Memory Eternal! + Esther Samara
September 8, 1921 - September 5, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Esther Massad Samara fell asleep in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 5, 2011. She was born on September 8, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to the Very Reverend George R. Massad and Khouria Bediyah (Hamra) Massad. The family then moved to Oklahoma City in 1937. She attended Classen High School and graduated in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 she attended Hills Business College, earning an Associate's Degree. Concurrently with school, she worked at the "Indian Post," a local mercantile store. On July 29, 1951 she married George R. Samara and together raised 3 children.
Affectionately known as "St. Esther" or the "Big E", she dedicated her life to her family and church. She was an active member of the Eugene Field Elementary School PTA, serving as President from 1959 to 1961. She was a lifelong member of St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church and served as a Sunday School teacher for 27 years. She also served as the Sunday School Superintendent for 5 years and sang in the church choir. She helped organize the St. Elijah Ladies Guild serving as various officers of the organization many times. She was the first woman parishioner elected to serve on the St. Elijah Parish Council in 1973. She was also a member of SOYO, Bonne Heure, and Alpha Malla Chi, serving as an officer at various times for each of these organizations. She was also very active on the national level, serving on the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and as the National President of the Antiochian Women from 1980 to 1983. She received the Antonian Award from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip in 1983 for her dedicated service to the church. She was asked to travel to Iraq in 1981 as a Goodwill Ambassador, representing the church. During the trip she met Saddam Hussein and was made an honorary member of the Iraqi army. Her family has never let her live that down. In 1995 she became a member of the Order of St. Ignatius. In May 2007, she received the Genesis Award for outstanding contributions to her church. She was a member of the St. Elijah Ladies' Aid for over 19 years and has served as the President for the last 4 years.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband George Samara, and brothers Omar Massad and Alex Massad. She is survived by her three children, Richard Samara and his wife Chelle, OKC, Pam Brooks, OKC, Mark Samara, Pacific Palisades, CA. She was "Sittie" to her three grandchildren, Ryan and Logan Brooks, and Justin Samara, OKC. Brother and sister, Mike Massad, Dallas, TX and Minerva Cohlmia (Mrs. Gorden), OKC; sisters-in-law, Delores Massad (Mrs. Alex), Austin, TX, and Jacque Massad (Mrs. Omar), OKC. She was an aunt to over 15 nephews and nieces and served as a sponsor to numerous individuals who became part of St. Elijah.
Trisagion Service will be at 7:00pm on Friday, September 9, 2011, at St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. Closing of the Casket will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, September 10, 2011, and Funeral Services will follow at 10:30am, both at St. Elijah. Final interment will be held at Fairlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Flowers That Do Not Wither Fund of St. Elijah, 15000 N. May Ave., OKC 73134 or Camp St. Raphael, 8615 Shannon Way, Wichita, KS 67206.