Beryl Lee Kingsbury was born on Nov. 5, 1928, to Byron and Gladys Kingsbury in Pittsburg, Kansas and passed from this life on Dec. 13, 2018, in Norman, Oklahoma.

Beryl Lee Kingsbury was born on Nov. 5, 1928, to Byron and Gladys Kingsbury in Pittsburg, Kansas and passed from this life on Dec. 13, 2018, in Norman, Oklahoma.

Beryl faced a lot of challenges at a young age, including the death of his father when he was only seven years old. Despite that, and helping out with all the farm chores, he graduated as the valedictorian of Orlando High School, Orlando, Oklahoma, in 1946. After graduating, he worked as a janitor at the local school to help provide for his mother and sister.

In 1948, he joined the U. S. Army, and served active duty during the Korean War.

He returned from Korea and took a job as a bookkeeper for Morrison Wholesale in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

He met his “Sparkle,” known to us as Esther, at Second Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. On Dec. 10, 1954, these eternal sweethearts were married at that same church. After 59 years of marriage Esther preceded him in death on Feb. 5, 2014.

In 1956, their son, Mark Byron, was born. Three years later in 1959, their first daughter, Sheryl Ann, was born. In 1962, a second daughter was born, Cynthia Beth. In 1963, their daughter Kara Lee was stillborn. In 1964, Lisa Esther was born.

Beryl was called to enter the ministry in 1962 in Oklahoma City.

He attended undergraduate school at Southwestern State University at Weatherford. He attended seminary and graduated with honors from Phillips University in Enid, where we had the privilege to hear him speak at his graduation ceremony.

Beryl served small churches while attending seminary: Gracemont, Cogar, Hunter and McLoud. In 1972, he was called to serve Broadway United Methodist Church in Tecumseh, where he and Esther formed a close bond with the community and decided to put down roots. In order for Esther to attend university and his children be able to attend the same schools, he left the full-time ministry and became a full-time postal carrier. He also served as a city council member in Tecumseh.

Esther and Beryl both loved old houses. In the mid-1980s, they stumbled across a fixer-upper in Carthage, Missouri. After years of trips up to remodel the house together, Esther and Beryl moved to Carthage in 1990. In this community, they joined and were very active members of the First United Methodist Church. He and Esther performed with the Joplin Choral Society for several years. They were involved in numerous community activities, including support for the homeless shelter. One of Beryl’s lasting impacts on Carthage began when he organized and worked on a recycling initiative.

Beryl’s life and actions also had a global impact. He and Esther opened their home to exchange students and teachers from around the world, who often became like family. They sponsored a child through Child Fund for over 50 years. They helped build houses through Habitat through Humanity. They participated in Volunteers in Mission projects, both in the United States and abroad.

Beryl was also involved in various organizations. You might have seen him as an election worker when you went to cast your vote. He was also a volunteer with the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, a horse therapy organization and many others.

Beryl loved working with his hands. He was an excellent gardener. His woodworking skills were also amazing - he built his own roll top desk from a kit!

In 2011, when Esther’s dementia had reached a point when the family knew extra care was going to be needed, they left their home and friends of Carthage to be near daughter Lisa and family in Plano, Texas. In 2018, he moved back to be near his daughter Sheryl in Norman, Oklahoma.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Esther Lee Kingsbury; son, Mark Kingsbury; infant daughter, Kara Lee Kingsbury; his parents, Byron and Gladys Kingsbury; brother, Lloyd Kingsbury; and nephew, Lloyd Kingsbury, Jr.

He is survived by his daughters, Sheryl Brown of Norman, Cynthia Kingsbury and Andy Couturier of Santa Cruz, California, and Lisa and Doug Exum of Plano, Texas; a granddaughter, Cassidy Exum of Plano; his sister, Marjorie Ledger-Thomas of Prescott, Arizona; and many loving friends and extended family.

The family has requested that donations in Beryl’s memory be made to a charity of your choice. And, if Beryl’s life moves you in this way, give of your time to something that makes the world better.

Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17, and continue through service time. Family gathering to greet friends and family will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17, at Cooper Funeral Home.

Service will be 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Broadway United Methodist Church in Tecumseh with Reverend Stephanie Stephens and Reverend Keith L. Head officiating. Burial will follow at Tecumseh Cemetery under the direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh.

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