A private graveside ceremony honoring and remembering the life of Robbie Joyce Taber will be held Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 5-7 PM at Bixby Funeral Service. Robbie passed away Thursday, April 23, 2020, at her Tulsa residence. She was 83.
Born October 13, 1936, in Checotah, Robbie was the daughter of Luther & Minnie Braxton. She grew up on a farm in the Canadian river bottom near Checotah, where she was the youngest of three girls. Her twin brother preceded her in death as a newborn.
Robbie loved her family, especially the time spent helping her father on the farm. She could vividly recall memories of helping Daddy picking cotton every summer. It was hard work, but she loved the time she spent with him. She spent endless hours outdoors, usually barefooted and wearing her overalls.
Robbie attended Checotah Public Schools from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. Following high school, Robbie briefly moved to Oklahoma City but soon return closer to home, moving to Muskogee, where she worked as a beautician. It was there that she met & married John Walker, father to her two sons, Del & Bradley Walker.
After living for several years in Joliet, Illinois, in the early 1960s, they returned home to Oklahoma in the summer of 1968, buying a home in Tulsa. There Robbie & John would raise their family until divorcing in 1982.
During this time in Tulsa, Robbie continued to work as a beautician, homemaker and devoted mother & wife. In the mid-1970s, she was called to begin her education again entering the nursing program at Tulsa Junior College. Upon completion of her coursework there and receiving her Registered Nurse (RN) certification, she went to work at Tulsa Osteopathic Hospital in their Labor & Delivery unit. She would work there for over a decade, delivering over 10,000 babies during that time.
Robbie always had a special place in her heart & natural comfort for the mentally handicapped, as both of her nieces were so. When a 1987 lawsuit resulted in the State of Oklahoma mandating the closure of the Hissom Memorial Center within four years, a new chapter of Robbie’s professional career opened for her. She chose to join the first four-person team formed by the State of Oklahoma to be responsible for managing the closure of the Hissom facility and outplacement of all its patients into private community group homes throughout Oklahoma. She was involved in placing over 1,500 of Hissom’s patients into private home communities during this time. She would work for the State of Oklahoma in this capacity until retiring from the Department of Human Services in 2005.
She was a wonderful mother to her children, with the time she spent with them bringing her a tremendous amount of joy into her life. She never missed their games or school events. She loved her neighbors and enjoyed spending time with them as their families spent countless hours together.
Robbie met Allen Taber after her divorce. The two of them were married in 1984. Allen would become the love of her life. They sharpened each other spiritually, bringing out the best in each other. As a couple, they became involved with several small start-up churches in Tulsa. Allen would proceed her in death in 1997. After that, Robbie was often quoted as “she never looked at another man again.” As part of perpetuating their work together, after Allen’s passing, Robbie helped found and financially funded the establishment of New Beginnings church in West Tulsa.
In retirement, Robbie became an avid painter and artist, with a passion for painting country landscapes, birds, and various animal renderings. For several years, she would attend art classes with her friends at the Jerry Yarnell Art School in Skiatook. Attending those classes was always something she looked forward to every month. Her many artwork pieces will always be cherished by her family members & friends.
Robbie’s pleasant nature and positive disposition will not soon be forgotten by a host of family and friends that loved her.
Surviving family members include her children: Del Walker and his wife, Teri, and Bradley Walker; her grandchildren, Conner and Hallie Walker; and her nephew, Jerry “Turkey” Chastain.
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