Clergy, Staff and Vestry Bios
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Senior Warden: Peter Rodrigues
In 1970, Katheryn Benedict and I were married. In 1974 & 1975
our son and daughter were born. Kathy is a life-long Episcopalian and I, a Portuguese Roman Catholic, was subsequently received into the Episcopal Church. The warmth and welcoming atmosphere of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Southington, CT made it a wonderful place to raise a family; we and our children flourished there. Our growth as a couple and as a family was enhanced by our experiences in the Episcopal Marriage Encounter and in Cursillo, and by the loving support of our “church family”. As an active member of Saint Paul’s for over 30 years I served on the Vestry, as chair of the Building and Grounds Committee, ushered, read, and quite happily sang in the choir. We retired in 2003, beginning a new phase of our life in Noble, Oklahoma. We were delighted to find that same warmth and welcoming atmosphere here at Saint Michael’s as we grew with our new “church family”. At Saint Michael’s I have enjoyed reading, ushering, welcoming, greeting, co-chairing a rector’s calling committee, and was a delegate to the Oklahoma Episcopal Diocesan Convention. I have been active in Wild Mens Night Out, Saint Mikes Softball, Saint Mikes Sunday Afternoon Golf, and hosting coffee hour as well. These reflect my strong belief in the Community part of our Episcopal Communion. My passions are my wife, my children and grandchildren. My hobbies and my recreation include golf and old cars (especially Studebakers), working on our acreage, and woodworking. I like fixing things
Clerk of the Vestry: Tim Phillips
Tim has been an Episcopalian since childhood. He grew up in New York State, attended Trinity College in Hartford, and moved to Oklahoma in 1996. He has been attending St. Michael’s since 1997.
Junior Warden: Tina Mahle
I was born and raised in Minneapolis MN, at Plymouth Congregational Church. I graduated from West High School "Cowboys" in 1971. My family of six enjoyed four seasons of sports and recreation, and had horses.
After two years at the University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida, I married and moved to Oklahoma. I graduated from The University of Oklahoma in 1976, with a Bachelor of Science in Health Physical Educ & Recreation (HPER). I taught Phys Ed and coached for four years at Whittier Middle School here in Norman. I played competitive softball and soccer, and refereed soccer from 1979 to 2003.
My second marriage gave us a son, Jonathan Bogle, who was married by Fr. Alan in 1994. Heather and her daughter Stella, were joined by grandson Jonas in 1995.
I am now retired from OU staff after 28 years as a staff accountant; remarried to Tom Tahkofper (Comanche). I enjoy singing in the choir, as I did in Mpls. I now look forward to serving my church-family home as their Junior Warden, 2020.
John is a cradle Episcopalian and has been a member of St Michael’s Church since 1985. He is a member of the Choir, active lector, and has served on the Vestry and as a delegate to diocesan convention several times. He is a retired archaeologist, having worked for several universities and state or federal agencies in his career. His wife is Basha Hartley and they have three grown children.
I grew up in Newton Falls, Ohio, a small town, 45 miles southeast of Cleveland.
I am married to Dennis "Joey" Fleming. We have known each other all our lives. We have been married for 11 years. Between the two of us, we have 6 kids, Maria (30), Sebastain (25), Brittani (23), Brenden (22), Deacon (11), and Tyson (5). We have 4 granddaughters and 1 grandson.
I moved to Oklahoma in August of 2007. I was a member of Chrismatic Episcopal Church. After moving to Oklahoma, I struggled to find a church that I loved. I attended many different churches over 12 years. Then on January 1, 2019, I decided that I needed a change and that change began with my walk with God. I looked up Episcopal churches in Norman and decided to attend St Michael's. I have not looked back since then.
I am retired Navy. I was honored to carry on the family tradition of serving our country. I have my BS in Psychology from Bowie State University, where I graduated cum laude. In 2010, I was ordained through Open Ministry as a wedding officiant. I work for World Heritage as an area representative and for OU football as a security guard. I am currently in year 1 of Education for Ministry (EFM). I am also co-chair for Episcopal Church Women (ECW).
Thank you for opportunity to serve on Vestry. I look forward to serving this great community.
Katie Blair is married to Will. They have three dogs. She is a teaching professor in the biology department at OU. You should ask her about turtles, brains, or turtle brains. In her spare time, she enjoys wheelthrowing pottery, reading, knitting, baseball, walking the dogs, roasting and consuming coffee, and gardening. She looks forward to helping St. Michael’s especially in this time of transition. She is interested in expanding the ministry opportunities available to the people of St. Michael’s. If these things matter to you she is an INTJ, a Hufflepuff, and depending on the day a 5w6, 6w5, 3w2.
