FAULKNER, Coolella M.
Cooleela McClellan Faulkner, whose great-grandfather was one of the assistant conductors of a detachment of Cherokees to be removed from Georgia, died Friday, June 1, 2007. She was 97. Faulkner was a retired teacher from Lincoln Elementary School and an author. Services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at the Claremore First Presbyterian Church, under the direction of Musgrove-Merriott-Smith Funeral Service and Crematory. Rev. Dennis Ritchie will officiate. Visitation will be Monday, 1-8 p.m. Members of the Cherokee Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club of which she was a third generation member and the oldest surviving member, will present the Lord’s Prayer in sign language. Delana Taylor, a Cherokee and Hospice of Green Country chaplain, will sing, “Beautiful Home,” one of Cooleela’s favorite hymns, in Cherokee. Born March 2, 1910, she was the daughter and last surviving child of David Jessie and Jen McClellan Foreman Faulkner, both members of pioneer Cherokee families who were removed from their southern homes. Her father was a cattleman and businessman, who served on the Cherokee Senate, was a delegate to Washington in 1897, assistant chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1903 and served two years as Rogers County commissioner and 10 years as Rogers County sheriff. Cooleela lived a quiet, but colorful life as an active member of the community, charter member of Pocahontas Club, whose founders included the “McClellan girls.” One was her maternal grandmother Ada McClellan Foreman. Her mother, Jen Faulkner, served as president of the club in 1949-50; Cooleela was president in 1962-63. She attended a club picnic in May at the Will Rogers birthplace ranch, where 33 honorary members (those older than 80) were honored. Although she had no children of her own, devotion especially to her nieces and nephews and other children was her passion. During her year as Pocahontas president, the club sponsored a boy enrolled at the Sequoyah Indian School in Tahlequah, providing clothing and other needs. After graduating from high school at 16, she attended Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma A&M College, her master’s from the University of Oklahoma. Her master’s thesis was about the life and times of her great-grandfather, the Rev. Stephen Foreman. She also attended Arkansas University, Tulsa University and Boston University. She taught at Hiawatha School in Claremore and Reed and Lincoln Elementary in Tulsa, then returned to live in the Faulkner family compound on Claremore’s east side. Cooleela was a member of PEO, Daughters of American Colonists, United Daughters of Confederacy and Oklahoma Retired Teachers. She was preceded in death by sisters and brothers, Teanie Meredith Fronkier, Oolucha Hastings Barrett, Frank Foreman Faulkner, Jessie Rogers Faulkner, David Tamblyn Faulkner, Taylor Adair Faulkner and Ahniwake Jennings. Survivors are her sister-in-law June (Mrs. Tate) Faulkner of Claremore and 12 nieces and nephews Memorial contributions may be made to the Foreman Faulkner-McClellan Scholarship Fund at Rogers State University, 1701 West Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017-3252.