C. Marie (Truss) Tyson, 96, formerly of Shawnee, died Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Oklahoma City.

“Let me tell you about a sparkle that happened last week.” Many conversations with Marie Tyson might have included this line; “sparkles” are what Mamarie called the blessings in life that came along at just the right time. She loved sharing her sparkle stories, but what she never fully realized was what a Sparkle she was to all of us.

Clara Marie (Truss) Tyson met her Savior and Lord on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, surrounded by her family and listening to the songs of Glory as she was ushered into it. She was 96 years old.

Marie was born in Shawnee on Nov. 25, 1919, to Arthur and Margaret Truss. She was the sparkle of the family, graduating from Dale High School in 1937 and continuing her education at Hill’s Business College. Marie married Daniel Paul Tyson early in 1940, and the couple welcomed three children into their lives within the decade: their daughter, Ronda (Tyson) Norris, and two sons, (Harvey) Joe Tyson and (Daniel) Paul Tyson, Jr. Her children were the certainly the brightest sparkles in her life.

Through the 50s and 60s, the Tyson family served as missionaries in Alaska and Guymon, Oklahoma. Marie served in many capacities during their time there: secretary to the Director of Missions, a director and counselor for the state’s Girls’ Auxiliary (GA’s), and as a nurse’s aide at the local hospital.

The Tysons retired and returned to Shawnee in 1978. Mamarie, as her grandchildren named her, served in her childhood church, Dale Baptist, as church pianist, Sunday School teacher, Discipleship Training director, WMU leader, and prayer warrior. She also volunteered in local nursing homes, sold Tupperware, and taught preschool at First Baptist Church of Shawnee.

After moving away from Oklahoma for a few years, Mamarie moved into the Baptist Retirement Village in 1998. She split her time between Oklahoma and Michigan until the loss of her daughter, Ronda (Tyson) Norris in 2002. At that time Baptist Village became her only residence. The people she connected with there quickly became family to her, and her “adopted” family she raised at Dale prior to her move got to claim her back as their own.

Among many specific ways Mamarie added sparkle to the lives around her was through her writing ministry. Her loved ones will testify to the cards they have received from her with a heartfelt note in her perfect script, but her legacy lies in the ministry she started from her own apartment in the retirement center, writing notes of encouragement to the incarcerated across the country. While Mamarie often mentioned how this ministry blessed her, many of those prisoners claim Mamarie as their saving grace and would claim her as their own sparkle in an otherwise trying time.

There’s a popular saying these days: “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” Mamarie was never one for glitz and glamour, but no one’s sparkle shines quite as brightly as her life did on this earth. Her mild manner, her kind encouragement, and her unconditional love for anyone and everyone around her was the sparkle in all of our lives. May we all take her lead and live Christ so boldly that, when we too leave this earth, people will say about us what God is surely saying about our precious friend: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

Funeral services will be 9:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 5, at Dale Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Dale Cemetery under the direction of Walker Funeral Service. The casket will remain until service time, and not be opened after.

Memorials may be made to Dale Baptist Church or the Baptist Children’s Home. The family will be at the funeral home Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. to visit with friends and family.