The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Monetta Lazel Devine was born March 31, 1933 to the late Purthy and Beatrice Devine in Altus. Monetta was the youngest of three children, Jeanie Mae Jackson (sister), and Lonnie Allen (brother) (both deceased). Monetta joined her family of origin Nov. 30, 2013. She attended school in Altus, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1950. She received additional education and training through a number of universities that included Langston University, Texas Southern University, Western Oklahoma State College, Eastern Oklahoma State College, and extension courses at University of Oklahoma, which enhanced her job performance throughout the years.
In 1954, she met and married Chief Master Sergeant Herman Roberts (deceased) and to this union one daughter was born, Dr. Robbie Jean Roberts (Steward), who is married to Robert Lee Steward, III. Later, she married Climon Quarles (deceased) and to this 23-year union were born three children: Lonnie Anthony Quarles (deceased 1995); Tina Monique Quarles (Thomas), who is married to Jarrod Thomas; and Whitney Vladimir Quarles. Monetta’s grandchildren include: Astin Devine Steward, Collier Justin McKinnis, Lonnie Quarles McKinnis, Marcus Thomas, Janna Thomas, Jaylyn Thomas, Amy Shantel Quarles, and Jasmine Quarles. Monetta had one great-grandchild, Jordan Wayne Quarles, Whitney’s grandson. She is also survived by her niece and namesake, Monetta Jean Allen-Prieston, and her children: Keeynon, Victor, Jada, and Tamia.
Monetta’s life was filled with adventure and travel, living two years abroad in Paris, France, California, Texas and Arizona. She returned to Altus in 1966 and committed to service in the community that she loved. Monetta owned and operated a beauty salon for 13 years; served as the music director in congregations within her community; served as Director of the Southwest Community Action Child Development Center for eight years; performed as a nursing sssistant at the Jackson County Memorial Hospital; worked as a supply clerk for Altus Air Force Base; and worked for the Vocational Technical Center in Altus. She was a registrant for the Jackson County Election Board, notary for the State of Oklahoma, and worked with the Lincoln Alumni Association from 1950 until her health failed her.
Even as her health declined, Monetta extended her expertise to assist those who needed help in completing forms for government aid, social security benefits and other areas of assistance. Her collective works brought her into special affiliations with civil rights’ leader, Ms. Clara Luper, and receipt of acknowledgements from Oklahoma Governor David Hall and Lt. Gov. George Nigh. She authored and published a three-volume book entitled, “From the Black Side of Altus,” which included a compilation of stories of Altus families whom she knew and loved. This accomplishment was recognized with distinction and resulted in her being named among other ‘Uncrowned Queens’ in a book noting the major accomplishments of African American women nation-wide.
Although her life was always very busy, Monetta’s days were filled with expressions of love, affection, and gratitude for other people’s children, too. Her special daughters included: Roberta Brady Lee, husband Robert, their children (Vashti and Buddy) and grandchildren; Charlene Walker; Gayla Ford Smith; Rosalyn Hall; Pat Lawson; Emma Mayberry; Belinda Flynn; Dianne Kilgore; Regina High Hampton; Robbie Tuttle; Paula Fields (Georgia); Nancy Roden; Maxine Coward (Michigan); Carolyn Williams; Lisa Mitchell; Rita Powers; and Victoria Whaley. Last but not least, during the later years until death, Ira Gleaton and her husband, Joseph, brother, and sister-in-law, Annette, provided her physical and emotional needs in very special ways.
Those who Monetta considered her special sons are: Charlie Ray Williams (Saudi Arabia), Donald Dean Riley, Randle Hawkins, Rodney Redo, Marcus Thomas, Norman Burfield, and James White, Jr. (June Bug). Special couples that she noted among her children were R.C. and Karen, Samuel and Victoria, Monroe and Nicky, and Dr. Phil and Gloria Birdine.
Her friends for life, who were always there for her and her family, were Lois Stephens (deceased), Ollie Hart (deceased), Dorothy Jackson (deceased), Bobbie Faye Taylor (deceased), Elizabeth Riles Butler (Hollis), Patricia Riles (Hollis), Alberta Patterson, Kaye Babb (deceased), Ernestine Kilgore, Irus Akinson, Daisy Reese (Lawton), Betty Tubbs, Babe Ruth Hildreth, Jean Wilson, and Ester Smith. She always remembered Aline Williams Gallop and the special times that they shared growing up together in the Altus community. Finally, the staff at the English Village Manor Nursing Home, minister and members of the Elm and Hudson and Tamarack Street Churches of Christ, and Christians in the surrounding community, provided extraordinary care and attention to our dear mother, which added significantly to her well-being and joy, and each is deeply appreciated by her family. Her family will forever be grateful to these special children and friends, who will always be remembered and considered blessings.
There are many whom Monetta loved that extended beyond this list. They remained in her heart and were spoken of fondly. Space limitation would not allow all to be noted.
A memorial ceremony in celebration of the life of Ms. Monetta Lazel Devine will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Elm and Hudson Church of Christ (400 N. Hudson Street in Altus).
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