Emerson Virden, 98, of McAlester, died Friday, July 5, 2013, in McAlester.
Funeral services were at 10 a.m. today at First Baptist Church of McAlester with Dr. Tim Russell officiating. Burial was at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.
Born Feb. 23, 1915, in Blocker, he was the son of W.O. and Flossie Ann (Jones) Virden. He graduated from Quinton High School in 1934. He attended and graduated from Connors State College, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and obtained a master’s degree in education from Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater.
He taught school at Russellville and taught at several dependent schools in Pittsburg County.
He volunteered and joined the United States Army in World War II, serving from 1943 to 1946 as master sergeant with the 86th Infantry.
He married Fern Jones on Aug. 23, 1947, at First Baptist Church in McAlester, and she preceded him in death in 1999.
He taught as a classroom teacher for McAlester Junior High and then served as an elementary school principal for McAlester Public Schools for 17 years before retiring in 1980.
He was a member of First Baptist Church and taught Sunday school for many years.
He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Retired Teachers Association and 33rd degree Mason.
He enjoyed gardening. He married Ruth (Waldrop) Harvey in May 2001 in McAlester.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth (Waldrop-Harvey) Virden, of the home; son, Mark Virden and wife, Mary, of Antlers; stepdaughters, Kathleen Harvey, of McAlester, Kimberly Harvey, of Stigler, and Karlene Harvey, of McAlester.
Also, sisters, Hazel Duff, of McAlester, and Wanda King, of McAlester, and numerous stepgrandchildren, nieces, nephews, other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, W.O. Virden and Flossie Ann Virden; wife, Fern Virden, and sisters, Virginia Martin and Nowassa Folsom.
Pallbearers were Tysin Davis, Gharytt Davis, Cody Enloe, Ray Waldrop, Spencer Shafer, Johnny Wagnon, Jeff Carney, Chris Marino, Joe Marino and Chasyn Wagnon.
Honorary pallbearers were Dr. Karim Khorasanchian, Dr. James Carney and members of his Sunday school class.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church.