Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Lula May Ward Lester

Lula May Lester (Ward) also known at “Tuggar” was born in the home on 22 May 1899, Old Town (Skullyville, Oklahoma). She was one of the last original enrollee living until her death, 31 Dec. 1993, at the age of 94. Lula had three brothers and five sisters. She is the youngest child of Joseph R.H. Ward and Lula May (Bateman) Ward. Lula May Ward and Thomas Morrow Lester were married three miles east of Spiro, at her home in Skullyville, on Sept. 19, 1915. He first saw her at a ball game, sent her a card saying, “Be My Valentine” and it started from there. They dated nearly a year, before Brother Lige Harlan united them in marriage, she was 17, he was 24. The couple farmed and raised a garden. Mr. Lester worked for a highway crew. He was also a PVT in the U.S. Army during World War 1. Lester was born Jan. 26, 1891 at Pocola, then in Indian Territory. They lived in and around Spiro all their lives. Lula and Tom had four children with the first son stillborn, buried at New Hope Cemetery in Spiro, Oklahoma, along with Lula, Tom, and their second daughter Ruby Lee Lester who married the late William “Orvil” Collins. Thomas Raymond “Bud” Lester still living lives in Spiro, Oklahoma. He married the late Sarah “Irene’ Baxter. Their youngest daughter Lula “Geneva” Lester lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She married Paul Webster Byers, after his death, she married Jay Neal of Alma, Arkansas. The couple was interviewed by a local news station for their 72nd anniversary, was asked what eh most accomplishment they made? Tom answered with raising three healthy children. Tom and Lula were lucky enough to enjoy six Generations in their family. They include Lula May Lester, Ruby Lee Collins, Oleta “Sue” Giampietro, Paula Kay Green, Kellie Lee Arnett, (now Kellie Lee Keller) and Jonathan Randell Arnett.

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