Elma Maye Freeman died on 24 July 2020 in Tulsa. She was born on the family ranch Kanokla near Manchester on June 3, 1927 to Iona Belle Burdue Jefferies and Benjamin Harrison Jefferies. When Elma Maye was nine months old, Iona died from the flu. Elma Maye and her siblings were raised by their grandparents Eddie E. and Sarah M. Burdue and Iona’s sister, Mary Burdue and husband Guy Jefferies, along with their three children on a farm east of Wellington, Kan.
Elma Maye was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, E. Ray Freeman, May 24, 2010; daughters Nina Faye Freeman, June 14,1953 and Judy Kay Freeman Highfill, August 17, 2006; parents, and brother, Bennie Lee Jefferies, and sister, Faye Carol Jefferies Yoder Tilson.
She leaves behind a large loving family: son, Burton Ray and April Guffy Freeman, residents of SV Just Now found somewhere in the Caribbean, and son in law Dr. Jim Highfill, Tulsa; grandchildren and great grandchildren Elizabeth Carol Freeman, Raegan April and Alexander Julian Simms, Houston, Texas, Lt. Colonel Emily Kathlene Freeman, Camp Zama, Japan, Adam Burton Freeman and Dr. Madhavi Prasad Freeman, Kartik Neil and Arya Davitha Freeman, Houston, Aaron Benjamin Freeman, Houston, Dr. Carrie Danelle Highfill Sessom, Avery Elizabeth Sessom and Karsten Wade, Tulsa, Matthew Wade and Victoria Applegate Highfill, Tulsa, Drs Lance Freeman Highfill and Meghan Thomas Highfill and Colton Thomas Highfill, Portland, Oregon.
Elma Maye spent most of her life living and working in rural Kansas and Oklahoma. Her first job was working under the moniker “Clem” as a hired hand during the war years for her Uncle Garland and Aunt Gracie Burdue. After marriage she and her husband farmed and ranched in the Manchester and Amorita area. The family still owns the Centennial farm from the Cherokee Strip land run on September 16, 1893 staked by Margaret Noland Freeman. Love of family, travel, waterskiing, camping at Kaw Lake with family and extended family brought Elma Maye great pleasure. Every day was the best day ever.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Aug. 29 at the Rosedale Church near Manchester. Lunch will served afterward.