NORMAN — Goldie passed away peacefully of natural causes in the early morning Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at her home in Slaughterville. Goldie was 101 years old.
Goldie was born on June 6, 1912, in Banner community of Cleveland County to D.C. and Nettie Ellen (Corley) Townley. She was the fourth of eight children.
Goldie was an active member of the Noble Church of Christ and was able to continue attending faithfully in later years with the help of great-niece, Denise Rosenfelt.
Goldie started school at age five in the two-room schoolhouse at Banner. She went on to attend Willow View High School, Capitol Hill High School and finally Noble High School, where she graduated with the class of 1931. Goldie won the Cleveland County Schools Award for the highest grade in history and the D.A.R Award at Banner School. Goldie attended almost every Noble High School reunion, including in 2013.
Like many during the Great Depression, Goldie could not afford to attend college, but she was determined to continue her education as a productive part of the work force. She worked in the homes of OU professors and at Hayes Department Store, usually maintaining multiple jobs at one time.
Goldie married Robert E. Bugher, of Lexington, on Sept. 30, 1934. They moved onto their first family farm at Slaughterville later that year. Goldie remained on that homestead until her passing Wednesday. Her daily life soon revolved around raising her four daughters and building a robust farm operation, raising corn, wheat, alfalfa and cattle, and eventually grandchildren. When her granddaughter, Terri Lynne, started calling her “Momma G;” the name stuck.
Goldie returned to work outside the home when all four daughters had graduated high school. She managed the Normandy Health Spa, the first spa in the Norman area, from 1968 to 1977.
When Robert passed away in July 1980, Goldie assumed leadership of a large extended family and a successful farm operation. Her home was the hub of the vast rural network of family and friends. Grandchildren remember Momma G’s house bustling with constant activity. Goldie was always hard at work, including the children and grandchildren in projects around the farm and in the kitchen. Grandchildren could help in the house, help in the garden and play in the hay barn or fish in the ponds. There was always something to do.
In Goldie’s leisure time, she found productive things to do. She had a life-long love of reading, logic and word puzzles and current events. When Goldie’s eyesight was limited in her late 90s, she acquired a special magnifying screen to help her read. When her eyesight failed, she listened to hundreds of audio books.
Grandchildren enjoyed Momma G’s stories of early 20th century life and the growth and development of the state. She recounted histories of her Townley and Corley ancestors, who were among the first white settlers in Oklahoma.
Goldie’s father instilled a serious sense of civic duty in her. She often shared the memory of when women got the vote in 1920, and that she was determined to exercise the privilege when she came of age. Goldie voted on nearly every ballot for 80 years and worked for the election board at the polls. She insisted on voting in person on election days, even at age 100.
Goldie took great pride in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, who became accountants, college coaches, farmers, homemakers, engineers, lawyers, teachers and photographers.
Everyone knew Goldie as a robust, formidable woman and a true matriarch. Goldie survived the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, five wars, cancer, numerous broken bones and work-related injuries and bounced back from all of them to unite a vast family. She always kept her interest in the farming and ranching operation as her daughter, Judy Bugher, continued the operation and established the Hayhook Ranch as of today. All will cherish memories of her brilliant smile, busy hands and cheerful determination. Goldie embodied the frontier spirit that built Oklahoma.
Goldie was preceded in death by her parents, D.C. and Nettie; her husband, Robert E. Bugher; her siblings Zula Patchett, Charlie Townley, Ray Townley, Nettie Mae Smith, Flora McMillan, Roy Townley and Opal Mauldin; granddaughter, Terri Lynne Love; and great-great-granddaughter, Juniper Eden Slate.
Goldie is survived by her daughters Judy Bugher, Nettie Mae Reed (Doug), Kay Mattingly (Jack) and Roberta Slate; grandchildren Theresa Dew, Diana Turner, Julie Slate, Michael Reed, Susan Slate Franklin, Jack Mattingly and Erika Mattingly; 13 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
Special thanks goes to Dr. Edna M. Manning, Denise Rosenfelt and Joyce Carl for decades of love, care and attention.
The family also wishes to thank Regina Southern, Melissa Long, Kim McKiddy, Noble Church of Christ, Lexington Church of Christ and the many thoughtful carers and visitors for their help during Goldie’s last months.
Services to celebrate Goldie’s life will be 11 a.m. Saturday at McMahan's Funeral Home in Noble, with interment services following at Fairview Maguire Cemetery.
Arrangements are directed by McMahans Funeral Home in Noble.
Norman Transcript, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013