Josette Lynn Person Kelle, longtime Ponca City educator, died early Sunday morning, June 3, 2018, at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City. She was 64.
The daughter of Donald Arthur Person and Alyce Sophia Thelma Lindquist Person, Josette was born Feb. 6, 1954, in Mankato, Minn. At a young age she moved with her family to Springfield, Mo. where she began her elementary education. Later they moved to Muskogee where she continued her early education and she graduated from Muskogee High School with the class of 1972.
Following graduation, Josette furthered her education at Bacone College in Muskogee and Oklahoma State University. She received a Bachelor of Education degree from OSU. She began her teaching career at Jefferson Elementary School in Ponca City.
On June 1, 1980, Josette and Don R. Kelle were married at First Lutheran Church of Muskogee. They established their first home in Ponca City. As their family grew, she took time off from teaching to raise their children. In 2016, they moved to the family farm northwest of Ponca City. In 2004, she earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from OSU. During this time, she also received certification as a reading specialist.
She returned to teaching for Ponca City schools as an English teacher at West Middle School. She retired this past May, ending a career she felt such a passion for.
Josette was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in the country, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and she had served as Vacation Bible School director at First Lutheran Church in Ponca City. She was also a member of the Oklahoma Education Association, the National Education Association and Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a past president of the Ponca City Art Association. She enjoyed helping with church dinners, quilting and reading. She had a keen interest in genealogy and her Swedish heritage. She loved her students and watching them as they gained knowledge. Most of all she relished time spent with Don on the farm.
She is survived by Don, her husband of 38 years; their children, David W. Kelle, of Boston and Sarah and Rob Davis, of Montrose, Colo.; her mother, Alyce Person, of Muskogee and four sisters, Lori Person, of Austin, Texas, Amy Love and Miriam Sommers, both of Muskogee and Jolie Person, of Childress, Texas and four nephews and two nieces.
She was preceded in death by her father, two aunts and an uncle.
Cremation has been effected. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, in St. John’s Lutheran Church in the country east of Blackwell with Mark Mozeik, pastor, officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. Miller-Stahl Funeral Service, Newkirk, is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in her name to either St. John’s Lutheran Church at 1998 North S. Street, Ponca City, OK 74601 or to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, designated for Brain Tumor Research and mailed to OMRF, 825 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City OK 73104.