Mary Helen Burlison age 93 of Tahlequah, Oklahoma passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at the Go Ye Health Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
A Celebration of Life Services will held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 26, 2023 at Southside Baptist Church in Tahlequah under the direction of the Hart Funeral Home. Her pastor, Joe Funberg will be leading the service. Pallbearer’s for the funeral will be: Jake Wyly, Kelly Payne, Matthew “Sonny” Price, David “Chebon” Long III, and Jess Hutchins.
Visitation hours will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, June 25, 2023 at Hart Funeral Home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Mary was born October 2, 1929 in Stigler, Oklahoma to Hubert and Bazada (Hancock) Martin. She grew up in Stigler, Oklahoma and graduated from Stigler High School. Mary was a top student in her class throughout her school years. A financial gift from her Uncle Einer, enabled her to attend nursing school in Muskogee. It was hard for her to leave her Mother and home; however, Mary received her degree as a registered nurse from Bacone College. Mary worked many years as a RN at the VA Hospital in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She fondly called the service men she cared for as “her boys” and truly respected their sacrifice to serve.
On September 3, 1955 Mary married Bob Burlison in McAlester, Oklahoma. The couple made their home in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Both knew the importance of always having a church home and serving. They faithfully attended Boston Avenue Baptist Church in Muskogee for many years. Many of the members of the church were considered a part of their extended family. Mary was active in teaching Bible classes, being a member of the Women’s Mission Union (WMU), helping to lead Vacation Bible School, co-leading Christmas Programs and she faithfully sang in the church choir. Bob and Mary dearly loved each other and created a home that their children will always be thankful for. Bob preceded her in death on July 25, 2003 while they were living in Wagoner, Oklahoma. When Mary decided she could no longer care for a home, she moved to Go Ye Village in Tahlequah. It was at this time she became a church member of Southside Baptist Church. Even at the age of 92, she still taught an Adult Sunday School class. Mary valued her time with Jesus and would spend 2 to 3 hours a day, reading her Bible and studying God’s word. Every day she prayed for each of her children individually and was so happy they are saved.
Survivors include her three children, Bob Burlison Jr. of Atoka, Oklahoma, Sue Ann Burlison of Tahlequah, Oklahoma and Nancy K. Jones and husband Kenneth of Moodys, Oklahoma; two siblings William “Bill” Martin and Maude Hagan; her grandson Jake Wyly and grandchildren Faith Ann Sharp and husband Daniel, Brian Carter, Christian Carter and nine great grandchildren.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, parents, one granddaughter Rachel Sue Wyly, and four siblings, Orvilla Martin, Ysleta Scantlen, Hubert “Choc” Martin Jr. and Preston “Bub” Martin.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request an offering be given to your church or mission ministry in her honor.