Mary Alpha Warden Hartsock was born September 22, 1920, in Oklahoma City, to Irving Carlisle Warden and Bessie Samantha Eoff Warden. She passed away at her home in Norman on September 1, 2021, three weeks short of her 101 birthday. She was surrounded by the love and support of her family and friends.
Mary attended elementary school in Newcastle, OK, where her parents owned a farm and her father worked at International Harvester in Oklahoma City. When Mary was ready for Junior High, her family moved to Norman and purchased the International Harvester dealership, which they owned for the majority of her life. It was later purchased by her husband, Frank, and her brother, Jerry Warden where they worked until they retired.
Mary loved music and learned to play the piano in the third grade. She played in many recitals while in High School and gave a classical music recital her Senior year. Years later she replaced her piano with an electric keyboard that she played every day.
She was a 1938 graduate of Norman High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in Business Education in 1942. She worked her way through college by working half days in the Cleveland County Clerk’s office.
During the war years, Mary was one of the secretaries to the Commanding Officer at NATTC, Norman South Base. Following that, for seven years, she was the Assistant to the Dean of the University College at OU for Dean Glenn Couch.
She began her 34-year teaching career at Moore High School, where she taught typing and sponsored the Pep Club and the Senior class. She then began teaching at Norman High School in the Business department where she taught typing and also entered her students in many state contests. She was department chair at various times and was the Junior or Senior Class Sponsor every year where she coordinated the class activities such at the Style Show, Prom, Senior Class Picnic and Graduation events. Several times, Mary was nominated for “Teacher of the Year” and had fun as Queen of the Mardi Gras activities. She missed very few of the NHS activities while teaching there. She was admired and loved by the multitude of students she taught, many of whom remained in touch with her.
She met her husband of 55 years, Frank Hartsock, at The University of Oklahoma. They loved to dance and missed very few dances during their OU days. Reverend Hallock married them in the First Baptist Church in 1942.
Mary was a member of the First Baptist Church in Norman longer than any other member. She joined the church when her family moved from Newcastle when she was in the 8th grade. She taught the 5-year-old class, taught in Vacation Bible School, and served as President of Mrs. Hallock’s Young Married Women’s Sunday School Class for three years. She also supervised the children’s choir for several years. She belonged to several classes at the church, where she had many wonderful friends, most recently in the “Ladies Open” Sunday School class where Mary’s neighbor, Jane Close was the President. She talked to Vivian Anderson, one of her best friends from her Sunday School Class, every day.
Mary was a member of several organizations including P.E.O, Coterie, Book Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, Brookhaven Square Lunch Bunch, The So-So Sewing group, “The Dirty Dozen” retired teachers group, National Educational Association, Oklahoma Education Association, and the Oklahoma Business Education Association. She was one of the organizers of the first Beta Sigma Phi in Norman and was their State Queen at the convention because of their philanthropic work in Norman. Mary held offices in most of these groups. In 2006 Mary was recognized by Delta Kappa Gamma for her 39-year membership.
Mary and her husband, Frank, sponsored the Scouts and Camp Fire Girls when their children were young. They kept in touch with these members and sponsors for many years.
Mary and Frank loved to travel. After retirement they visited eight countries in Europe and traveled to every state in the U.S. Some enjoyable trips were made with Vickie Bush and the First Baptist Church.
The one thing closest to her heart was her family and her first priority in life was being a great wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Family members say she was super in every way and will never be forgotten.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Frank; parents, Irving Carlisle Warden and Bessie Samantha (Eoff) Warden; brother, I.D. Warden and sister-in-law, Mae; sister, Essie Wanda Bone and brother-in-law, John Bone; and brother, Jerry Warden.
Survivors include daughter and son-in-law, Bette and Dempsey Scott of Norman; son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Judi Hartsock of Norman; and daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Alan Heap of Norman; and her nine grandchildren, Marta Bittman of Norman, Melanie and husband Zac Gladhill of Norman, Traci and husband Andy North of Yukon, Savannah and husband Bryce Aleman of Norman, Jake Hartsock and wife Kourtney of Norman, Blake Hartsock and wife Marci of London, England, Brian Hartsock and wife Sarah of Norman, Hunter Blackburn of Suwanee, Georgia, and Courtney Heap of Norman. She is also survived by 30 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Loving Care, Hearts at Home, LifeSpring Home Care Companion Care, Lynn Tokarckak and Lynette Butler for their loving care given to Mary.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Norman Public School Foundation, 131 S. Flood Ave., Norman, OK 73069.