Norman — Services for Juanita V. Beller, 91, of Norman, formerly of Center, are 12:00 Noon Friday at the Criswell Funeral Home Chapel, Rev. Earl Hood will officiate. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Ada.
Juanita V. Beller was born Juanita Virginia Murphy in Ada, OK to Thomas J. and Carrie Murphy on November 24, 1922 as one of the second sets of twins born to Tom and Carrie. She died on February 4, 2014 in Norman, OK. She was raised in and around Ada and graduated from Vanoss High School. She attended one year at East Central University in Ada. Then World War II came along and upset her and most other Americans’ lives. She married the love of her life on August 2, 1942 in Reno, NV shortly before Jack entered the Army as a Private. While he was on active duty as an MP guard on a prison ship going from North Africa to New York City, she lived with Jack’s parents in California. If there is a picture of “Rosie the Riveter” anywhere, it should be a picture of Juanita. She worked cutting out sheet metal pieces that were to be used in war materiel by day and in a cannery preparing food to be sent overseas to the troops by night. When Jack returned back to the States in 1944, still on active duty, she joined him in New York City before they returned home to Ada.
She and Jack moved to Midwest City in 1951 where she spent the next few years rearing their two sons, Jack and Rick. Both Jack and Juanita were civil service employees at Tinker Air Force Base until they retired in 1978. Juanita was a strong advocate for education although the war effort cut her and Jack’s formal educations short. As a result of this strong belief in education and hers and Jack’s support, both of their sons graduated from high school and college, and both went on to graduate from Medical School and become Orthopaedic Surgeons practicing in the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area, much to the delight and pride of their parents.
In 1978, she and Jack moved from Midwest City “back home” to Ada and built a home on a plot of land where she had picked cotton for her Dad when she was a teen-ager. She spent the next 35 years as a homemaker. Juanita loved to do hand work such as crochet, knitting, quilting, and embroidery. Her other love, other than Jack, was gardening. She tilled, planted, and weeded an acre-sized vegetable garden and enjoyed growing, canning, cooking, and eating the fresh vegetables from her garden. Her produce was also enjoyed and appreciated by her family and friends. Juanita maintained her and Jack’s house and fastidiously managed her own financial and personal affairs right up to the age of 91.
Both she and Jack attended Center Free Will Baptist Church for 35 years.
Juanita is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 71 years, Jack. She is also survived by two sons, Jack and his wife, Ruth, of Norman, OK, and Rick and his wife, Lynne, of Edmond, OK; five grandchildren, Jenna Donatiello and her husband, Aron, of Austin, TX; Julie Vandaveer and her husband, Ben, of Philadelphia, PA; Kendall Porter and her husband, Blake, of Birmingham, AL; Karis Monger and her husband, Matt, of Tulsa, OK; and Braden Beller of Tulsa, OK as well as six great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Wanda Murphy of Ada.
She will be missed by all who knew her.
Memorial services are under the direction of Criswell Funeral Home in Ada, OK.
In lieu of flowers, the family has designated the Center Free Will Baptist Youth Group in Ada, OK as appropriate contributions in memory of Juanita Beller.