Oleta Mask was born in Roswell, NM to Lee and Leeosia Towler on July 30, 1946, and entered the Arms of her Lord Jesus on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. She was 73 and resided in Roswell, NM when she took her first eternal breath.
A viewing will be held at LaGrone Funeral Chapel on Monday, August 3rd from 3:00pm – 7:00pm. Services will be held at Waymaker Church, 202 S. Sunset Ave, on Tuesday, August 4th at 10:00 AM, officiated by Pastor Chris Lethgo and Pastor Joel Wood, followed by the graveside service at South Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Joe Smith, Henry Miranda, Justin Thompson, Manuel K. Payne, Ryan Payne and Nathan Payne
Honorary Pallbearers will be Mike Payne, Fred Kreutzberg, Beth Smith, Debbie Willard, Robin Smith, Marc Smith, P.J. and Kim Raimer, Gary and Samantha Willard, Joe and Chelsea Samario, Kayla Benitez, Ben and Bonnie Kreutzberg, Jason and Carrolyn Holloway, Byron and Cassie Holloway, Kevin and Tamera Coffman, Matt and Tracey Yarbrough, Steve and Candi Hitch and Jack Bogard.
Oleta was very blessed to have a large family, and she loved each one of them deeply.
She is preceded in death by her son Mike Payne. She also is preceded by her parents, Lee Towler and Leeosia (Hoosier) Towler, as well as her sisters, Neva Dove, Marietta (Skeeter) Parker, Wanda Lane, Wannema White, Jean Bristow and Estelle Russell.
It is important to say that Wannema White was her twin sister, whom she affectionately called her “Womb-Mate”. They held a special bond that was never broken. They were so much like each other, not only in appearance, but in heart as well. For the first time in several years, they celebrated their earthly birthday’s together again on July 30th.
Oleta is survived by her beloved husband, Bill Mask. She has also gone ahead of her son Manuel D. Payne, her daughter Mendy Hernandez and husband Pete, and her daughter-in-love Barbara Payne. She also has gone before her sister Lou Stevens, her other sister Johnnie Knight and husband Jerry, and her sister-in-law Martha Holloway and husband Wes. And finally, she leaves behind her cherished grandchildren, Tanya and Justin Thompson, Manuel and Kim Payne, Ryan and Sarah Payne, Nathan and Ashleigh Payne, Savanna Payne, Katianna Hernandez, Sienna Hernandez and Hailey Page Hernandez. Oleta leaves behind NUMEROUS great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and cousins including all of the greats and the great-greats, plus one on the way… all whom she loved dearly.
The family wishes to thank all the people at Sunset Villa and Kindred Hospice for the outstanding care they gave to Oleta during her final stretch of life. You made a beautiful difference in her life, as well as in all of ours.
The family also wishes to thank Oleta’s husband, Bill Mask. Bill has been a pillar for Oleta from the moment they said, “I Do”, to their final earthly moment when they said, “I’ll see you later.” God gave Oleta one of her greatest treasures in Bill. He was not only her husband, but her friend, her provider and her safe place for all their lives together. One cannot choose their own flesh and blood, but Bill chose Oleta and embraced her, as he has done with every one of her family members.
Oleta was a homemaker who loved her family with an immeasurable passion. Her door was always open to everyone, no matter who or what their story was. There was never a mouth that left her house hungry. There was never a wound that left her house without tending. There was never a broken heart that left her house without counsel. And there was never a needed truth that was left without being said, whether you wanted to hear it or not. Oleta never thought twice about helping or serving her family. She was a relentless and selfless giver. She would nurture and comfort any need that came her way. To know Oleta was to know love in its fullness, equally and unconditionally.
Oleta was strong in the face of many different storms that life sent her way, not only strong for herself but incredibly strong for her entire family as well. She held solid convictions and was steadfast in many deeply rooted values, but her grandchildren had a very unique way of getting around certain house rules that somehow evolved more and more just for them… for they gripped her heart.
She was a leader. She called right, “right”, and wrong, “wrong”, unapologetically. She could persuade all of us to do almost anything with just a mere suggestion, but sometimes aided with a paint stick or a fly swatter. And there wasn’t any pain, attitude or bad day that she couldn’t fix with some wise advice and a Tylenol.
Anytime Oleta had anything good in her life, she loved and was eager to share it. When she began attending Waymaker Church over two decades ago, and knew that was where she wanted to grow in her relationship with Jesus, she did not invite her family to attend with her… she insisted they attend with her. Her heart was eager that all her family experience what she had found in God’s Presence. And over 20 years later, now her great-grandchildren are growing in their relationships with Jesus there too.
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Oleta spent the better part of her life with her open-door policy. She opened the door for Jesus to be The Lord of her life one day, and she continually opened the door for Him to come in and spend time and share His Presence with her and her family on any given moment.
On Wednesday, July 29th, Jesus knocked on Oleta’s door, and she once again opened the door for Him. Only this time, Jesus invited her to have dinner at His House, and she grabbed His Hand as He led her to His Holy table, and they sat down and supped at His Place instead.
Oleta, enjoy the views that you could never have imagined and that you can now see. Enjoy the pain-free eternity. Enjoy your family whom you have been missing. And enjoy the Presence of Jesus like you have never known before. We will see you soon.
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