Patricia (Tricia) Nell McAnally Tuepker, 59, died July 14, 2016, in Oklahoma City surrounded by family and friends. Her courageous spirit and body fought an intense, extended battle with cancer, and although her heart remained strong and her cancer improved, her unstoppable and unwavering treatment commitment took a toll on her earthly body.
Tricia was born on September 8, 1956, the daughter of Monna McAnally and Clyde McAnally, in Stroud, Okla. Tricia was raised there and graduated from Stroud HS, where she loved being a Stroud Tiger cheerleader and formed many life-long friendships. After high school, she completed her LPN and moved to Oklahoma City, where she worked as a nurse for many years.
While Tricia enjoyed nursing tremendously, her true gift was mothering. After having two children, TaraLeigh Tuepker and Kye Tuepker, and moving to Edmond, she would semi-retire from nursing in order to spend more time with her family. However, Tricia helped fill in part-time for nursing and at Edmond Public Schools.
After her children were grown, Tricia returned to work full-time at Edmond Public Schools, where she was an administrative assistant and teacher’s aide and assistant, working mostly with special needs and autistic children, whom she affectionately called “my kids.”
While hundreds called her “Aunt” Tricia, or another one of her numerous nicknames, Tricia had special, strong and significant relationships with her many nieces, nephews and their children. Through nursing and beyond, she touched many hearts and souls and made life-long friends and relationships.
Tricia enjoyed spending time with family and friends, junking, cowboy boots and country dancing, concert going, theatre and performing arts performances, beach tripping and sports watching. Many of these activities led her on adventures everywhere from Las Vegas, Arizona and Texas to the North Carolina and Florida beaches and New York City. Of all trips she took, the most cherished included TaraLeigh and Kye, her extended family and her best girlfriends. Throughout her life, Tricia remained a proud Stroud Tiger and sports fan, and fiercely supported Thunder basketball, UFC, Sooner football and attended more than 100 rodeos.
In addition to her children, Tricia is survived by her sister Grace (King) and her husband Chuck Ellsworth of Cushing, Okla.; her brothers Elvin King and wife MinCha of Fayetteville, N.C., Byron King and wife Karen of Harrison, Ark., Jack McAnally of Davenport, Okla. and Joe McAnally and wife Amy of Oklahoma City, Okla.; 20 nieces and nephews and 26 great nieces and nephews. Tricia was preceded in death by her parents and one great-niece.
Tricia was widely known and loved for her nurturing, especially of children, her somewhat embellished but brilliant storytelling, her unwavering love and support of her children, family and friends and her ability to connect to, care about and laugh with (and at) the world. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m., Friday July 22, 2016 at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making donations in her honor to Special Olympics Oklahoma (www.sook.org), an organization that Tricia was proud to volunteer for and support.