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GenealogyClassBlog » Tulsa

Funeral Services

July 5th, 2013 Posted in Family, Joe Becker, On the Internet | Comments Off
Kevin Meehan and Joe Becker

Kevin Meehan and Joe Becker

Since my last post my family and I have experienced deaths of two or our loved ones.

First, I lost my husband and best friend, Kevin John Meehan on June 16. He was also a friend to many at church and through sailing, and he will be sorely missed.

Then, on June 23 I lost my father, Joe A. Becker, about whom my most recent posts have been focused. At 95, he had outlived many of his contemporaries, but the sailing community remembered him and came out for his funeral service earlier this week.

I have family and friends who were unable to attend the services of one or the other and who would like to have access to the recordings, which were made by Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To make the recordings available through this site, I have uploaded the two files, which are in .mp3 format.

Click here to listen to the recordings:

For Kevin John Thomas Meehan, 1957-2013.

For Joseph Aloysius “Joe” Becker, Jr., 1918-2013.

Memorials for each of them are currently available for viewing at, the website of Ninde Funeral Service in Tulsa.

Gerry Becker – My Mom

May 12th, 2013 Posted in Family, Joe Becker | Comments Off
Gerry Kinne and Joe Becker sailing on White Rock Lake

Gerry Kinne and Joe Becker sailing on White Rock Lake

While there may well be several stories and accomplishments I could describe about Joe Becker, most would not be complete without giving credit to my mother, Gerry Becker. While Joe was the personality and salesman, Gerry was the one who followed through. She spent many late nights in her office at our house, where I remembering stopping in to visit after being out with some kind of activity during high school, and she would postpone her work to give me her undivided attention. I hope that I didn’t cause her to stay up too much later. She was a good role model for my sisters and me, showing us the value of hard work and dedication to a job well done.

Married in 1954, Joe and Gerry moved to Tulsa in 1955, raised the three of us girls and eventually welcomed sons-in-law and six grandchildren into the family. And on 27 Feb 2013, they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.

Even before they were married, Joe had Gerry crewing for him. They had met through church, and he used to tell us that he married her for her TV. He was involved in Snipe Fleet 1 at the White Rock Sailing Club in Dallas, where they would his Snipe, #8645. When they relocated to Tulsa, they brought the Snipe with them, making news in the Tulsa paper when using a hoist to launch the boat at its new home – Lake Yahola and Sequoyah Yacht Club (I’ll have to find which newspaper and which issue, and let you know, but the photo I am posting here appears to have been a scan of the original print, not the printed newspaper article).

Gerry and Joe on Snipe #8645

Gerry and Joe on Snipe #8645

While Joe was on the road for business, Gerry gradually made friends in Tulsa, being involved in gardening club and creating a beautiful yard with Joe’s help. They had sailing friends, of course, and friends at the newly-formed New Haven Methodist Church. She also taught Spanish before school at nearby Carnegie Elementary School and when my sisters and I became involved in Camp Fire Girls there, she served as a leader and eventually was given responsibility for the entire Camp Fire program at Carnegie.

Joe and Gerry, launching the Snipe at Lake Yahola

Joe and Gerry, launching the Snipe at Lake Yahola

But, she had a good understanding of business and was the person who “did the books, first for Becker Sales Co., the oilfield supply business, which was the incentive for their move from Dallas when Joe’s father, Jack Becker, invited Joe to partner with him; and then for Tulsa Sail-Craft, the “sailboat business” that Joe and Gerry decided to start in 1966. She would type just about every invoice, sales ticket, letter, and envelope as well as tallying income and expenses, and determining that the sailboat business was going to last. Joe must have typed some, too – letters, probably – because I remember getting in trouble with him for leaving the caps lock on when playing with the typewriter while it wasn’t in use.

And when Joe decided to host a national regatta here in the Tulsa area (which he did more than once), Gerry was the one who pulled everything together behind-the-scenes.

She had attended business school along with studying Spanish and French at the University of Texas at Arlington, and had always lived in Texas. She didn’t initially think much of the idea of moving to Oklahoma and probably secretly wished that they would one day return to Dallas, her home town. But when Tulsa Sail-Craft closed its doors in 1998, after 32 years, they had made Tulsa their home.

Although they no longer sail or run a business, Gerry stays pretty busy keeping Joe in line and making sure that he has good care. She is a happy resident of the independent living center where she now lives, not far from all three of her daughters, and she is still gardening and keeping the books. She has also developed an interest in genealogy, which she tells people is because she felt that I would have enough to do trying to learn about my dad’s side and she wanted to take on the responsibility of her side of the family.

We had a nice visit with my dad and mom today, where we reminisced a little about Snipe #8645 and the newspaper covering the launching at Lake Yahola, along with the latest news of the grandchildren.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, Gerry Becker!

