Shawnee resident Coyla Bowden, 106, passed away June 25, 2018, in a local nursing home.
Coyla Bowden was born June 21, 1912, to Clarence o. Oldham and lca (Chezem) Oldham in Muskogee. She passed away June 25, 2018. She was 106 years old.
Growing up during the oil boom, she lived in several towns in Oklahoma as her father worked for a major oil company. She spent her high school years in Seminole, graduating in 1930, and immediately went to work at the local tag agency, later moving on to become an accountant for the Ford dealership, then the Chevrolet dealer. This is an occupation she pursued until her retirement from Phillips Motor Company in Norman.
She married Fred H. Bowden on Sept. 11, 1936. He preceded her in death on July 7, 1992. Fred enlisted in the U.S. Marines during World War II and they moved to Norfolk, Virginia. After the war, they moved to Norman, where she lived until moving to Primrose Retirement Community. They were world travelers, visiting five continents some several times. China, Hong Kong and London were some of her favorite destinations. Not many people can say they have seen The Forbidden City and walked on the Great Wall of China, seen the Sphinx and pyramids in Egypt, the Winter Palace in Russia, the Taj Mahal in India, The Vatican in Rome, including an audience with the Pope. While on an African safari, she observed her 80th birthday and the Masai Tribe honored her with an impressive torchlight ceremony to celebrate the occasion. She enjoyed several cruises to the Caribbean, including a transverse of the Panama Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.
She is a devoted fan of the Oklahoma Sooner football team, holding season tickets for more than 65 years. At age 91 she decided to watch them on TV from the comfort of her living room sofa instead of the upper deck of the stadium. To celebrate her 100th birthday, Coach Barry Switzer visited her, bringing gifts and an autographed picture to personally wish her happy birthday!
She would be the first one to say she has had a wonderful life surrounded by her loving and supportive family, including her sister, Wanda White of Shawnee, brother, Gene Oldham of Prague, and
many nieces and nephews to whom she was confidante, mentor, advisor and favorite aunt.
The family would like to express our deep appreciation to Primrose Retirement Community Assistant Living Center for the excellent compassionate care they gave her. We also would like to thank the nurses from Loving Care Hospice for their professional, comforting care and loving concern for her and her family.
A celebration of life service will be July 13, at 10 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery, Shawnee, under the direction of Walker Funeral Service.