Felice Hazel (Warburton) Calhoon

Born: Sat., May 19, 1928
Died: Wed., Apr. 14, 2021


Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sat., Apr. 24, 2021


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Music by The Piano Brothers


On May 19, 1928, Felice Warburton was born on the Cherokee, OK farm her grandfather staked as a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893, the largest such land run in U.S. history. Her parents, Cecil Clyde Warburton and Hazel Green Warburton raised their only child quietly and conservatively. Without playmates on the farm, Felice kept her own company and made her own fun, cutting out paper dolls and making homemade versions from newspapers and magazines. This planted seeds for her lifelong admiration for fashion and design; she always looked spiffy and followed fashion trends. When times were good before the Great Depression of the 1930s, her father moved the family to town and closer to lessons. At a young age, Felice had exhibited unusual vocal talent. She always said she awakened every morning with a new song and hummed it all day. To pay for private music lessons, her parents bartered fresh milk from their cow, which Felice delivered to the teacher on her bicycle. Eventually, her father sold his beloved team of horses, Billy and Dude, to pay for more lessons.  When his musically talented sister in Dallas passed away and left Felice her handsome burlwood piano, he drove the old pickup to Dallas and brought it home. Soon, Felice and two young friends formed a vocal trio. Their talent led to performances at scores of banquets, graduations, funerals, and weddings from 1940 to 1946. Felice developed her talent further with Professor Hobart at Phillips University in Enid, even though she was still in high school. Every Saturday she rode the bus to and from her lesson. She loved window shopping afterwards and occasionally bought a Coke, her lifelong favorite beverage.  On the bus, she wrote letters to her Dutch pen pal, Peter Zweiden, and even mailed him clothing during WWII.  After high school graduation from Cherokee High School, she continued her vocal education at Oklahoma Baptist University. One weekend while visiting her parents, Felice attended a dance with friends at Northwestern State College in Alva, OK. Her lovely face and gentle demeanor attracted the attention of Ed Calhoon, a medical student at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. A native of Beaver, OK, he, too, was visiting family and his alma mater for the weekend. After their engagement, she sewed her own wedding dress in her dorm room.  At the spring semester’s end in 1949, she stopped at Star Elementary School outside Oklahoma City on her way home to make a casual job inquiry.  The school hired her on the spot.  In August, she and Ed married, living first in Oklahoma City and then Tulsa while Dr. Calhoon finished his surgical training.  She taught until their son, Scott, was born in 1950. Daughter, Lane, followed in 1955. After they settled in Beaver, OK, Felice was a warm, sustaining companion to Dr. Calhoon in his long medical practice, love of ranching, energetic participation in politics, and fascination with nature and wildlife. A founding member of Chapter GA, PEO, she was also an active participant in Friday Club, Garden Club, and Ladies Music Club. She truly valued her fellow musicians and the many programs they created and performed together. A long-time director of the United Methodist Church adult and children’s choirs, Felice also shared her lovely soprano voice by singing at countless weddings, funerals, and other events over many years. In 1970, unexpectedly, her husband’s interest in medical politics led the couple on new, exciting adventures. By Felice’s own description, the “world of travel” opened when Dr. Calhoon became President of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. The American Medical Association sent the Calhoons all over the USA, as well as England to study socialized medicine in 1972. Thereafter, Felice nurtured a special love for antiques and for England, where she discovered a village by the name of Warburton, her maiden name. There, artisans had created the very china and porcelains she loved. Felice returned to England with her sister-in-law and daughter, Lane, on several occasions. The most exciting was Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee. Grabbing an early morning mincemeat pie, she reached the front of the rope line at Trafalgar Square. It was like a front-row audience as Queen Elizabeth passed by in her circa 1760 gilded state coach. Back home, Felice was an active Republican, participating at the county, state, and national levels. In 1976, hers was the last bipartisan appointment by then-Governor David Hall to a 7-year term on the Oklahoma State Personnel Board. After Lane began working in Washington, DC, Felice won an Oklahoma delegate seat to the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas. Throughout the 1980s, she visited Washington, DC many times and attended political functions. Her favorite began with an unexpected telephone call while shopping at a DC shoe store. Long before cell phones, Lane had located her mother there by pure luck after an eleventh-hour invitation had been received to attend a White House reception. Felice jumped in a taxi. Moments later, they walked into a champagne reception with President Reagan. Locally, Felice played an important role as President of the board that built Beaver County’s Jones and Plummer Trail Museum, which she designed. More recently, she designed and financed an addition to that same museum and donated Dr. Calhoon’s large collection of antique and western saddles, as well as artifacts from both sides of the family. A woman of many talents and interests, Felice was well known as a brilliant pie and biscuit baker, an avid reader, devotee of talk radio, and fan of late-night TV. She nurtured an enduring curiosity in many other topics like health and finance, as well as devotion to her grandsons. A talented artist, as well, she was proficient and prolific in oil painting, china painting and watercolors. Small town life suited her, although for years she drove 90 miles weekly to improve her skills and associate with other artists at classes in Liberal, KS. A gracious Southern lady guided by core Christian values, she was never given to big talk or harsh words. She proved herself to be stronger than most people realized after her husband died; friends and professionals alike respected how skillfully she managed land and cattle. Some joked she was better at it than her late husband. These were her driving passions late in life – whether challenged by ice, drought, wildfire, untimely snow, or hail - because she believed in the old generational tradition of leaving her children a well-managed legacy.  Felice’s lovely, gentle spirit and smiling manner will be sorely missed and long cherished by her family, friends, church, and community. She is survived by her children, Lane Dolly, of Tulsa, OK, as well as Scott and Alison Calhoon of Oklahoma City, their sons Reid of Austin; Holt, wife Meg and daughter Lucy of Dallas; and Clay and wife Hannah and daughters, Isla and Cora of Dallas. Arrangements entrusted to Dillon Funeral Service, Tulsa, OK and Alan Clark Funeral Services, Beaver, OK. Interment will be in the Beaver Pioneer Cemetery, Beaver, OK.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jackie Sheldon
   Posted Tue April 20, 2021
I have missed Felice dearly since moving from Beaver and have kept-up with Lane since her accident in Tulsa with Lane. Grieve-as-you must, not-as-others are telling you is right, wrong or indifferent Keep her memories in your own-hearts. Nay God bless you and yours.


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