VisitationRice Funeral Service - Claremore
Claremore, Oklahoma 74017
Service honoring and remembering, Juna Maye Phillips will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, October 11th at the Rice Funeral Service Chapel in Claremore, Oklahoma with interment to follow at the Graham Cemetery in Pryor. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday evening at the funeral home.
Juna Phillips was born April 17, 1924 in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Charlie and Emma Weigart. She grew up north of Pryor and attended Dawes school and graduated from Pryor High School. She was also a survivor of the historic Pryor tornado. She attended Draughon’s School of business in Tulsa. She worked and retired from IBM and was a professional model in her younger years. She also worked for many years at the Will Rogers Memorial.
She married Jay T. Phillips in Colorado Springs, Colorado and they later moved to Claremore where they purchased the Running Calf Ranch, where she raised her four children: Bara Benae Phillips, Tama Kim Phillips, Amy Lisa Phillips, and Jay Buffington Phillips. Her children kept her quite busy in 4-H and FFA events. She would drive all over the state pulling a four-horse stock trailer to horse shows. She was also asked to help with the Clem’s Cowpokes: a group of children who square danced on horseback, traveling from state to state. Juna was a very proud member of the Pocahontas Club, a member since 1980. The club originated with only 35 members. She served as the President for two years. She served as Chairman of the Rural Water District, having been a member for over 20 years.
She was very active in the forming of the Rogers County Literacy Council, which was formed in 1985, whose mission was to create a community in which reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking served as a foundation for the life-long learning in Rogers County through tutoring. She was also the President of the Claremore Book Club.
Being born the daughter of a full-blood Cherokee mother, Juna was proud of her Cherokee heritage. She even learned how to speak, read, and write Cherokee. She married Jay Phillips, whose uncle was Thomas M. Buffington, who was the Chief of the Cherokee’s in his day.
She was a Christian woman, who raised all her children with a strong faith and the Church of Christ was always a big part of her life.
She loved writing stories, legends and poetry and making Cherokee Indian Tear dresses.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband Jay T. Phillips; daughters Bara Benae Phillips, Amy Lisa Phillips Waldroop; and one sister: Genevieve Moore.
She is survived by one daughter: Tama Kim Gardner of Tennessee; one son: Jay Buffington Phillips of Claremore, Ok; one granddaughter: Nicole Mitchell of Tennessee; and a grandson: Cody Buffington Phillps of Oklahoma; two great-grandaughters: Aubrey and Lauryn Mitchell of Tennessee; one son-in-law: Micah Waldroop of Broken Arrow.
Juna was loved by many people, always willing to help, and will be missed by all who knew her.
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