A new song was begun on January 9, 1925 in Plano, Texas, when Bennie and Velma Dixon welcomed their third child, a beautiful baby girl. The world would come to know her as Lonnie Mae. During the time of the Great Depression, Lonnie Mae along with her brother, Raymond and sister Anna Lou were sent to Taft, Oklahoma were they received their basic education at D.B.O.
Lonnie Mae was a gifted child and enjoyed learning. After completing her early education in Taft, she worked hard and was able to put herself through college. Sheattended and graduated with a life long sister hood within the Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated and a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Education from Langston University. After completing the first verse of her life at Langston she carried a tune in her heart to teach others. With a passion for kids and music she combined the two and began to share her gifts and talents to many. She sent out these melodies of love and care for music to several communities in the state of Oklahoma. Pawhuska, Haskell and Bartlesville were a few communities to receive her teachings before settling with the Muskogee Public School System. There was no doubt that Lonnie loved children and educating others. Lonnie determined at an early age she would let nothing stop her from being the best musical educator that she could be.
The melody played on and in the Spring of 1956 she met and married a co writer to her lyrics, Winston E. Tollett Sr. Together they created their oldest child, a daughter, Regina and son Winston Jr. In 1960 she found and professed her love and faith to the creator, Jesus Christ.
She became the pianist and faithful member to the Ward Chapel A.M.E Church. Although she was apart of a Christian family, Winston and Lonnie parted ways yet remained good friends. Lonnie Mae continue this beautiful song of life with Jesus on her side, her first love of music and teaching, together they worked hand in hand. Lonnie Mae desired more for herself and her children. In 1966 she obtained her Masters degree in Education from Northeastern State University. Lonnie Mae worked hard to make sure that not only did her children have the best but her grandchildren as well. The lyrics of Lonnie Mae proves she was a strong, unselfish and God fearing woman. Lonnie Mae’s music and loving legacy will be remembered and greatly missed over the entire state of Oklahoma. Muskogee, Oklahoma being were this ballad would end, she had several friends and pupils.
She was proud of all her students one being the world renowned gospel artist Pastor W.R. “Smokie” Norful Jr. It was in the year of 1987 that she retired from the school system but never stopped teaching and sharing her knowledge to anyone in her path.
In 1992 sickness snuck in and she put up a great fight until the very end. The notes to these lyrics of a beautiful song that only Lonnie Mae can play, was ended in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. She reached up to the spiritual ream and met the man responsible for giving her this song and received her crown in glory.
She is preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She leaves to cherish her memory and melodies of life, 1 daughter Regina Tollett (Shreveport, LA) 1 son, Winston Jr. (Stephanie), (Katy, TX) 3 granddaughters; Kiauna, Kenyatta, Kenneshia (LeKenneth); 1 grandson, Winston III; 3 great grandsons, Charles III, Carion, Ke’Ron and 1 great granddaughter Ke’Yira, nephews, Kermit, Alfred, Tresvuant and Murvell along with a caravan of family and friends.
A Home Going Celebration will be conducted Friday, October 25, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church, 915 Denison Street, Muskogee, OK; with Rev. W.R. "Smokie" Norful Jr., eulogizing. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday, 1-7 p.m.
On line condolence and registry may be expressed at www.houseofwinn.com
The family has been cared for by the Winn family at Granger-House of Winn Funeral Home.