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Verla June (Bennett) Smith Lawson

Thursday, March 30, 2023
Verla June (Bennett) Smith Lawson

Verla June (Bennett) Smith Lawson, longtime Tonkawa resident, passed away at her home on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. She was born on June 24, 1937, in Oakwood, OK to Jesse and Pauline (Writer) Bennett. During the war, the family moved to Ramer, TN to help on their grandparent’s cotton farm. In 1948, they moved to Keyes, OK where Verla graduated from high school in 1955. She attended 1 year of college at Panhandle State University before moving to Fairview, OK with her family. While there, she worked for the ASC office and later was transferred to Guymon, OK.

Verla married Gilbert Smith in 1958. In the next several years, they were blessed with three children, Brad, Neal, and Cheryl. In 1969, the family left the Panhandle for Tonkawa, OK. Verla worked in the Registrar’s Office at Northern Oklahoma College. During this time, she took classes and achieved her goal of earning an Associate of Business Degree in 1976.

The next adventure in Verla’s life took her to the oilfields of Oklahoma when she became the secretary/bookkeeper for Energy Development and Exploration. She worked there for 10 years, and when the drilling rig closed down, she worked as a secretary/bookkeeper at Tonkawa Foundry until her retirement Later in life, Verla reacquainted with an old friend, David Lawson, and they were married in 2000. Verla and David were active members of the Assembly of God Church in Tonkawa. Verla loved her church and helped in any way she could from taking pictures at the church activities and putting together scrapbooks to cooking for dinners.

Verla’s best memories and adventures revolved around her 7 grandchildren. She enjoyed teaching most of them how to drive a standard, watching their sports through the years, the egg launches at Easter, many proms and graduations, and family dinners.

Verla is survived by her children Brad (Drew) Smith, Neal (Kelsey) Smith, and Cheryl Nichols all of Tonkawa; grandchildren Jay (Sherita) Smith, Ashley (Roman) Revard, Sarah (Cullen) Dees, Adam (Samantha) Smith, Brooke (Tanner) Lee, Alex McKeown, Kyleigh (Josh) Harris, great-grandchildren Maddie and Luke Smith and Paxton Dees; special friend and caregiver, Rhonda Schroeder; 3 nieces, a nephew, and many friends.

Verla is preceded in death by: husband, David; her parents, Jesse and Pauline Bennett; grandson, Taylor James Smith; brothers, Robert (Bob), Earl, and Carl Bennett, and nephew, Clifford Bennett.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.