Obituary – Mary Elaine Proctor Sewell

Mary Elaine Proctor Sewell

Mary Elaine was born on a Monday morning at 11:04 am, March 3, 1952, at Wesley Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She grew up in Harrah, Oklahoma, with her four siblings: Doug, Steve, Judy, and Cheryl. After Mary started school, her mother Lena began work at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. Her father Harrell ran a family-owned grocery store. Affiliated Food Stores took notice of his artwork and offered him a job in Tulsa creating their ads in the commercial art department. He then moved the family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to begin work at Affiliated.

One summer day in 1966, Mary Elaine met a boy named Philip Sewell at a local swimming pool. Philip went home that day and told his mother he’d met a girl who had the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen. It might seem strange that he would have been struck by her eyes, considering he was a teenage boy and she was wearing a lime green two-piece. It took Mary Elaine a little longer to share similar feelings for Phil, but in the summer of 1969, they had their first date at Lea’s Pizzeria. They dated throughout their senior year of high school and were married the summer after graduation. They soon found themselves as parents of a daughter they named Yvonne Michelle. In 1975, Mary gave birth to another daughter, Mindy Renee.

Mary trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior as a girl but, as a young mother, she rededicated her life to follow Him at Immanuel Baptist Church in Tulsa. Little did she know at the time that God was graciously at work, preparing her for difficult days ahead.

The Sewell family moved from Tulsa to Owasso in 1979. Philip worked at Southwestern Bell while Mary lovingly served as a homemaker to her family. She enjoyed participating in church ensemble, teaching Sunday School, being Brownie leader, and helping with her daughters’ school activities.

In 1982, Mary was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She found she was now more limited in taking part in the activities she loved the most. During that time, Mary’s faith in Christ never wavered. In fact, she became more dedicated to honor Him with her life. Another significant event happened in 1982; Phil’s eyes were opened to trusting Jesus Christ as his Savior. Although never having sung together as a couple, they began singing together at church. Soon, the daughters joined them. A new ministry had begun.

For around 20 years, Mary and Phil enjoyed the opportunity to minister to people through the singing of God’s grace and the hope of eternity. Mary, as she sang either with the aid of a walker or seated in a wheelchair, was a powerful visible example of someone who trusted in God’s promises, regardless of circumstances.

Over time, other abilities were slowly taken away from Mary …. the ability to sing, to write, to use her arms, to feed herself, even to speak well. Still, Mary was content in her Lord and found her source of strength in Him alone. On Mondays, Mary enjoyed watching Joni Erickson Tada. She enjoyed daily walks with her husband where she was known around the neighborhood for her welcoming wave and open smile. She loved being with family and friends, wanting to be part of their every activity. Her grandchildren – Lindsey, Megan, Layne, Annie, Hope, Mollie, Will, Jaynie, Jack, Faith, and Colson – were a delight to her. She loved hearing Scripture read and hymns played. She loved being at church.

Those same eyes that captivated Phil years ago radiated love – the love of Christ – to everyone she met. Throughout her life, she leaves a wonderful legacy of one who completely trusted and loved her Lord. In every season of life, regardless of health or hardship, even death, God’s presence was evident in her life. She displayed His grace with gentleness and love. “… the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit … is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4.

Visitation will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 21st and 22nd at Barnes-Friederich Funeral Home in Midwest City, Oklahoma, with family receiving friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday.  Funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 23, 2020, at First Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.  Graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 24, 2020, at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

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