I have been a life long Episcopalian. I grew up in the church taking on many rolls – acolyte, choir, gardener, vestry member, search committee member, camera man and much more. I joined St. Michael’s in 2004 moving here from St. Philip’s in Ardmore. I moved to Oklahoma in 1989 and have now been in Oklahoma longer than I have lived anywhere (32years). St. Michael’s has been my happy place. I come for comfort, friendship, parties, to sing and to eat. My first wife, Kathaleen was a PA and together we raised two children, Meghan and James. She passed away in 2011 from colon cancer. To my delight I met my second wife, Susie at St. Michael’s. We have been together for 7 years and married for 3. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and continued with Susie going to Scotland, Belgium, and South Africa. Since the pandemic we have been stuck at home with our 4 dogs. I have been teaching at the University of Central Oklahoma for the last 2 years after 18 years as the director of a private DNA testing company, DNA Solutions in Oklahoma City. I am looking forward to the time we can all be back together and finding a new rector for St. Michael’s. Until
then peace, health and prosperity be with you.
As a member of St. Michael’s 1998-2005, I was active in the life of the church through the nursery, the Vestry, social activities, and outreach programs. Work took us to Maryland for 15 years, where I was a member of a small but thriving Episcopal church.
I returned to Norman in the fall of 2018 as a full time family care giver and accompanied my dad to Memorial Presbyterian Church so that he could continue to participate in his church. I connected back to St. Michael’s through Education for Ministry and am co-mentor with Donna Young of a group based at St. Michael’s.
I am honored to be part of the Vestry that will guide St. Michael’s past the Pandemic. This congregation has a wonderful legacy of service and ministry that was changed, but not stopped, during this time. Whether it’s care and support of each other or those we don’t personally know, the people of St. Michael’s reflect our baptismal vow to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves
I am happily married with 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and now a great-grandchild. My husband, Rick, and I are both retired from the Air Force. We moved to Norman in 2009 and started attending St. Michael’s in 2010. I worked as the parish administrator at St. Michael’s for the past 7 years. I started my first year of Education for Ministry (EfM) in the fall 2014 and completed the fourth year in the spring of 2018 with James Smith, mentor extraordinaire. In the fall of 2018, I co-mentored with James and in the fall of 2019 began as sole mentor of the group. This year I have had the pleasure of co-mentoring with Rachel Armstrong. EfM is a very important part of my Christian life. I have held an officer positions in the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) group for several years, am a member of the Altar Guild and have served as an acolyte. I look forward to the future of St. Michael’s and hope to be a part of shaping that future by serving on Vest
Rev'd. Ann Murray
The Rev. Ann Murray is a cradle Episcopalian, having been baptized at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas when she was three months old. Ann made a brief foray into the Baptist church during her youth but returned to the Episcopal Church in college when she was confirmed at St. Anselm of Canterbury, the University of Oklahoma. Ann grew up in Houston, Texas until moving to Ponca City, Oklahoma, at age 15. Ann graduated from Ponca City High School in 1983 and Northern Oklahoma College in 1985. Ann met the love of her life, Todd Anthony Murray, at Northern Oklahoma College. They married on December 20, 1985 in Norman, Oklahoma. She and Todd are the parents of two grown children, Ian Murray and Cathryn Murray.
Ann next attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1987, being recognized as a Junior College Merit Council leader and being on the Letzeiser Honor List. Ann’s first job after college was working as an Academic Advisor in University College for Sue Shellabarger. Ann graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1991, passed the bar and was sworn in as an attorney in 1992. Ann and Todd moved to Bartlesville during her senior year of law school and she completed her course work at the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Ann worked in two different stints for the Department of Human Services, Child Support Services, as a State’s Attorney. She enjoyed her work for the Department because she made a difference in the lives of Oklahoma’s children. Ann and Todd moved to Jenks and then Owasso, Oklahoma for Todd’s job as a debate coach and Director of the Owasso Performing Arts Center. The Murrays moved back to Norman in 2007 in order for Todd to attend Law School at OCU, where he graduated in 2010. Todd is a practicing attorney in Oklahoma City. Ann worked in the Chickasha Child Support Office, Department of Human Services, until her retirement in December of 2018.
