Off to her greatest adventure of everlasting life, Pauline passed away peacefully Sunday, October 2, 2022, at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. For 91 years, she was loved and admired so much by her family and friends and blessed us with her quick wit, humor, and storytelling.
Pauline was born on July 29, 1931, in Colony, Oklahoma, the second oldest of seven children born to John Williams Christian and Laura Oma (Thornton) Christian. Like her siblings, Pauline grew up a hard-working farm girl, persevering through the challenging days of the dust bowl, the great depression, and world wars. Still, her work ethic, positive attitude, and enduring faith sustained and blessed her throughout her long life.
Pauline graduated from Purcell High School in 1949 where she played basketball, softball, and some tennis. She was very active in the FFA and became a reporter for girls’ sports and the Home Economics Department. In retrospect, it was Pauline’s sophomore year when she enrolled in accounting, geometry, shorthand, and typing that she found her niche in business, and education that would serve her well for many, many years.
Anyone who knew Pauline well could agree that she was a courageous and independent woman. Often she beamed when telling stories of finally getting registered and being able to vote as a woman in 1952; attending Draughn School of Business as a teenager fresh off the farm; becoming a nominee for Who’s Who on American Campuses and becoming a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society while attending Cameron University as a working mom; ultimately graduating with honors as a member of the Alpha Chi scholastic honor society from Central State University in 1980.
In 1954, Pauline was introduced to her superman Army veteran with size 16 shoes, Richard Dean Wilson of Watonga, Okla. They courted and laughed and danced until his monthly marriage proposals finally charmed her heart into a resounding ‘yes’ and they were wed in January 1955. The next 41 years together would be filled with long and distinguished careers at Kerr McGee for Pauline and Southwestern Bell/AT&T for Richard. Together they raised a brilliant engineer and golfer son, Stan, and a beautiful and talented daughter, Sandi. Pauline was so proud of their accomplishments but more so for the blessings of wonderful families and grandchildren.
As lifelong OU Sooner fans, she and Richard retired and spent eight fun years together as snowbirds at Tropic Star Resort in Pharr, Texas. Crowned as Valentine’s King and Queen, they were both very socially active, teaching oil painting and stained-glass classes, and serving as worship leaders for the choir. Retiring early turned out to be a wise decision as Richard’s life was taken by cancer much too soon in 1996, leaving Pauline with only precious memories and one-third of her life yet to be scripted.
After returning to Edmond in 1997, Pauline remained very active. She attended summer classes at the Oklahoma City University School of Law and began serving on the Allocation Committee of the United Way of Oklahoma City for the next two years. Then in 1998, a fellow snowbird and good friend from Tropic Star, Norman Hartley, called with a “golden years” proposal to become traveling companions. It was a great friendship that eventually did lead to marriage a year later. Their journeys took them to the Caribbean, Mexican Resorts, England, Scotland, and all across the USA, especially Norm’s hometown of Smithville, Mo. Norm’s final passport was stamped on February 8, 2009, when he collapsed and died from congestive heart failure. He was laid to rest next to his first love “Mollie” in Kansas City, Mo. At 6’8, Norm was a giant of a man and will always be remembered as a fun and adventurous soul who loved his family and friends.
In 2009, Pauline became a member of Quail Springs Baptist Church, working in the library and becoming very active with the Senior Adults Sunday School Class. For her 80th birthday in 2011, Pauline went flying, co-piloting a Cessna 150 two-seater over Edmond/Guthrie area with owner/pilot Glenn Crabtree. Sassy. Independent. Fearless. That was Pauline - daughter, sister, mother, spouse, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.
Pauline Laura Christian Wilson-Hartley was preceded in death by her parents, John and Oma Christian; love of her life and husband, Richard Wilson; traveling companion and husband, Norm Hartley; and her oldest brother, Glen Christian.
Surviving is her son, Stan Wilson and wife, Gaye; and daughter, Sandi Stewart and husband, Mel, of Edmond, Okla.; two brothers, James “Sony” Christian and wife, Peggy, of Purcell and David Christian and wife, Norma Jean, of Lexington; three sisters, Ruth Morphew and husband, Phillip, of Eufaula, Janice Jones and husband, Kenneth, of Purcell and Norma Faye Bloodworth and husband, Charlie, of Purcell; grandchildren, Robert Maier and Brooke of Fulshear, Texas, Carli Stark and husband, John, of Oklahoma City, Matthew Stewart and wife, Lauren, of Edmond, Okla., and Andrew and wife, Jackie, of Edmond, Okla., and four beautiful great-granddaughters, Peyton and Reese Maier of Fulshear, Texas, and Roslyn and Evelyn Stark of Oklahoma City. Pauline was blessed to share in the lives of many nieces, nephews, and a host of other family members and friends. She simply adored her church family and especially her Adult Sunday School Class members. Her spirit, smile, and wisdom will be greatly missed and cherished by all!
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Cancer Group, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104-5097.
Private Funeral Services are under the direction of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors.