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Mary Jane Brining
Funeral service for Mary will be Friday, December 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Cherokee First Baptist Church with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Cherokee. www.lanmanmemorials.com
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Mary Jane Brining was born April 23, 1929 in Springfield, Missouri to Jesse and Anne Leeman. She passed from this life on December 18, 2018 with her family by her side.
Mary spent the majority of her childhood on a farm 4.5 miles outside Maysville, Arkansas alongside her four siblings – Dorothy, Marjorie, Ervin and William. She went to school in Decatur, Arkansas, missing a year to help her mother plant crops, plowing fields with her two horses, Bonnie and Dee. Ultimately, she moved “home” to Cherokee, Oklahoma to live with her sister, Dorothy Siler, when she was seventeen and where she graduated from Cherokee High School. Upon graduation Mary moved into her own apartment in downtown Cherokee above the movie theater. She worked in the Southwestern Bell Telephone Office, a job at which she excelled and thoroughly enjoyed even when she worked the night shift. This was a period of time she looked back on with affection and spoke of often, especially when it pertained to meeting a certain gentleman who would visit her on work breaks.
On December 17, 1950 she married the love of her life, Donald “Don” Herbert Brining. They welcomed a daughter, Adele, in 1952 and a son, George, in 1954. Family and being a mother meant the world to her, expressed by the way she would listen and love carefully. At Mary’s mother’s funeral (Grandma Leeman), Mary said,“she was a good Mama.” This legacy was passed on to her and continues. When Mary became a grandmother, she never missed an opportunity to share the pride she had in her grandchildren. She can be remembered saying, “I just love them to pieces.” Her grandchildren fondly recall her sound advice and accepting, comforting heart, followed by the best hug.
Mary worked the Brining farmstead with Don without complaint and with incredible strength. She always had supper on the table no matter how late “the guys” came in from cutting wheat. She often took them sandwiches and treats when they worked until wee hours of the morning. She washed Don’s hair in the kitchen sink and trimmed his neck with clippers, straightened his tie in the back before church, drove the tractor when needed, added up receipts at tax time on the mechanical calculator and threaded the film on the projector to watch home movies. Mary got things done – laundry, cooking, ironing clothes, making sweet tea and feeding scores of barn cats (she so loved cats!).
She was an active Sunday School Teacher, Bible Study Leader and member at the First Baptist Church of Cherokee. To this day, no one can beat her post Sunday morning church roast and potatoes – the best imaginable – second only to her scallop potatoes and chicken fried steak. And, let’s not forget the chocolate mayonnaise cake with extra thick icing. Mary enjoyed eating popcorn and watching televised musical programming like Lawrence Welk and sitting down to her favorite mid-day soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.” She was rarely without a new purse, pair of shoes or a fun wristwatch!
Mary, also known as Mama, Mom, Grandma, Mea, Grandma Mary, Sis/Sister, Sweetie and Sister-in-Christ, is complete and whole now safe in the arms of the Lord.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Anne Leeman; her husband, Don Brining; her sister, Dorothy; two brothers, Ervin and William.
Mary is survived by two children, Adele Sink and husband, Kevin and George Brining; four grandchildren, Katherine and Meredith Hughey, Grace Perry and Micah Brining; one great-grandson, Henry; sister and brother-in-law, Marjorie and Ted Ferrell.