ENID, Okla. — For many people nothing brings passion to worship more than music, and one Enid woman has been helping others worship God through music for more than eight decades.

Euelene Floyd, who turned 97 on Aug. 15, retired from music ministry as the pianist at Enid Maine Church of the Nazarene, 1517 E. Maine, at the church’s service on Aug. 30, ending a music ministry of 84 years.

Floyd said her passion for music started early, and started at home.

“I just love it,” Floyd said of playing the piano. “I’ve always done it. I started out as just a kid.”

Floyd grew up in Shawnee where her father worked for the Rock Island Railroad. Music was a way of life in her childhood home, she said.

“My daddy was a singer, and the choir director at our church, and we always had lots of music in our house,” Floyd said.

Her father started her on piano lessons when she was about 10 years old, and by the time she was 13, Floyd started filling in on piano for church services.

Floyd’s family later moved to El Reno, where she graduated from high school in 1942 and married her high school sweetheart, Ivan Yount.

The couple had one son, Randy, who now lives in Edmond, and moved for a time to Des Moines, Iowa. When work brought the family to Enid in the early 1960s, Floyd found her own job at Enid State School, where she worked in food service until 1985.

From the time Floyd moved to Enid, she’s been at the piano at Maine Nazarene, Sunday mornings and evenings, and Wednesday evenings, playing for the congregation.

She rarely needs sheet music. “If I know, I can just play it,” Floyd said. And, in 84 years of music ministry, the 97-year-old has amassed an impressive library of hymns and worship tunes she “just knows.”

Floyd said her favorite services have been when her son, Randy, has come to hear her play. Those moments bring back memories, she said, of when the family was all together, worshiping and singing.

“He grew up in this church,” Floyd said. “He was five years old when we moved here, and our family always sang together.”

Tom Pullin, pastor at Enid Maine Church of the Nazarene since 2012, said Floyd’s dedication and passion for music ministry have been remarkable.

“She’s faithful and she’s good on the piano, and I don’t think there’s many pianists at 97 who are still active,” Pullin said. “I don’t know of any time, where she wasn’t sick or out of town, that she missed church.

“We’re blessed because of her dedication, not only to the Lord, but also to the church and the music department,” Pullin said. “It would be hard to have the meaningful services we’ve had without her contributions at the piano. She’s really blessed the church with her ministry and her gift.”

Floyd said she still loves to play the piano — she graced the News & Eagle with a song after the interview — but all things end, with time, and she felt it was time to step back.

“I’ve played here all these years, because I was all they had — I was the only one to play the piano,” Floyd said.

She saw an opportunity to slow down when Pullin’s daughter, Kristy Scott, who also is a pianist, moved to Enid in February.

“I am old, and I am tired,” Floyd said, “so this young lady needs to take the piano. She’s good and she knows how to play, so I felt like it was time for me to resign.”

Scott has taken over at the keyboard, and now, at 97, Floyd said she’s looking forward to listening to the music, for a change.

“I’m just going to sit with my friends and enjoy the service,” Floyd said. “I’m just going to sit back and sing.”

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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