Okema Twitty Haden, daughter of Chester and Edna Twitty, was born June 27, 1935 at Wasola, Missouri. She departed this life September 9, 2019.
Okema was preceded in death by her parents, her son Paul, three sisters, Bernice Miller, Irene Welch and Allene Jackson.
She is survived by her husband Robert, son Payton, grandchildren David and Stephanie Haden, all of Springfield, Missouri, sister Carol Adkins, of Nixa, and a brother Delbert Twitty of Squires, Missouri.
Okema graduated from Ava High School in 1953, and was class valedictorian.
She earned her college degree from Oakland City College, Oakland City, Indiana, in 1957. She was Miss Merry Christmas, May Queen, and was named Indiana’s top academic student to graduate from any Indiana college. The people of Norte Dame University urged her to go to the national contest at Sanford University to compete as America’s top academic student. She received her master’s and specialist degrees from Arkansas State, Jonesboro, Arkansas. She accepted a job as high school counselor at Mansfield, Missouri, where she retired in 1992.
A graveside Celebration of Life will be held at 11:30 Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Ava Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Barnes Funeral Home, Ozark, Missouri.