillips, Paige Flanary, Adalyn Flanary, Haylee Hendrix, and Quinn Hendrix. Also, a host of extended grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and special lifelong friends; and sister-in-law Joy VanLandingham of Sapulpa. She is also survived by her special nieces, Carlene Kittrell, and her son, Josh and daughter, Amy and Scott Bailey and children Corbin, Kendall, and Kaylyn; niece, Shirlene Watashe and husband Charlie, their daughter, Sheila Parker and her children, Wyatt, and Leilani; and daughter, Dawn Gray and husband, Joe, and their children, Emma and Cody.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Stephens; son, Ron Hicks; and brother, Carl Proffitt.
Much gratitude goes out to the wonderful staff at Brookdale, Owasso for the level of care they provided in a loving atmosphere. Hearts of staff members and residents alike were poured into Frankie as she lived her final days there. Seasons Hospice provided excellent care as they were steadfast to be present at times of need during our present-day health care crisis. God Bless our essential workers.
Arrangements and services were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home, Sperry.
Online condolences to the family can be made at johnsonsperry.com.