A funeral Mass to celebrate the life of Antoinette "Toni" Marie Haney will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 1st, 2023 at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church, Bixby. Interment will follow in the Haskell Cemetery. Family will receive friends for visitation on Thursday evening, February 28, 2023 from 4-6 p.m. in the Rivercrest Chapel & Event Center, Bixby, followed by a Rosary Service, also at Rivercrest.
Antoinette Beshara was born on June 16th, 1928, in Haskell, OK. A first-generation American, she was the youngest child of 11 born to Anton and Olga Beshara, who emigrated to America from Lebanon. When she was 18 months old, her mother died in a car accident and she was raised by her eldest sister, Marguerite. The entire family was deeply embedded in Haskell over many decades and a vital part of the community there.
Toni loved her large family, her Catholic faith, her home state of Oklahoma, and her Lebanese heritage. Shortly after graduating from Haskell High School, she joined her sister Olga who had gotten a job in Corpus Christi, TX. There, she worked as an administrative assistant at Shell Oil and met her husband, Stephen Haney. They fell in love and married in 1953. They settled down near Stephen's family in Corpus Christi, TX and had three daughters: Lisa, Alexis and Monica.
In 1962, the family moved to Haskell and moved back into Toni's family home with her sister, Marguerite. Shortly after, she and Stephen gave birth to their fourth child, Stephen, Jr. Toni was an Oklahoman and Haskellite through and through. Her bond to the land and the community was deep and steadfast. She loved being back to her roots, and in the house she grew up in. (In fact, the bedroom she and Stephen, Sr. occupied was the one she was born in!) She became deeply engaged in the community, serving in the Pa-A-Linn Club and many church organizations. Every Sunday, the devoutly religious family would walk to Mass at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Haskell, a church her father had helped build many decades before.
Toni and her sister opened the Haskell Flower Shop in downtown Haskell and ran the business for many decades, serving the friends and family they grew up with. Their flower shop was a mainstay in the community, filled with antiques and local Oklahoma history and décor. Toni and her sisters loved to entertain and cook. They loved having their many siblings around and all the children and grandchildren who followed. The house always smelled of Lebanese dishes. They decorated their home with antiques and flowers and loved to show visitors all the pieces they had collected over the decades.
Given that the home in Haskell was the family home and her sister Marguerite was the family matriarch, every Sunday was a hive of activity as friends and family would descend upon Haskell. Toni and Marguerite would cook for dozens most weekends, serving every type of cuisine. The laughter and celebration from generations of family and friends created a cacophony that shook her little country house. Nothing brought Toni greater joy than entertaining and breaking bread with those she loved most.
If you had to sum up Toni in just a few words, they would be kindness, empathy, and joy. And fun! Lots and lots of fun. Always the fashion plate, she was the embodiment of joie de vivre. Her sparkle and exuberance would light the room when she entered. She didn't just make people laugh, she made them happy. She rarely judged others and instead chose to put herself in their shoes and feel what they felt. As a result, her actions in the world were ones of kindness and giving. Until the day she died, Toni never met a stranger and everyone who encountered her loved her. That was her magic. That is what we will miss most.
Toni passed peacefully Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at the home she shared with her daughter Monica and son-in-law Sam in Nashville. Toni was 94.
She is survived by her four children: Lisa Yadon; Alexis Lawrence; Monica Haney-Castellani and her husband Sam Castellani; and Stephen M. Haney, Jr. and his wife Victoria Haney. In addition, she is survived by her nine grandchildren: Kathryn, Andrea, Matthew, Anthony, Caroline, Francesco, Nicolas, Philippa and Naomi; by her eight great-grandchildren: Laura, Cooper, Laiken, Audrey, Juliet, Madison, Peter and Philip.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Stephen M. Haney, Sr.; her siblings; and by her son-in-laws William Yadon and Malcolm Lawrence.
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