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~ Meet Your Volunteers ~
I am JoLynn Ruth Mangum Self. I was born in Redlands, California to James & Joanne (Burtron) Mangum. Raised in Texas by my mother Joanne and Stepdad (Daddy) Cecil W. Bumgardner Cooper. In November 1991 we moved to Choctaw County , Oklahoma where I met my husband in January 1992. We have five children (two sets of twins).
The first cemetery I visited was Rose Hill Cemetery. I read all the stories and had done allot of research on Rose Hill in high school.
In my senior year of high school I lost my Stepdad who had raised me from the age of seven months old. Daddy is laid to rest at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. I made a promise to him that I would one day find his birth father. During the search I found myself doing allot of genealogy for my husband's and parent's side of the family. I was finding myself taking photos of every headstone that was a family member. My husband's family is almost all of Choctaw County so I decided to just take every headstone in every cemetery. I found this to be so much easier for you donít have to go back and second guess what the date was or how they spelled their name.
When I first started I had people walking up to me asking if I do research for others as well and I used to say, "No, just my family." I later realized that I can help others so I started doing research on the side for others as well.
I found Ron Hensonís web site for Choctaw County during my research and told him I had some photos of headstones and some full listings of cemeteries and he suggested that I could donate them to the web site and that my information would be free to everyone. I thought that would be a wonderful thing to have my information out there for everyone to see and not have it go to waste setting in a filing cabinet of mine. I am so glad to have the opportunity to share my information with every one who may need it or would just like their family to be remembered in some way. It is a good way for our loved ones to never be forgotten.
I've received allot of thank you emails from many people for my hard work and wanting to do something in return. I ask of every one who contacts me to please send old photos of family members and any information they can donate to the Choctaw County web site. Ron works very hard on the Choctaw County web pages and does such a wonderful job. No information goes to waste.
In my spare time I spend time with my husband, children and my mom who is also my best friend. My hobbies include re-upholstering old furniture; painting; sewing; restoring old photos; outside family photography; and of course donating anything and everything I can to the Choctaw County Web site.
I love this and this is what I want on my headstone:
"Behold my friend as you pass by.
You are now, so once was I;
As I am now, So you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me."
I also do photo retouching ~ email me for quotes
all photos including old tin type photos
email your County Coordinator April Makerney
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