The definition of a matriarch is a woman who is the head of her family or tribe. Our Matriarch, Sarah Orele Villard Kitchel, passed from this life in Tahlequah, OK. on Friday January 21, 2022.
Orele was born to Earl and Sarah Villard on October 5, 1942 In Eureka, KS. When she was four years old, she moved with her parents to Wynona OK. Orele had wonderful memories of being raised on a ranch. She was taught a strong work ethic as a little girl which carried her through her entire life. She was baptized in Pawhuska at the First United Methodist Church. She loved to tell stories of growing up in Wynona. She graduated from Pawhuska High School in 1960. She had a beautiful singing voice and sang many times at the Pawhuska Cemetery Mausoleum for the Memorial Day Service. She attended Inspiration Point Fine Arts Academy in Eureka Springs Ark., every summer for several years. She loved going back to Eureka Springs and reminiscing about those days.
Orele was always working at something. She was a sales person at heart and started selling Avon when she was 16. She then set her eyes for something bigger and became a state manager for Sarah Coventry Jewelry for many years.
Orele married Johnnie Beck in 1961. Together they had a beautiful blond headed blue eyed little girl named Sarah Nicole. Johnnie and Orele divorced. She met and married the love of her life Richard Kitchel. They had two children Shana Johnale and Richard Ashley Villard.
She loved her church and Jesus. Her love was expressed in many ways. She was director of the local food pantry, Christ’s Cupboard. Also initiating and running a bus ministry at her beloved church to pick up local children to take them to church every Sunday morning. She loved to serve and give back to her community.
Because of Orele’s love for baking, she became famous for her cakes, pies and cinnamon rolls. She opened Orele’s Bakery and Sweet Shop and ran a thriving business for over ten years. Orele closed the business in 1991. Instead of taking a step back and resting she went full steam ahead into being one of the top selling insurance agents in Oklahoma and Kansas for the Conseco Health Insurance Company. Orele traveled all over the state of Oklahoma and Kansas, where she received countless awards and was named Insurance Agent of the year. She never did anything halfway. Her motto was, “If you are gonna do it, then do it right or don’t do it at all.” Orele retired from a broken heart when her son, Ashley, passed away in 2012. She never truly recovered from this heart break.
First and foremost, Orele was a dedicated mother. She treasured her children and embraced every moment with them. She especially loved her role as Nana.
She had a vivacious personality, always making people around her laugh and making friends everywhere she went. Orele loved so deeply that when she left the room, everyone knew they had been touched by her.
Orele was preceded in death by her parents Sarah Lou and Earl Villard, her husband Richard William Kitchel, and her beloved son Richard Ashley Villard Kitchel. Her love will continue to carry on in her children, Sarah Nicole Brown of Pawhuska, OK. and Shana Johnale Dry and her husband Duffy, of Tahlequah OK., and her “bonus” son, Bryan Raper-Bickford and husband, Blake, of Stillwater, OK. As Orele would say, “My precious grandchildren”; Desiree Rayl and partner Jeremy Orcutt of Pawhuska, Toni Rippetoe and husband Rhian of Pawhuska, Shananae Ferguson and husband Danny of Pawhuska, Angelea Dry and partner Tim Justice of Tahlequah, Christian Dry of Tahlequah and Ja’Lynn Kitchel-Dry of Tahlequah, Jordan Bates and husband David of Pawhuska, Jaeden Kitchel of Pawhuska, and Jamison Kitchel and Kadence Kitchel of Coweta. Orele was also blessed with 13 great grandchildren who she deeply adored. Orele also leaves behind with her unwavering love, her sister-in-law Judy Moore of Arkansas City, KS., her school-aged all-time best friend, Carnita Garroutte of Ponca City, OK., as well as a long -time friend and neighbor, Susan Faatz of Pawhuska, OK.
The funeral will be held at the The First United Methodist Church in Pawhuska OK on Wednesday January 26, 2022 at 2pm. There will be a public viewing on Tuesday January 25, 2022 from 12pm to 5pm at Kendrick McCartney Johnson Funeral Home.
A memorial fund in memory of Orele Kitchel has been established at the First United Methodist Church, Sunday School Program, 621 Leahy, Pawhuska, OK 74056.
Orele’s legacy is her love for Jesus, her love for life and her love for her family.