Funeral services for Florence Lorene (Watkins) Thornburg, 97, of Pawhuska, were held Monday, March 7, 2016 at McCartney’s Johnson Funeral Chapel in Pawhuska, OK. Reverend Mark Shelton officiated and burial was in Nelagoney Cemetery in Nelagoney, OK. Casket bearers were Brady Robison, P.J. Mays, Mart Robison, Justin Mays, Clint Johnson and Hunter Garrett. Honorary casket bearers were Danny Hartness, Jr. and Scott V. Hartness.
Lorene was born September 6, 1918 in Emporia, KS to John and Minnie (Varner) Watkins. She passed away March 4, 2016 in Bartlesville, OK.
Lorene’s education began at Cottonwood Falls Elementary. When she entered high school, she started 9th grade at Pawhuska. She then moved to Nelagoney to finish her last two years and graduated from there. Lorene married a Pottawatomie Indian, Nick Tomey in January 1938. Lorene and Nick raised 5 children in and around the Nelagoney area and all five children graduated from Nelagoney Schools. Lorene was a great seamstress, and she made all of her girl’s clothing until they were in high school. Lorene made her girls’ prom dresses and Donna’s wedding dress. She loved to fish. (That is actually an understatement). Lorene and Cecil Thornburg were married in 1974, and after the death of her first husband Nick in 1976, Cecil became a wonderful grandfather to all of her grandchildren. Lorene and Cecil traveled to many places: California to visit her brothers, to fishing trips to Padre Island, TX, Nebraska, and many times to Wichita, KS to visit family. Lorene was a dedicated family caretaker and mother to her five children. She worked during the war for Boeing Aircraft and later worked in the Pawhuska Tent Factory. Lorene excelled in providing many great memories not only on the holidays, but in daily activities. She entertained the grandchildren – fishing, weekends at the lake, trips to the Winding Staircase Mountains, going camping and attending all of their school functions.
She is survived by her children, JoAnne Lorene Tomey-Robison of Ponca City, Shirley Ann Tomey-Hartness of Wichita, KS, Nicholas John Tomey, Jr. of Ocala, FL, Donna Tomey-Tucker of Pawhuska and Marcella Tomey-Mays and husband, Paul of Pawhuska; sisters, Elizabeth Day of Wichita, KS and Helen Duncan of Wichita, KS; step-son, David Thornburg of Pawhuska; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Minnie Watkins; two brothers; husbands, Nick Tomey and Cecil Thornburg; sons-in-law, Jack Robison, Danny Hartness, Jr. and Jeff Tucker.