Dorothy Lucille Oxner
Dorothy Lucille Oxner of Sallisaw has spent much of her life reading, reviewing and spelling words and, at 95, she takes advantage of her skills and concentration since reading is still her favorite pastime.
“I feel like I'm still good for something,” Oxner said jokingly.
Oxner was born on June 19, 1923. Originally from Norman, she met and married a “Navy man” and moved to Sallisaw. “Sometimes things don't work out as they should so we were divorced,” she said.
“The Times Record in Fort Smith, Ark., had an opening for a typesetter and I put my name in the pot and they called me.
She worked there a few years and a friend of hers asked her to go to Galveston, Texas, to find work there.
“We were both hired the first day,” she said.
After that Oxner moved to Mississippi where she took a job for a book company that reprinted books.
She remarried and moved to Arkansas. She and her husband moved to Sallisaw and lives in the same house they bought as a couple.
Oxner says as a very young woman, she worked for the late Wheeler Mayo as a typesetter and proof reader for the Sequoyah County Times.
“I liked Wheeler. I learned a lot from working for him,” she said.
In 1944 Oxner gave birth to her one and only daughter, Melinda Riggs, who will be 72 this year, she said.
My daughter and I go to church at Mineral Springs Freewill Baptist every Sunday. I drive 10 miles to get to her house and she drives the rest,” Oxner said. “It's a good church. On Mother's Day, they used to give all the mothers a long-stemmed rose. I was always the oldest,” she said.
Oxner said she loves to read but can not recall how many books she has read over the years.
I have read all kinds during my lifetime. I have to admit my favorite is the Holy Bible. I read it from front to back every year. I begin reading it around in January and I'm usually done by September. I learn something new every time I read it,” she said.
In addition to reading, Oxner has a talent for art. Throughout the walls in her house is a collection of oil paintings she has painted over the years.
I was in Palestine, Ark., once and a lady taught a class in painting with oil and water.
“I decided to enroll in the class and realized it was something I enjoyed. I used to like painting from pictures or from other famous paintings. I don't paint anymore but it was something I enjoyed doing for a time,” she said.
Oxner also has a collection of quilts she has made over the years. “I've given so many to my daughter, she said she needs a room just for the quilts,” she said, smiling.
Oxner said there are five generations in her family. “There's me, my daughter, her daughter and her grandson. We're kind of proud of that,”she said smiling.
Although Oxner uses a walker when she is on her feet, she said she can still get around “pretty good” for her age.
“I just use it to steady myself. I don't want to risk falling,” she said. She said she enjoys meeting up with her friends at the Sallisaw Nutrition Center.
Oxner said she attributes her faith in God and not smoking as her recipe to a long life.
“I've really had a good life. I tell people to be as close to the Lord as possible. I've outlived my sister who lived to be 71, and I lost one brother at 67 and the other passed when he was 58. My brother was a heavy smoker.
“I may be 95 but I really don't feel like Im old and I don't know how much longer I'll be here. But I still feel pretty good,” Oxner said.
“Today I'm feeling about 75.” )