Van Lambert McQueen
The world lost a fine human being on October 10th, 2021. Van L. McQueen entered this world on November 28th, 1938 in Oklahoma City, the son of Van Edgar McQueen and Sarah Exie Lambert McQueen. A few years later, the family moved to Broken Bow, Oklahoma, where the 8th grader Van started a romance with 7th grader Patricia Ann Deaver, daughter of James “P.I.” and Mickey Deaver of Broken Bow. The romance continued after marrying, June 12th, 1960.
Van is survived by his wife, Patricia, and their three children and families: Cydney E. McQueen and spouse Stuart West and daughter Sarah of Mission, KS; Van J. McQueen and spouse Janet and children Van W. and Cindra, of Milwaukie, Oregon; and Paul V. McQueen and spouse Julie and sons Connor and Riley, of Oklahoma City. Other family includes cousins William “Woody” Wood of Dallas, Rose Torgeson of Eugene, Oregon, Sue Wood of Broken Bow, Coloradans Penny Ragan and spouse Joe, Pat Craver, Norma Kaye Barbison, and a host of other cousins, relations, and loved ones, including long-time friends Jerry and Doris Blanche of Broken Bow and Wisconsin.
The “non-blood” family members from Broken Bow and Broken Arrow are numerous, including the Burris, Spencer, Schmidt, and Gardner families…the list goes on long enough to crash the website, but you all know who you are.
Van Lambert attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated from Central State College (now UCO) with a degree in marketing. His first post-graduation job offer, delivered by telegram and mentioning the fantastically generous salary of $510 per month, was for a sales trainee position for the American Can company, necessitating a move to Neenah, Wisconsin, where Van and Patricia had to be persuaded that keeping the Thanksgiving turkey in a snowbank was a perfectly normal thing to do. Van continued to work in paper and printing businesses, becoming a regional manager for Olin Corporation in Chicago. His move to the Tulsa Litho company in the 1970s allowed him to be part of several fascinating projects, including his favorites, working with several notable native American artists and helping to put together a book commemorating the western and native American art collection of the Parker Drilling Company.
Van also served in the 45th Division of the Oklahoma National Guard starting at the age of 17. As one of Company B’s favorite cooks, his fellow guardsmen liked to stay on his good side. Van also served in the Army Reserve and put his other training to good use as an NRA certified rifle instructor in Wisconsin where he enjoyed teaching rifle skills with the Boys’ Brigade.
The Masonic lodge was very important to Van – he joined in 1973, was elected to the Red Cross of Constantine in 1987, and his 33rd degree was granted in 1989. Van was proud to serve as the General Secretary of the Tulsa Scottish Rite in the late 1980s. He was also a member of the Eastern Star, York Rite, and Shriners International.
Van was very active in supporting his children’s activities in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and was an early member of St. Stephen’s Methodist Church in Broken Arrow, holding many offices and enjoyed helping to build Henderson Hall. He expressed his creative side in a wide variety of ways, ranging from art projects to tying flies, serving on the board of the Broken Arrow Playhouse, making jewelry and cooking. Businesses in the Tulsa area may remember the lemon chicken and best carrot cake ever from Van’s deli and catering activities at The Sweet Shop, a “retirement” era venture.
A small graveside ceremony will be held in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, on October 16th at 3 pm at Crown Hill Cemetery. A memorial service and celebration of life with Masonic recognition will be held in Broken Arrow when it is safer to gather in person. The entire family would like to share one of Van’s last questions – “I just don’t understand, why can’t everyone else just get vaccinated and wear the masks?”
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