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Velma's Story

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Velma Irene (Garner) Haynes passed away Saturday, June 24, 2017 in Muskogee, OK. Velma was the 4th of 12 children born to Charley and Martha Elizabeth (Burgett) Garner. She was born July 20, 1925 in Quapaw, OK but moved to Picher OK at an early age, graduating from Picher High School in 1943.
It was in Picher that she met the love of her life, Kelly Owen Haynes, who had traveled from Hitchita, OK to Picher to work in the mines. After high school, Velma continued her education at Joplin Business School in Joplin, MO while Kelly went into the Army. Upon completion of school, Velma went to work in Washington D.C. at the Pentagon. She and Kelly arranged to meet in Hyannis, MA and were married on November 23, 1943, a marriage that would last over 62 years until his death on April 18, 2006. When people would ask her about a new relationship she would reply, "When you've had the best, why mess with the rest?". Soon after their marriage, they were separated for 2 years while Kelly served in the South Pacific.
Upon Kelly's return, they moved around, eventually settling in Muskogee, OK where they raised 4 children and owned and operated Haynes Plumbing and Haynes Handyman Supplies. Velma also had a faithful following of a weekly column she wrote called "Meditations Of A Woman's Heart". Over the years, wherever they lived, they were both very active in church activities, Sunday School and Bible study for all ages but Velma was especially close to children. In her 80's she began a children's ministry at Eastern Heights Baptist called "Doers Of The Word" that has continued to flourish even after her health forced her to retire.
In 1982, Velma was instrumental in leading a successful fund raising venture to take the Muskogee High Band to the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. Velma never met a stranger and took every opportunity to tell others about Jesus. Her motto was "I will do the best I can, with what I have, where I am, for Jesus' sake today!".
Velma was preceded in death by her husband, Kelly, her parents, 6 brothers, 2 sisters and 1 great grandchild.
She is survived by children, Frank & Barbara Haynes of Muskogee, Frances Haynes & husband James Sandel of Tulsa, Fred & Nan Haynes of Muskogee, Floyd & Judy Haynes of Oklahoma City; 15 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, 12 great-great grandchildren; sisters, Lora Lee Parker of Vinita, OK, Anna Potter of Overland Park, KS; brother, Danny & Carolyn Garner of Miami, OK; sister in law, Judy Vanderflute of Fairland, OK, a host of nephews and nieces, honorary family members and friends.
The family will receive friends and family at Cornerstone Funeral Home, Friday evening, June 30 from 5:30 to 7:30
Velma will be greatly missed but she has looked forward to a reunion with Kelly and to be with Jesus forever. A celebration of Velma's life will be at 1:00pm, Saturday, July 1, at Eastern Heights Baptist
Church, 2401 Haskell Blvd with Dr. Darren Wallace officiating, assisted by Rev. Donnie Echols and Rev. Clint Hayes. Burial will take place at Greenhill Cemetery accompanied by a Dixie Land Band.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Eastern Heights Children/Youth Program or to The Gideons International.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 N. York St, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.
Published on June 27, 2017
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