Former Fairfax resident, Vera Lue Hunsaker Shotts, age 83, passed away Monday, April 23, 2012 at her home in Broken Arrow. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Fairfax Cemetery Pavilion, 600 S. 8th, Fairfax, Oklahoma. Services are under the direction of HunsakerWooten Funeral Home of Fairfax.
Vera Shotts February 3, 1929 April 23, 2012 Written by son, Kyle Shotts
Vera was the first of twins born February 23, 1929 to prominent Fairfax businessman, Delbert Hunsaker, and his wife, Metta, and their 18yearold daughter, Maxine. The Hunsaker twins, Vera and Verna, were the talk of the town, where the Hunsakers owned the main mercantile store and the funeral home and on Metta Nashs side of the family they also ran the newspaper.
Ive heard a lot about Mom as a youngster, but one story that shes mentioned several times over the past few months was about walking home from school for lunch. She said she loved baked potatoes, and that she would sometimes leave a note for her mother when she left for school in the morning, saying I sure do look forward to coming home for lunch today, and I sure hope theres a baked potato waiting for me. She said that always worked. I bet Grandma had a baked potato waiting for her Monday evening.
Mom was a perfectionist. Even thought she was very smart, she would still work harder and longer than anybody to make sure her work was perfect and then she would agonize that it wasnt good enough. Absolutely not because she wanted the spotlight, because being in the spotlight was one of her biggest fears. She worked hard because she did not want to fail. Talk about a motivator, this drive made her the best at just about anything she did. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Fairfax and she was voted class president several times growing up, even though she would actually tell people not to vote for her. In short, Vera did not want attention, but she just could not avoid it.
After graduating high school, Mom went to Oklahoma State University. Nowadays, the valedictorian of a graduating class would be pushed toward an advanced degree like medicine or law, but in those days, girls were pushed into secretarial or home ec type programs, which is what Vera did. Ive often wondered what Mom might have been if she had been pushed another direction. With her passion, work ethic and brain power, Im not so sure the world wasnt denied a great leader, because I absolutely guarantee she would have been the best at whatever she put her mind to.
Mom said when she was going to OSU, that her dad would drive up to Stillwater every Friday to pick her up and bring her home, and then take her back to Stillwater on Sunday night. This shows how close she was to her family then, and I can tell you that family was her number one focus for the rest of her life. Sometimes to a fault, she put family above everything else.
After graduating OSU, of course with honors and near the top of her class, Vera got her first job with Conoco as a secretary in Ponca City. In no time, she became the top secretary, and was fought over by bosses. By the time she left Conoco, she was their highest paid secretary. One boss would give her work that was barely even started and ask her to correct and finish it because he knew she would do a better job than he would. Once again that fear of failure drive made her the best.
At Conoco, even though her mother kept telling her she should buy a car because she could afford it, she still preferred to walk everywhere. She would walk to the movies, to eat, and walk to work. One day while walking to work, a Conoco chemist she had seen at work but didnt know pulled up next to her and asked if she would like a ride to work. Although I cant believe in a million years that she would, she accepted the ride. One thing led to another, and Adoph and Vera ended up married. Their marriage was the purest example you will ever find of how opposites attract. Dad, the eternal optimist, and Mom, the eternal pessimist.
Marriage to Adolph took Vera to such exotic places as Lake Charles, Louisiana, Dutch Neck, New Jersey, and finally, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. But through it all, Mom always considered Fairfax home, and even though its taken her over 60 years to do it, shes finally come back to Fairfax today.
Along the way, Adolph and Vera had two children, Marla and Kyle. Marla married Tim Conover and they had two sons, Kevin and Jason. Jason married Beth, and they gave Vera her only great grandson, Brennan, a couple of years ago. Kyle married Lisa, and they had three children, Meghan, Mitchell, and Molly. Meghan married Johnathan Flynt, and as Lisa keeps saying, Were still waiting on grandbaby 1.
Things that made Mom happy were playing games. She was as good a Scrabble player as youll ever find. She liked going to the movies. When she saw a movie she liked, she would go see it over and over again. She loved watching OU football games when they won 200 to 0, but couldnt stand a close 75 to nothing victory.
But Moms funnest times were definitely when she was with her twin, Verna. I assume it was because they were twins that they had an inseparable relationship. I never heard her say a discouraging word about Verna. And when they got together, it was a hoot. I can remember sitting in Dennys in Tulsa 20 years ago and laughing until I cried. They would start laughing, and it just wouldnt stop. They loved to just ride around town so Verna could smoke, or go to Ponca City to eat and go to the movies, leaving Grandpa to wonder where they were.
Mom was the caregiver and biographer for the family. She took care of her mother selflessly and meticulously from the time she became ill until she died. She did the same for Adolph, who died a couple of years ago. These were the times that Mom knew what she was supposed to do, and she found it hard to handle herself when she wasnt caring for someone else.
One thing she did find a passion for was geneology, and she did work that would make the Mormons proud. Her research into the Hunsaker and Shotts family history was so detailed and accurate that she could correct historical records and absolutely prove that she was right. The detailed books she put together will be her legacy for generations to come. They are not only interesting to family, but she has historical records included so that they are interesting to everyone. Sadly, when we were going through the books for this funeral, we found a book on everyone in the family except herself.
Saying goodbye to Mom is not easy. Shes been my biggest supporter no matter what I did. I simply could not fail in her eyes. Even if I totally screwed up, she would come up with some convoluted reasoning for why it was not my fault. I dont know if this spoiled me, but I do know that I am very lucky to have had someone who would support me to the bitter end in my life for as long as I have. With her gone, Ive lost my biggest supporter, my best friend, and one hell of a Scrabble competitor.
Yesterday while I was writing this, Lisa could see that I was struggling because the words just werent coming to me. To make me feel better, she said, Vera would not want you to agonize over this. True mothers dont get the praise or attention they deserve, but its just the way things are, and nobody, especially them, think that it should be any different. They live life behind the scenes. Their satisfaction is seeing others succeed, not in getting recognition themselves. Its just their nature.
Well, in a nutshell, that was my mom. She ran from recognition, but would throw herself in a fire to protect her family. I wish I had some special words I could scream to tell the world how special she was, but Im not that good. All I can say is that its really hard to say goodbye to Mom, and Im going to miss her very much.