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Elmwood Cemetery

Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma

© Billings Funeral Home
Submitted by: Terry Dudley

Orpha Leota Shelinbarger Winters

November 7, 1927 ~ January 27, 2023

Orpha Leota Winters, 95, peacefully entered her Father's Kingdom on Friday, January 27th, 2023. A celebration of Orpha's life will be held at 2:00 pm Friday, February 3rd , 2023 at Faith United Methodist Church in Woodward. Interment will follow the service at Elmwood Cemetery with the Billings Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Orpha was born to Lola Woodrum Shelinbarger and George Russell Shelinbarger on November 7, 1927 at the family's farm home in Harper County, Oklahoma. She attended Woodward schools, graduating from Woodward High School with the "tornado class of 1947". After graduation, Orpha attended Northwestern State University before returning to Woodward where she began working for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. While employed as an operator with the company, Orpha married Edward Steve Winters on November 3, 1957. Ed and Orpha had three children, Rebecca Jo, Betty Dorean and Edward Steve Winters Jr. Orpha continued working for Southwestern Bell while raising her children. Orpha often shared fond memories of her time with "the phone company." She remained close with many co-workers and was proud to have served as a Communications Workers of America Union delegate. Orpha retired from Southwestern Bell after 27 years of service. After "retirement," Orpha went back to work. She clerked for UPS for 10 years, before retiring for a second time. When truly retired, Orpha was able to turn all her attention to the thing she treasured most, her grandchildren.

Orpha will be remembered with much love for her kindness and for sharing her talents with others. She was a master seamstress, sewing for many in the community. She welcomed all into her home. She was always eager to help, whether it be stocking the pantry at her church or volunteering to read to school children. When active with The Telephone Pioneers of America, Orpha coordinated and helped paint maps of the United States at Woodward elementary school playgrounds.

Orpha taught Sunday school at Faith United Methodist church for 47 years. The lives influenced by her devotion to her beautiful faith are countless. She was a woman of prayer and amazing grace. Never was there anyone who extended grace to all like this sweet servant of God. She saw good in all and prayed for her family without ceasing.

Orpha is preceded in death by her husband, Edward Steve Winters; her daughter Rebecca Jo Winters Shelbourne; parents, George and Myrtle Shelinbarger and Lola and Ray Colvalt; and her sister Betty Ruth Rutledge and her husband Calvin Rutledge.

She is survived by a daughter, Betty Dorean Cates and husband Monty; son, Edward Steve Winters Jr. and wife Michelle; her grandchildren, Whitney Shelbourne Parsons, Cecile Shelbourne Johnson, Ty Cates, Cassidy (Tyler) Ricke, Trew (Drew) Cates and Maddie Cates (fiance Hadley Thompson), Dustin (Amy) Winters, Jared Winters, Cole (Sarah) Winters, Jenilee Winters (Kyle) Haney; and sisters-in-law Dorean Haddy and Jean DeGidio.

There are 27 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Faith United Methodist Church be made in Orpha's name.

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