Clealus Shell Hardin was born on Aug 11, 1931 in Stilwell, OK. Clealus was the daughter of Jess and Ella Shell, original enrollees of the Cherokee Nation and members of the Peavine community. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 42 years, Jim Hardin; her sister, Ruby Shell Gilbert; and her brother, T.A. Shell. Clealus was a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Clealus is survived by three children, David Hardin and wife Lorri of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Susan Meyer of Florida; and Lisa Pivec and husband Tony of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. One of the greatest roles Clealus held in life was the role of Grandma “Tudie.” She leaves behind six grandchildren: Jessica O'Mealey and husband Josh of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Lisa Bunch and husband Chad of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Megan Pritchett and husband Brett of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Matthew Meyer; Michelle Meyer of Portland, Oregon; Tosh Pivec of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Zac Barnes and wife Annie of Tuttle, Oklahoma; and Ali Campbell and husband Clinton of Newcastle, Oklahoma. She also leaves behind several great-grandchildren: Ethan, Luke, and Nate O'Mealey; Kahner, Cole, and Jake Bunch; Sean and Casen Pritchett; Aidan, Kennedy, and Autumn Barnes; and Zaylyn and Porter Rea and Dawson Campbell; along with many other loved ones and friends.
Clealus received a teaching degree from Northeastern State University in 1953 where she met her husband Jim Hardin in a square dancing class. Upon graduation she dedicated 42 years of her life teaching elementary and middle school students in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dexter, Missouri, and in her home community of Peavine, Oklahoma. She was a devoted teacher who was loved by students, co-workers, and her community. Clealus worked tirelessly to bring out the best in each and every student, grading papers and planning assignments every night. Out of love for her students and family she pushed for excellence in all she did. Clealus retired from teaching in 1995 but continued to serve Peavine School as a substitute teacher and school board member using her wisdom and love for education to better the school she loved so dearly. In 1998, Clealus assumed the position of manager of the Stilwell Nutrition Center and remained there until August 2016.
Clealus was the heart and soul of her family. Her legacy of hard work, determination, service, and love for others lives on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.