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Christabell Baker Schilling was born in Pleasant View, north of Ponca City on December 21, 1931 to Delmar W. and Mazie Margaret (Kizer) Baker. She was raised in Kay County near many extended family members. Christabell loved art and enjoyed many country outings with her mother sketching old farmsteads. After graduating from Ponca City High School in 1950, Christabell attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College. There she met her husband, Clifford Schilling, before earning her Associate's degree in business. They were married in May 1953 in First Christian Church in Ponca City. After just 2 months of marriage, Clifford was drafted into the US Army and Chris moved back to her parents and worked at the Ponca City Power and Light office until Clifford returned 17 months later.
Christabell and Clifford began their life together on a farm in Noble County, Oklahoma and later resided in Stillwater, Bartlesville, then Broken Arrow. In Broken Arrow, Chris was active in her children's school PTA, Bluebirds and Campfire Girls, and also taught piano. The family enjoyed many camping trips to Colorado and the Mountain West and eventually relocated to Colorado in 1973. Chris continued in her role as homemaker and also worked part time in a medical lab.
Chris and Cliff enjoyed playing pinochle with friends in the various communities they lived over the years. She enjoyed classical music and other performing arts concerts. Collecting and reading cookbooks from various places they had visited was also a favorite pastime.
In 1986, Christabell and Clifford moved back to Ponca City. They soon became involved at First Christian Church, where they were married years before. They were on the organizing team for launching Friendship Feast, which still serves the citizens in Ponca City. Chris was active in Christian Women's Club, serving in various leadership roles, including president. She taught Sunday School for many years and played in the handbell choir. Some memorable travels included many trips to the Ozarks and an anniversary celebration in the Canadian maritime provinces.
Christabell was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Ronald Dean Baker. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Clifford; son Mark and wife Michele of Hockley, TX, and daughter Diane Schilling Hooker of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren Austin Schilling of Hockley, TX, Nathan Schilling and wife Crystal of Cypress, TX, Harrison Schilling of Hockley, TX, Molly Hooker Zach and husband Tim of Lincoln, NE, Spencer Hooker and wife Elissa of Aurora, CO, and Zander Hooker of Golden, CO; one great grandson, Atlas Edward Zach; and two nieces, Tammy Baker Clowers and Terry Baker Sanders.
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