A pre-parade reception will be held Saturday afternoon, Dec. 7 at the Methodist Church Family Life Center, 621 Leahy.
The event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. and will honor two of Pawhuska’s most beloved citizens, Dorsey (Sonny) and Mary McCartney. The couple has been chosen to lead the 2013 “Christmas in the Osage” Parade through downtown Pawhuska, beginning at 6 p.m.
The McCartney’s son, Mike, is executive director for the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and was humbled when the Chamber Board nominated his parents for this honor.
The McCartney’s celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Nov. 29. They met through mutual acquaintances. Sonny was friends with Joe Johnson (son of John Johnson) who, in turn, was friends with Mary’s brother, Joe Severns. They met at Severn’s home.
Sonny is the son of the late Dorsey A. McCartney and Ida (McKinney) Quillin. Mary is the daughter of the late J.C. Severns and Mabel (Byrne) Severns.
Sonny began working at Johnson Funeral Home when we was 12 years old, doing odd jobs. He is a graduate of the Dallas (Texas) Institute of Mortuary Science. In 2000, he and Mary forged another partnership, becoming the sole owners of the funeral home, now known as McCartney’s Johnson Funeral Home.
The funeral business became a family thing for the McCartney’s. Mike worked there for 25 years until accepting the position as Chamber of Commerce director in 2006. Grandson Adam Kendrick came on board that same year following graduation from UCO with his degree in Funeral Service. His wife, Sarah, is a licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director, but currently works as a Science teacher at PHS. Charmaine Kendrick joined the team as Office Manager in August of 2000. Daughter Amanda
graduated with her Funeral Service degree in 2011. Amanda also holds a degree from OSU as a Certified Veterinary Assistant.
Sonny and Mary have spent their lives serving the community they love so much. Sonny achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as a youth and then went on to become a Scoutmaster and member of the Cherokee Council. He was summer recreation baseball coach, held numerous leadership roles in the Methodist Church, and served two stints on the Pawhuska School Board for a total of 18 years. He also served as school board president.
During his school board tenure, several major projects were accomplished without bond monies. He was especially proud of the Elementary School Gymnasium. Sonny also served on the Pawhuska City Council and is a former Mayor. He is a member of the Pawhuska Elks Lodge, Chamber of Commerce, and sixty-year member of the Oklahoma Funeral Directors Association. In April of 2003, he was honored with a 50-year service pin from the OFDA.
Sonny McCartney loved Pawhuska youth and made sure no child was left out of the Summer Recreation Program (or any other youth activity) just because they couldn’t afford requirement equipment. He continues to be a staunch supporter of fund-raisers for Pawhuska youth and civic organizations.
Mary McCartney is a lifelong member of the Pawhuska Methodist Church and may be the Church’s oldest living member.
“Mom has been on every, and I mean EVERY, committee at the church. She served as Youth Leader for MYF. For 30 plus years, she was lunch coordinator for the Community Holy Week Services. Mom sang in the Church Choir from the age of 14 until just last year. She was also hostess to the Church Choir and Mary Martha Circle Christmas dinners every year.”
Mary McCartney coordinated meals for the Huskie football and baseball teams when her youngest son, Chris, was in high school. She was a member and past president of Huskie Moms. Mary would frequently host chili or stew dinners after home football games for the coaches, families and friends. She also worked concession stands with other moms during all the sporting events.
In the early 1970s, Mary was a Teacher’s Aide for Rita Marak’s PHS Health Occupations Class. She taught music at the kindergarten. She also worked as a lab technician for several area doctors, including the former OSU Research Station, and conducted a diabetic clinic for IHS before the new clinic was built. Mary is a member of the GFWC Heeko Club, the Constantine Players, and Pawhuska Community Singers. For many years, she personally hosted the HELP Workshop Christmas parties at the McCartney home, making sure a visit from Santa was included in the festivities.
Sonny and Mary have four children, Cindilu, Charmaine, Mike and Chris. They lost Cindilu in 2004. They have eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Charmaine recalled more than one story about growing up in the McCartney household.
“Dad and Mike were on the roof putting up Christmas lights when Dad reared up and hit his head. He dang near fell off. Needless to say, a few words were had. Mike had a small stroke, thinking Dad was going to fall off the roof.
“We would always find the “perfect” Christmas tree but had to cut it up, drill holes in the trunk and re-add branches to fill in empty spots. Every Christmas Eve, my folks would host a literal Open House for the community. The house was all decorated. Food overflowed on the big dining room table until AT LEAST midnight or later. Family and friends would flow in and out all evening.
“For a few years, our tree was surrounded by a 4-foot chicken wire fence. Chris was a baby and he kept getting into the tree, so to keep him and the tree safe, Dad made a fence out of 1” x 4” wood, covered it with chicken wire, and decorated it with unique lights we bought from Millers Florist. It went from behind the front door, across the living room, then back to the north side of the fireplace. I recall a lot of kids coming through our front door and the back door ‘in the day.’
“I also recall at a City Council meeting one night, the other council members (as a joke) asked if the alley way behind our house could be closed so Dad could extend our house to 9th Street. Dad always tries to act cool, but his reaction was priceless.
“You were and are always welcome in their home. BUT — Don’t ever sit at the table to eat with your hat on, unless you wanted Sonny to pop you in the head as he took that hat off for you!!”