Brenda Karlene Tautfest, 73, passed away peacefully on January 22, 2021. Her life was dedicated to agriculture and shaped by her 4-H upbringing. Graveside services will be 10 AM, Monday, February 1, 2021, at Resthaven Memorial Park, Ponca City, Oklahoma. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory, 505 W Grand Ave, Ponca City, OK 74601.
Tautfest graduated from Marland High School, Marland, Okla., in 1966. After high school graduation Tautfest attended Northern Oklahoma College (NOC), Tonkawa, Okla., majoring in elementary education and played on the NOC women’s basketball team. Following her Associates degree Tautfest attended the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), Edmond, to earn a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She completed this degree in 1970 and began teaching fifth grade at Newkirk Elementary School, Newkirk, Okla. In 1973 Tautfest moved to teach fifth grade at Tonkawa Elementary School then she pursued a Master of Science in Elementary Education while teaching fifth grade full-time.
Tautfest was married in 1971 and had two daughters. Rhonda Renee (Nida) McCurry and Rebecca Lorene (Nida) O’Kelley. The family continued Tautfest’s childhood tradition of raising Angus cattle. Tautfest traveled with her daughters to cattle shows and leadership events across the country. At one count Tautfest had been to 16 state fairgrounds across the U.S.
Tautfest continued to teach elementary school in the Tonkawa School district for 40 years. Her focus was fourth and fifth grade and she eventually took on a Title reading role as well. Tautfest was also a elementary math teacher. During her four-plus decades of teaching Tautfest was known to have taught two and three generations of Tonkawa families.
After retiring from teaching in 2015 Tautfest continued to raise Angus cattle in the Marland, Okla. area. Her focus was high quality Angus genetics for performance and show. Tautfest raised and sold the high indexing registered Angus bull at the OK&T Angus sale and a bull calf division winner at the National Western Stock Show Angus Bull Sale. Tautfest enjoyed travel during retirement as well, taking international trips to Israel, France, England, Spain, and Italy.
Tautfest is survived by her two children, Rhonda McCurry, Colwich, Kan., married to Jesse, and Rebecca O’Kelley, Piedmont, Okla., married to Kyle. Her surviving grandchildren are: Jackson McCurry, 13, Anna McCurry, 12, Aiden O’Kelley, 9, Jett McCurry, 8, Cora McCurry, 8 and Lily O’Kelley, 7.
Tautfest was preceded in death by her parents, Carl Casper and Emma Lorene (Regnier), as well as her sister, Jacquetta Annette.
Memorials can be sent to the Noble County 4-H Club earmarked for leadership events and 4-H travel scholarships. Contact Kylie Sherrill, 4-H educator, firstname.lastname@example.org.