Ada Mae Bark Spears, Tahlequah OK
May 12, 1932- April 5, 2021 (age 88)
Ada Mae Spears, a proud Cherokee Elder, was born in Salina, OK on May 12, 1932. She lost her parents, Webster and Carrie Cahlete Bark and her grandmother, Katie Beaver, early in life. Ada and her sisters moved to the Sequoyah Orphans Training School in Tahlequah, OK where she lived throughout her childhood. She met and married Eugene Spears when she was about 17 years old and together they had seven children. Having grown up in boarding school she had to learn how to be a farmer's wife and credited Granny Harris with teaching her those skills.
In her 40s Ada got her GED and went back to school and graduated as an LPN with an Associate Degree from Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, KS. She started her nursing career there but later moved to Tucson AZ. She loved Tucson and was given the nickname "Cherokee". She was the medication and treatment nurse to nursing home residents who all seemed to love her for her broad smile and cheerful manner. In her family and personal life she was known as a loving, kind, and generous person, always giving gifts and hugs to those she loved. In 2016, she moved back to Tahlequah OK. She loved seeing green grass and trees again and reunited with old and new friends and family. Never a fan of exercise, she consented to go three times/week just to talk, laugh, and joke with others in her Senior Stretch class at the Cherokee Nation Markoma gym. She loved music, especially Merle Haggard and Roy Orbison.
Ada leaves behind five daughters and two sons: Teresa Archer, Claremore OK; Roy Spears, Tucson AZ; Phyllis Spears, Tahlequah OK; Sandra Mathews, Chelsea OK; Betty Spears, Claremore OK; Gloria Martinez, Green Valley AZ; Michael Spears; Claremore OK. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Derrick Hayes, Allen Mathews, Virginia Mathews, Dylan Adams, Dan Springer, Kaylynn Springer, Jeff Martinez, Kerrie and Brian Stewart, Ryan Geiger, Anthony Spears, Tresa Spears, Sara Spears, Brook Spears, Blake Spears , seventeen (17) great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. Ada was preceded in death by her parents, Webster and Carrie Cahlate (Beaver) Bark, and her sisters Jennie Fife and Julia Vaughn, Tulsa OK.
Ada will be buried at the New Jordan/Grass Cemetery near Salina, OK on Friday, April 9, 2021 where her parents and many other family members are buried.