Melva Joyce Whitewing, lifelong Hominy resident, passed from this life on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 at her home in Hominy, Okla. at the age of 76.
Joyce was born in Hominy on July 2, 1937, the youngest of four daughters of Oscar Talmadge and Jewell Amanda (Brannon) Gaines. She was raised in a small home on South Price Street in Hominy and attended school there, graduating from Hominy High School in 1955.
Shortly after graduation, Joyce was married to Oscar Whitewing, Jr. on Sept. 12, 1955. The couple maintained their home in Hominy throughout their marriage and raised two children, Mandi and David. Oscar and Joyce owned and operated the Dairyland Drive-in in Hominy for many years. Additionally, Joyce worked for E. W. Carter for many years and served as Executive Vice President for the Osage Producers Association for many years.
Joyce was a 54-year member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) International, an international leadership and service organization where members develop meaningful friendships, find their passion for community service, and continue on the path of lifelong learning. Joyce was recognized one of the most influential members of ESA in Oklahoma as well as nationally. She has held numerous positions with the organization on the state level.
The Oscar and Joyce Whitewing Honorarium Endowment was established by the Oklahoma State Council, on March 30, 1998. The first scholarship was awarded in 2000. This endowment was funded from the profits of the 1997 ESA IC Convention held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Joyce was co-chairman of this convention. As a member of Epsilon Kappa #1945, Hominy, Oklahoma, for many years, she was President of the Oklahoma State Council in 1979-80. The prestigious ESA Foundation Dixie Palmer Lady Award was presented to Joyce in 1991 for her continuous and dedicated efforts for the progress of ESA. Joyce is the only Diamond Dixie Palmer Founder – chartering 10 chapters. Joyce continued to dedicate her time and energy to ESA and lead the "Doers" in their effort to sustain ESA into the future.
Joyce and Oscar were given the prestigious Oklahoma State Council’s President’s Award by Nadine Moyer in 1997 for their outstanding work for ESA.
Joyce also served as the Chairman and Master of Ceremonies of the Osage Tribe annual oil and gas summit for many years. Oscar preceded her in death while the couple was enjoying a short trip to New Orleans on Sept. 10, 2001. They were planning to celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary on Sept. 12, 2001.
Joyce enjoyed traveling and attending ESA conventions and meetings. She later met and was married to Gordon Leroy Slate on Jan. 27, 2006 in Las Vegas. Nev. They made their home together in Hominy and enjoyed traveling and entertaining family and friends. Throughout her life, Joyce enjoyed numerous trips to Cancun, an Alaskan cruise and a trip to Hawaii. Joyce was an avid reader and for many years was an active member of the Hominy Bowling League. She also enjoyed painting.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Leroy Slate of the home in Hominy; daughter, Mandi Whitewing Grimes of Cleveland, Okla.; two sisters Frances Shoup of Houston, Texas and Mary Lou Haines of Hominy; four grandchildren, John Briley of Lawrence, Kan., Samuel Rice and his wife Ashley of Hominy, Benjamin Rice of Tulsa, Okla., and William Rice of Hominy; four great grandchildren; step daughter Karen Younger of Sand Springs, Okla.; two step grandchildren Jessica Akins and Gillie Younger; and two step great grandchildren.
In addition to her first husband, Oscar, she was preceded in death by a son, David Whitewing; mother Jewell Amanda Blue (Brannon); one sister, Jeweldean Stebbing; and a step-grandchild.
Funeral services were at held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in Hominy with Larry Stuart officiating. Friends may share a memory with the family at the funeral home or online at www.chapman-black.com.
Tax deductible memorials for Joyce may be sent to the ESA Foundation, PO Box 80527, Fort Collins, CO 80527. Please designate your check for the "Oscar & Joyce Whitewing Scholarship Endowment".