After leaving Norman for Bartlesville, Ann was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Bartlesville, then moved to Church of the Holy Spirit, Episcopal in Tulsa, and then to St. Dunstan’s in Tulsa, where Ann was Senior Warden. Finally, the family landed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City. It was at St. Paul’s that Ann entered discernment for the diaconate. She was ordained in 2018 and assigned to St. Mary’s in Edmond. During her time at St. Mary’s, she also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education through the Veteran’s Administration in Oklahoma City. Ann is now assigned to St. Michael’s in Norman as of the end of February, 2019.
Rev'd Dr. Laura Blazek
Deacon Laura was ordained in 2015 and has been serving at St. Michael’s since. She was a member of the first class of the Iona School of Ministry which is a three-year program to educate both deacons and bi-vocational priests in the state of Oklahoma. Prior to accepting God’s call to diaconal ministry, she served for many years as St. Michael’s Christian Formation Director and Youth Group Minister. As a deacon, Laura continues her work with the Youth Group, preaches once a month, and strives to keep the needs of the world in the hearts and minds of the parish so that we will all “go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.”
Deacon Laura grew up in Norman, Oklahoma. Since her father was Roman Catholic and her mother Southern Baptist, she attended one or the other denominations churches throughout her childhood. She discovered the Episcopal Church through her then boyfriend and now husband. Over time fell in love with the liturgy and tradition of the Episcopal Church and was confirmed in 1989. After graduation from college, life led her and her husband to St. Louis, where she began to become involved in various ministries within the church. Her family returned to Norman in 1999 where she discovered the wondrous parish home of St. Michael’s.
Besides being a deacon, Laura is a small animal veterinarian. She graduated from Oklahoma State School of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. She is married to Eric and has grown two children- Joshua and Elizabeth. When she isn’t at work as a veterinarian or working on deacon stuff, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking, being outdoors, and maintaining her certified geek status.
Patrick has been a member of St. Michael's for more than 30 years, loves singing in the choir, and has served a couple of terms on vestry in the past. He and his wife were married in 2011, and they have two boys: Ian, 8, and Jonathan, 5. Patrick works for OU's supercomputing group, and Kristin is a scientist in Meteorology, working for the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
I was born in Puerto Rico into a large family. I am the youngest of 12 children. A few years after my birth, my parents moved to New York City with the younger children. The older children, now adults, had already established roots in NYC. In 1976, I graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a major in psychology and minor in education. In 1978, I graduated from Brooklyn College, CUNY with a Master of Science in Education and Certificate for School Psychologist. In 1989, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with specialization as a School Psychologist. In 1981, I moved from Austin to Norman; in 1989, I moved to Iowa, then back to Norman in 1995. Professionally, I have worked in outpatient and inpatient mental health settings, as well as educational settings. In the summer of 2020, after 9 years of teaching, I retired from East Central University in Ada, OK as tenured Associate Professor of Psychology. I then opened a part-time private practice in Norman. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. I have two grown children, Brian, 32, and Kevin, 30. Brian lives in Louisiana and Kevin lives in Norman. My parents passed away a long time ago. The rest of my family lives either on the east coast (New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida) or Puerto Rico. I have been a member of St. Michael’s for over 11 years. In 2011, Amy Gardner invited me to visit St. Michael’s. I met Amy in 1998 when we both worked as School Psychologists with the Norman Public Schools. I grew up Catholic and had been a member of St. Mark’s in Norman. I had stopped going to church before and after my divorce in 2009. When Amy and I spoke, I was ready to find a new church and worship with a community of faith that I thought would be welcoming and a good match for me. I started attending worship services and attended classes for new parishioners with Father Alan Sutherland. In June of 2010, I became a member of St. Michael’s. On June 2, 2019, I was received into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Ed. I have participated in or volunteered for the following ministries: Wicked Women, Wise Women, Book Club, Book Sales, Christmas Dinner, ECW Retreat, Food and Shelter for Friends, Garage and Rummage Sales, Laundry Love, and greeter. At St. Michael’s I feel welcomed, connected, respected, and spiritually nurtured.
Information not available
Nancy Littlejohn, Parish Administrator
Nancy Littlejohn joined the staff at St. Michael’s in March 2022 after retiring from a long career as a librarian. Originally from Independence, Missouri, her professional experience includes 20 years at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri as Librarian and Associate Professor. Upon moving to Oklahoma in 1998, she started with the Pioneer Library System and worked at the University of Oklahoma as Coordinator of Library Instruction. She is a graduate of Leadership Norman and involved in various community activities including the Norman Community Choral Society and the Norman Arts Council Roundtable. Nancy has been in the choir at St. Michael’s for several years. She and her husband Jeff (a sculptor) have two grown sons and three grandchildren.