Mary Lou “Fern” Rolen McAlister was born September 16, 1931 in Dibble, Oklahoma. Her parents were Jess and Reth Rolen. She grew up with 4 sisters - Florene, Lydeen, Yvonne and Rethida; and 1 brother - Lonnie. Fern was the last of her siblings when she died April 26, 2023 at the age of 91.
Fern moved to Kerman California with her parents in her early teens. She attended the Kerman Free Will Baptist Church and met a young man named Lonnie McAlister. After a brief courtship, they were married October 3, 1947. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Philip McAlister and his wife, Andrea, live in Nicoma Park, OK and David McAlister and his wife Priscilla, live in Shalimar, Florida. She enjoyed 6 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She also had many nieces and nephews who loved spending time with their Aunt Fern.
Fern’s husband, Lonnie, was a pastor and Fern was his best asset in ministry as they served churches in Oklahoma and California. She was known for her hospitality, which included lots of good food, and her kind and caring heart. The fact that she could play the piano and sing was very helpful to her husband’s ministry.
Fern lived in California for about 20 years. Then in 1967, Lonnie accepted a pastorate in Oklahoma and they returned to their home state. It was her home for the next 52 years. Fern and Lonnie were married 69 years when Lonnie died in January of 2017. Two years later Fern moved to Shalimar, Florida, near her youngest son, David and his family.
Fern was well thought of during her life and will be long remembered after her Memorial Service. Her life will be celebrated by family and friends at 3pm, Southern Oaks Free Will Baptist Church, 7201 S. Sante Fe, Oklahoma City, OK 73139
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