February 19, 2013

Melba Claudine Dollar, 88, longtime resident of Blair, passed away, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Services have been scheduled for 11 a.m., Wednesday at the Restlawn Cemetery with Thomas Balley officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home.

Claudine was born Nov. 6, 1924 in Altus to James and Lena (Gardner) McCallay. While living in Sparenburg, Texas, Claudine went to high school with a boy named Buford Dollar. A few years later, in Altus, they met again. They were married on Aug. 1, 1943.

Claudine taught kindergarten for 12 years and after their son, Jim, graduated from college and got married, she retired to spend her time with her hobby, genealogy. She and Buford traveled to Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama in search of their ancestors. Using the experience and information she had gained in her own research, she was often asked to give lectures and workshops for organizations over the state. She taught classes in Genealogy at Western Oklahoma State College at Altus and Cameron College in Lawton.

During the Bicentennial years, when genealogy was becoming a popular hobby, she was asked to write a weekly column for The Altus Times newspaper. After four years of writing the column, Oklahoma Overland, she published a scrap book collection of columns. She also published a listing of all the cemetery inscriptions in the cemeteries in Jackson County, Oklahoma. This was inspired by the knowledge that, at the time, many country cemeteries were being vandalized and neglected and the information on those stones was very valuable to anyone wanting to compile any type of history. In 1984, Claudine published three family histories.

Claudine was preceded in death by her parents, James and Lena McCallay; her husband, Buford; her son, Jim; and one sister, Joy Arnold.

She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Judy Dollar of Blair; two granddaughters, Kayla James and husband Jimmy of Blair, and Stacy Wright and husband Steve of Newcastle; and four great-grandchildren, Macaulee Miller, Morgan Wright, Emilie James and Jace James.

On-line tributes can also be made to the family at