Funeral Home Records of Tulsa

October 30th, 2009 Posted in On the Internet, Organizations | Comments Off
TGS Online Funeral Home Index

TGS Online Funeral Home Index

This morning I responded to a Tulsa, Oklahoma message board that you can find on I realized that what I had written may not be seen there by many who might need to know about this valuable resource for Tulsa research. So, I’m offering an edited version here.

The Funeral Home Records of Tulsa was published in twelve volumes by the Tulsa Genealogical Society beginning in 1989. Through their work, it isn’t necessary to search through years of records to find the name of a person that you’re looking for.

There is an index to the first ten volumes available online the Society’s website,, with which anyone can search for a name of someone whose record was handled by one of numerous Tulsa funeral homes. For those names that are listed in this cumulative index, you will find a volume and page number, which would lead you to additional information.

There are a few Tulsa funeral homes that are not included, but you can see by visiting the web site above that they do have lots of funeral home records — some as late as 1984, but most up until 1980, and as early as 1906. The following are covered in the first ten volumes and the index (for information about the last two volumes, look for Publications at the TGS web site):

  • Moore’s Funeral Home, Moore’s Memory Chapel, and Moore’s Eastlawn
  • Ninde’s Funeral Home
  • Whisenhunt’s Funeral Home
  • Stanley’s Funeral Home
  • Winterringer Funeral Home
  • Lane Funeral Home
  • Coulter-Brown Funeral Home
  • Fitzgerald Funeral Home
  • Heath-Griffith Funeral Home

For instance, Volume 1 includes the records of Moore’s Funeral Home for 1927-1955, extracted carefully by TGS members. TGS offers the volume for sale or will send a copy of the page with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $1 per page (mail to P. O. Box 585, Tulsa 74101). Additional contact information, membership information, and descriptions of all of their publications may be found at their web site.

The entire set of Funeral Home Records of Tulsa may be found at the

I would suggest an e-mail or phone call to any of these libraries to learn the funeral home, date and place of birth and date and place of death, of the person you find in the TGS online index Or, purchase or locate a print copy of the Cumulative Funeral Home Index.

Boston Avenue School of Continuing Education

October 11th, 2009 Posted in Conversation, Speaking | Comments Off

The new year of genealogy classes at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church has begun. I am again teaching five weeks of classes, with two different courses scheduled each Tuesday evening. The first is called “Genealogy:  Family History Basics” and meets from 6:30 to 7:30. And the second session, which is designed to complement the first (and give me a place to enhance and improve genealogy lectures), is called “Five Genealogy Talks,” and meets from 7:45 to 8:45.

The topic of last Tuesday’s first hour was “Important First Steps.” The class members and I introduced ourselves to each other and we discovered that most of class consisted of beginners, who are just starting out. We have a mother-daughter couple and a grandmother-granddaughter couple, but no husband-wife couples this time.

The second hour was made up of almost the same group of students. The topic for the week was, “How Do You Know? Understanding Evidence and Citing Your Sources.”

I plan to post some more details about each of these sessions very soon.

Next week’s first hour topic will be “The Census,” about one of my favorite genealogy resources. This is a resource that many beginning genealogists can use, but that experienced genealogists use as well., and some other commercial and private sites, offer access to the digital images of the United States Federal census or to transcriptions of the contents of the census. We’ll learn what the census contains and about how we can access it.

The second hour’s topic will be “Information Overload:  Organizing Your Genealogy Records.” We’ll learn about how to organize the names, dates, places and relationships, as well as how to organize research plans and notes, and how to organize the stacks of paperwork genealogists seem to generate.

Christine Rose is Coming to Tulsa

February 15th, 2009 Posted in Tulsa Events | Comments Off

One of my very favorite professional genealogists is Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG. Christine presented a workshop for the Tulsa Genealogical Society in 2005. She has served on the faculty at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, and has presented numerous lectures at national conferences. You can read more at her website. She will presenting lectures at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2009 Annual Conference to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas, 2-5 September.

A knowledgeable and experienced researcher, Christine specializes in courthouse research, spending several months on the road every year with her husband Cecil, doing professional research and studying Rose families all over the country. She is fun and positive, yet takes genealogy and the study of evidence very seriously. She co-authored Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, with Kay Ingalls, CG, an excellent how-to genealogy book. She also wrote, Genealogical Proof Standard, which I described in the mini-workshop I presented to the Tulsa Genealogical Society last May. It explains the process genealogists should use to reach conclusions. The Tulsa City-County Library is purchasing copies which library card-holders will be able to check out — one for Martin Regional Library and the other for Hardesty Regional Library.

Mark your calendar for 28 March, 2009, from about 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The presentations will be free and open to the public, at the Hardesty Regional Library near 93rd & Memorial in Tulsa. Christine will be presenting four lectures, two before and two after a long lunch break, but the exact timing or order has not been set:

  • Addicted to Courthouses!
  • Estates:  a Goldmine!
  • Court Records:  The System and It’s Records.
  • Solving the Problem in 25 hours or less

CG, for Certified Genealogist, and CGL, for Certified Genealogical Lecturer, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She is also a Fellow, American Society of Genealogists.