Louise Robison Mathew Jennings of Oklahoma City died peacefully on October 25, 2013 surrounded by her loving family. She was born on September 22, 1917 in Tecumseh, Oklahoma to Clarence and Irene Robison. She graduated from Tecumseh High School at 16 and married William Frances (W.F.) Mathews. She would later earn a B.A. degree from Oklahoma City University. Their son William F. (Bill) Mathews was born June 15, 1940.
Louise began her work in retail in Shawnee during WWII at Greens, a specialty shop. Thus began her thirty-year career with Streets where she retired as the General Manager and Vice-President.
Foremost in her life was her son, Bill. His mental disabilities led her to focus on raising awareness. She organized the Oklahoma State and County Councils for Mentally Retarded Children which led to the founding of the Dale Rogers Training Center in OKC in 1953. She was state president and legislative chairman, served on the board of the National Association for Retarded Children for the South Central Region and was invited by President John F. Kennedy to the first White House Conference on Mental Retardation. She has been recognized by both Gov. Henry Bellmon and Gov. George Nigh for her work related to this cause.
A member of and president of the Oklahoma Chapter of Fashion Group International, based in New York, Louise served on a number of committees for the National Retail Federation. She was instrumental in the development of the First Ladies of Oklahoma Gown Collection, and she wrote a book describing these garments. She is a lifetime member of the OK Historical Society as well as an honorary curator.
Church was a very important part of her life. At First Presbyterian Church, OKC, Louise served as a Deacon, Elder, and a Trustee. Her current membership is at Covenant Presbyterian Church, OKC where she has served as vice-moderator and other offices in the women’s association.
The next phase of her life began at Epworth Villa where she met and married Edd Jennings in 1997. They enjoyed traveling together and visiting children, grandchildren, & great-grandchildren, nieces & nephews.
Louise is preceded in death by her first husband W.F. Mathews; sister Lou Alice Robison Hamlin; son Bill Mathews; daughter Jo Nita Mathews; nephews Mark Robison, Steve Millard & Bruce Millard. Her survivors include: her husband, James Edward Jennings; brother, Clarence Robison and his wife, Patty; sister, Aggie Jo Millard; step-daughter, Suzy Downing; step-son, Richard Jennings and their families. Nephews and nieces Timothy & Lela Robison; Paul & Kristy Robison; John & Patricia Robison; Rebecca & Randy Stateler and their families. Private graveside services will be held under the direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Special Olympics or the Oklahoma Historical Society.