Mary E. Chambers

December 9, 1926April 13, 2018
Play Tribute Movie Play Tribute Movie

Mary Elizabeth (Sells) Chambers, 91, of Del City, Oklahoma, passed away on April 13, 2018. She was born on a farm in Oquawka, Illinois on December 9, 1926 to James Benjamin and Mary Elta (Reece) Sells. Mary was the 7th of 9 children and she outlived all of her siblings. She has a surviving niece, Evelyn Hathaway, which was more like a sister to Mary. They were raised together and could share stories of their younger years. Mary was a hard worker all of her life. While living at home, she cared for her elderly mother who was of Cherokee descent, and also her younger siblings. Additionally, she worked at her school house preparing for daily classes by arriving early, opening the building and starting the fireplace for warmth. Mary learned early in life the importance of hard work and caring for others as well as herself. She grew up during the depression and walked long distances both to school and work, then back home each day. While life was never considered easy for Mary, she stayed focused on the future and never gave up, hoping for better times and an easier life. When Mary was 16, she married James Decker with whom she had 2 children, Jimmy and Edith Ann (Rice). After James’ death, she married John Oertel with whom she had 4 children, Bill (Deceased), Betty (Stafford), Deloras (Theys) and Mike (Deceased). In 1955, Mary married Max Chambers (Deceased) with whom she had 2 children, Everette “Lee” and Barbara (Nessel). Mary and Max moved to Oklahoma and she worked at several locations including Tinker Air Force Base and Morgan Driveway. Mary, together with Max, began a business, C&S Mobile Home Repair. They traveled across the states, delivering mobile homes and setting them up for move-in by their owners. Mary managed the accounting logistics of the business and on occasion, even assisted Max by driving one of their business trucks. Mary and Max established residences in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma. They loved to travel the open road and often took trips just to get away and see our country. While she visited the majority of the United States, she often expressed a desire to travel to Holland and see the tulips. Mary often said she would have enjoyed being a fan dancer or a police detective; an extreme difference, but she was never afraid to attempt a new experience. Mary and Max were married 61 years, and his sudden death in 2016 left her starting over again. Mary stayed strong during this difficult time and survived 2 different pacemakers. After a short rehabilitation time at Oklahoma City’s Baptist Village Center, Mary was determined to move back home and live by herself. With assistance, Mary lived at home until February 2018 but again was hospitalized and returned to Baptist Village. Mary was determined to return home but suffered an extreme illness and after a short hospital stay elected for hospice care and lived with her daughter, Barbara. During April 2018, Mary relocated to Hospice Quality Care in Del City, Oklahoma where she quietly passed away on the morning of Friday, April 13. She attended New Life Assembly of God Church. Mary leaves behind her daughters: Edith Ann Rice; Deloras Theys and husband, Mike; Betty Stafford and husband, Gary; and Barbara Nessel and Husband, Dave. Son: Jimmy Decker. Step-Son: David Lee Chambers. Sister/Niece: Evelyn Hathaway. Mary had 19 Grandchildren, 20 Great Grandchildren, and 2 Great, Great Grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by husbands: Max Leland Chambers, John Oertel and James Decker. Sons: Everette Lee Chambers, Bill Oertel and Mike Oertel. Brothers: Ernest “Hank” Sells, Lawrence”Curly” Sells, Benjaimin Sells. Sister: Eva May Sells (Price), Edith Marie Sells (Oertel), Mabel Janet Sells (Reeder), Adeline Sells (Hurt) and Pearline Sells (Utterback). Mary will forever be loved and missed by her many friends and family. She will always be known for putting others before herself and committed to hard work continually, even until her death.


  • Rick Stafford
  • Mark Stafford
  • Daniel Nessel
  • Chris Peak
  • James Chambers
  • Lee Chambers


  • In State for Viewing Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, April 16, 2018

Mary E. Chambers

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debbie Sells

April 15, 2018

Our hearts are broken 💔.
My husband , Benjamin (Bennie) Sells and I will Miss & Love Aunt Mary, forever. 🌹
What an Absolute Beautiful Tribute to a BEAUTIFUL Lady.
Aunt Mary was such a Precious Soul.
Our Deepest Sympathy & LOVE to ALL her Family.
Our hearts go out to Everyone.

Donna Jordan

April 15, 2018

To Aunt Mary's family,

My earliest memory of Aunt Mary was in 1956 when I first met her at her brother's (Hank's) house in Monmouth, Illinois. I was just 13 years of age and was dating her nephew Keith (Sam).
She made me a beautiful pair of earrings which I had and wore for many years.
All through the years she was one of my favorite people, although we didn't see each other very often. They lived so far away.
Then in the mid 80's we became closer and I spent some time in her home in Del City. She was a most gracious hostess and a wonderful friend to me.
Although it has been many years since I have seen any of the family, I remember all of you and think of you often. You all have a special place in my heart.
I love you and I am praying for you at this difficult time. I want you to know that I care and you are all so special.
Love, Donna