Tilda was born on Feb. 24, 1922 in Sallisaw, OK at the home of her mother and father, Frank, Sr. and Etter (Wilden) Bell. She attended schools in Sallisaw and Muskogee and upon completing the 7th grade she ventured out on her own, traveling to various towns throughout the country, meeting many kind, helpful people along the way.
She worked as a waitress and had a special talent of carrying several full dinner plates on one arm and never dropped even one! She enjoyed all aspects of the restaurant business from meeting and serving customers to occasionally taking on cooking duties, as she was an exceptional cook. She made the most wonderful crunchy on bottom, golden brown on top cornbread and her yeast rolls were excellent!
From the time she was a child she loved to dance and took every opportunity to do so, often saying she “danced all night and stayed a little longer.”
During World War Two, Tilda worked at a cafe in Fort Smith, AR. and met a soldier, Delano Brisco, who was awaiting orders to be “shipped out.” They shared a whirlwind romance and made plans for the future. After he had to leave, she never saw him again, nor would their son, Ronald, ever get to meet his father, for she received the sad news Delano had died in the war.
Tilda later married a seaman, R.D. Price, and to this union three children, Linda, Wanda and Marshall were born. The loneliness of being married to a man who was “married to the sea” eventually led to she and the children moving to Muskogee.
Here she met Doyle “Shorty” Morgan, whom she often said was “the love of her life.” They were united almost 19 years and had one daughter, Janice. Although they ultimately parted ways, the love they had for each other was infinite.
Throughout the raising of her children, Tilda worked tirelessly in both restaurants and taverns to make sure they were provided for, at times working 16 hours a day to make ends meet. Taking care of the family was her main priority in life.
She had a beautiful voice and often sang around the house as she worked, as well as singing to the children when they were sick, which always made them feel better. She did all her sewing by hand and had an amazing talent for making clothes without a pattern.
After the children were on their own, Tilda continued to work until a disability forced her to retire. In spite of the pain, she continued to walk, which was a favorite pastime and she would often be seen on the city streets heading toward the mall, grocery store or other destination. She loved to read, at times reading a book a day. She enjoyed working in her yard and always had a variety of pretty flower beds. Her home was always neat and clean and filled with pictures of family. Her grandchildren were the lights of her life and she treasured their visits. The holidays were her favorite time of year and she always wanted to do all the cooking herself, making all the foods each person liked which led to some really huge, delicious meals!
As further disability and illness plagued Tilda, she continued to inspire those around her with her courage and determination. When teased about growing old, she would say “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage.” She always hoped to live to be 100, but God took her home soon after her 91st birthday. Her pain and suffering is over, but her legacy of love, strength, generosity and wisdom will endure in the hearts and minds of all of us who were so richly blessed to have her in our lives.
A private memorial service was held in Tilda’s home March 24, 2013 with the eulogy given by her grandson, Reverend Greg Adams and a hymn sung by granddaughter, Tammy Adams. Special memories were shared about a wonderful, gutsy lady who was very loved and will be deeply missed . A permanent mental photo has her sitting pretty, surrounded by family, with her beautiful white hair, soft smile and an ornery twinkle in her eyes.
Tilda was preceded in death by her parents, son Ronald Dean Brisco and brother Frank Bell, Jr. She is survived by son Marshall Price of Wagoner, daughters Linda Price and Wanda Seabolt of Tulsa, Janice Howard (Leonard) of Muskogee, grandchildren Tammy Adams (Greg), Janice “Lil Bit” Rice (Andy), Meghan Preaus (Jordan), Kimberly Bertschy (Anthony), Matthew Price, Rhonda Eaton, Amy, Becky and Beth Brisco, 15 great grandchildren, 1 niece, 2 nephews, numerous other relatives and friends.