Willie Lavern is the name given me at birth, November 8, 1946. I was the 9th of 10 children born to Bessie Mae (Wilson) Halstied and William ‘Bill’ Halstied. I was born in the Ran Community. The family made Marietta their resident Christmas Eve the same year.
A profession of Christ as Savior when 12 yrs. old at Mt. Zion Baptist Church during the leadership of the pastor, Rev. Hubert H. Harris, and along with several other youth were baptized in Lake Murray Spillway.
I began school at Douglass and attended there until Marietta Schools integrated in 1957. This year I continued with 6th grade students in the previous Douglass school, which now housed 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.
I made it to High School at Marietta High School and graduated correspondence courses in 1964, which was offered by Oklahoma State University in Norman.
I married Ray Donald Douglas in 1964. Two children were born to this union. Dinah LaDale was born with a birth defect and lived June 7 – June 13, 1964, at the Oklahoma City University Hospital. Wanda LaGayle was born December 8, 1965 and provided me health care as needed in the home during my illness. Though the marriage ended in divorce after 11 years. Ray, and I remained friends.
Salvation: I was a charter member at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I united during the original service conducted by the Rev. K.D. Davis in 1967. I organized the New Zion Youth Department, sang solo, sang with the choir, Church Clerk & Secretary, Sunday School Teacher, and Mission President.
Civic Duties: In 1969, I was causation for George Goodrich to allow equality at the Goodrich Funeral Home.
I led a protest for black teachers in Marietta in 1977, 20 years after the schools integrated in 1957.
Employment: I was employed with Marietta Sportswear, Weber Aircraft, Love County Community Action as a Social Worker, Contemporary Lifestyles Home Builders, and Marietta Dental Office for Dr. Richard Jacobi as a Dental Assistant for 11 yrs.
I married Jobie L. Kirk March 22, 1978, in Wichita Falls, TX. Jobie and I continued to operate Kirk Funeral Home until his illness January 2019 due to Jobie’s stroke.
Later in Life, after my marriage to Jobie L. Kirk. I earned my associate degree from Murray State College, then continued SOSU in Durant.
I departed this mortal life Thursday, October 14, 2022, at 3:35PM at my home in Ardmore surrounded by my loving family.
I was preceded in death by my first child, Dinah LaDale Douglas; my husband; of 41 yrs. Jobie Lorenzo Kirk, parents, Bessie, and William Halstied; Siblings, Jimmie McCarroll, Herculee McCarroll, Lorene Foreman, Lovetta Douglass, LaBraska Halstied and Etta Halstied. Niece; Juanita J. McCarroll, Nephews; Micah Juan McCarroll, and Gerlando E. Halstied.
I leave to forever cherish my memories my God send daughter, Wanda LaGayle Douglas, and my granddaughter, Angelic Destiny Gurrusquieta, and a special great-great niece, A’ryion Monai Banks. Special niece, Succentto Hennesy (Lonnie), 2 Stepsons; Jobie Kirk II, and Johnie L. Kirk; siblings; Dorothy Lornes, Perry Halstied and Hayze Halstied; brothers-in-law; L.J. Lornes and Lewis Douglass; sisters-in-law, Hattie McCarroll, Marie Renfro, Alene Dunlap and Elvya Kirk, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.