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Daughter continues what mother prayed for daily

“All of my memories of volunteering are highlights of my life and reflect my desire to serve my church and my community,” said Nancy Allford, who now lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
by Bryan Painter Modified: May 25, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: May 25, 2014

— Patricia R. Turner’s soft, sweet daily prayer spoke volumes.

Turner had serious health issues that led her to use a wheelchair for more than four decades. But the challenges didn’t stop her nor her daily request.

“Her morning prayer was an inspiration to me and to my sister,” said daughter Nancy Allford, “for even in her condition, she asked the Lord every morning to give her an opportunity to be useful.

“That prayer is an integral part of me, and even if my part is small, I, too, pray every day that I can be useful in some way.”

Those prayers are just part of the foundation that Allford, 64, of Stillwater, has built upon as a volunteer.

“I can safely say that the desire to volunteer in my community, no matter where I am living, came from observing a long line of family members who always felt a need to give back to any community in which they lived,” Allford said. “My grandparents all participated in various volunteer capacities both in church and in the community, and they taught all of us grandchildren to appreciate what we had. Their legacy was to instill in us a desire to make the world in which we lived a better place.

“My parents exhibited the same qualities, so it has only been natural that I have always felt some kind of obligation to go beyond what is just expected whether in church, at work or as a citizen of my community.”

‘My desire to serve’

Early in her life, Allford volunteered in Sunday school, vacation Bible school, student council and vocal music to name a few activities. There were special events, as well, such as when she helped put flags on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day, and when she helped serve pancakes at the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast.

“All of my memories of volunteering are highlights of my life and reflect my desire to serve my church and my community,” she said.

Allford lived in Holdenville most of her life and was active in Barnard Memorial United Methodist Church. She served on the church council and various committees, and taught Sunday School when her children were young.

“Later, after I became a high school English teacher, I enjoyed helping with the youth group, and at one point, I helped to organize an after-school tutoring program,” she said.

“Also as a high school teacher, I helped to establish a nondenominational group that met once a month in my classroom for the purpose of serving the Lord through mission work.

“One of the ladies from my church, Jerrie Lindsey, was fundamental in setting the groundwork for this wonderful, God-inspired group to get started, and the Methodist Women supplied lunch for our meetings.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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