Obituary for Wilma Ann Waughtal
(Wilma) Ann Waughtal, known to friends and family simply as “Ann,” quietly and peacefully passed away in her home in Stillwater, OK, on Thursday, June 29, 2017. She died close to her beloved husband of almost 61 years, Jerry R. Waughtal. She is survived by her husband; son, Andrew (Andy) William Waughtal, daughter-in-law, Lisa Waughtal; daughter, Malinda Waughtal; sister Judy Jan Acree; sister, Nancy Jean (Jeanne) Stephens; and many treasured cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ann was born on October 10, 1936, at the Indian Hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma. She grew up primarily in Claremore with her Mom, Ruth Helen (Ward) Davis, her father, Nathaniel B. Davis, and her sisters, Judy Jan Acree (Tulsa, OK) and Nancy Jean (Jeanne) Stephens (Jonesboro, AR). She was so proud of, and adored, her baby sisters and took her job as “big sister” very seriously, always wanting to be a good example. More than that, she wanted them to feel loved, supported and cherished for she wanted all of that, and so much more, for them. She felt blessed to grow up near extended family. Her two cousins Jo Ann (Wood) Loyd (Edmond, OK) and Helen Louise (Foster) White (Chino, CA) were sometimes neighbors, but always like sisters to her.
After a family move to Tulsa, she spent her senior year at Will Rogers High School, graduating in 1954. She attended Oklahoma State University, met Jerry, and married him on August 24, 1956. Jerry and Ann decided to make Stillwater their home and raised their two children there, Andrew (“Andy”) William Waughtal (Troy, IL), and Malinda Waughtal (Stillwater, OK). Prior to starting her family she worked as a secretary for attorney Warren Crisjohn in Yale, OK, and an Office Manager in the Biochemistry Department at Oklahoma State University. After Andy was born, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom. She often said that pregnancy and being at home with her children were some of the happiest times of her life. When her children were both in school, she returned to college to become a teacher. She graduated with a B.S and M.S. from the College of Education at OSU. She began her teaching career in 1975, teaching 3rd grade, at Westwood Elementary School. She transferred to Sangre Ridge Elementary in 1980, as part of the inaugural group of teachers and staff. Up to that point, she had enjoyed the option of walking to school every day, and she had to think long and hard about changing to a school located far enough that she had to actually drive to work every morning. She taught both 2nd and 3rd grades during her tenure at Sangre Ridge. As a dedicated teacher she continued taking higher education courses throughout her professional career, always striving to be well-prepared and up-to-date on the latest academic theories and methods.
Teaching was her love and her calling. She cherished every single student who passed through her doors, believing every child was a gifted child. In her own words: “One of my reasons for choosing this profession was that I believe so fervently in the specialness and uniqueness of the individual. I wanted to make sure that a number of children were viewed with this kind of dignity.” She always said being a mother made her a better teacher and being a teacher made her a better mother. When it came time for fundraising, she did not want any child to feel slighted or think she had favorites, so she bought something from every student who approached her. Until her much later years, she could identify almost every former student she encountered, no matter how many years had passed. She celebrated in their graduations, recitals, marriages, the birth of their children and their accomplishments both personally and professionally.
Following her retirement, she continued contributing, through the College of Education, serving as a supervisor for student teachers. In that role she traveled to various school districts to observe, aid and assist the next generation of teachers.
She loved being a part of, and contributing to, her community. While her children were younger, she served on the P.T.A. and as Cub Scout Den Mother. She was an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, PEO, and Browning Society, serving in several leadership positions. She faithfully attended First Christian Church, serving as Deacon and Elder. One of her favorite ways to serve was as a volunteer providing communion to the nursing homes and shut-ins. She attended services and served for as long as she could. She loved the church community and found great comfort in her faith throughout the years. She was a devoted student of the bible and a devout believer in her Christian faith.
Her generosity extended beyond family, friends and local community as she donated to every organization that sent her a request. She was her sweet, loving self until the very end and she will be missed by all of us whose lives she has touched and who were blessed to know her or be related to her, and by a world that was a whole lot better with her in it.