Skip to content

Maria Elena (Iorga) Choate

was born December 22, 1942 in Mineral Wells, TX.  She passed from this life at the age of 79 years, 2 months and 1 day in Shattuck, OK. on February 23, 2022.  Maria was the daughter of Stefan (Steve) and Frances Mae (Crook) Iorga.  She grew up with two sisters, Katie and Elise and one brother, Nicolas.  As a young girl her family lived in Philadelphia, PA. before moving to Oklahoma City, OK. where Maria graduated from Moore High School in 1960.  She lived in Agana Heights, Guam for two years and various other locations before returning to make her home in Gage, OK.  Maria was the mother of three children, David, Jeff and Elizabeth Craft and upon her marriage to Vernon Leroy Choate in 1980 she gained another son and daughter, Michael and Kelly Choate. She was a strong supporter of the military, as she had been a Navy wife, was the mother of Army and Navy sons and a grandmother of Air Force and Navy members.  She contributed more to the military than many who were ACTUALLY in the military.

Maria was an inventor, a Nauga rancher and founder of the International Nauga Raisers Association.  She was a waitress at Charlie’s Bar and Grill in Gage, OK. and a founding member of the ‘liars’ table where she enjoyed telling fish stories.  Her hobbies included building doll houses and growing flowers.  She loved her family and visiting with her sisters was very special to her.

Maria is preceded in death by her parents, Steve and Frances Iorga, her husband, Vernon Choate, her brother, Nicolas Iorga, a grandson Brandon Reynolds and other loved ones.

She is survived by her children, David Craft of Gage, OK., Jeff Craft and wife Emalee of Cleveland, OK., Elizabeth Craft of Skidoo, CA., Kelly Cornejo of Woodward, OK. and Mike Choate and wife Janice of Enid, OK.  Her special sisters, Katie McKellips of Yukon, OK. and Elise Iorga of Edmond, OK., eleven grandchildren, four great grandchildren, aunts, nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

Memorial services were held Monday February 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm at the Gage Community Center, Gage, OK. Condolences may be made to the family at Shaw Funeral Home of Shattuck