Remembering Texoma's "Golden Girl" - - No One Gets You Closer

Remembering Texoma's "Golden Girl"


ARDMORE, OK- - Thursday morning, Rue McClanahan passed away. The "Golden Girl" whose roots ran deep in southern Oklahoma. Meredith Saldana sat down with one of her childhood friends, she has more on this story.     

If you ever watched the "Golden Girls" you knew Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, a spitfire on one of NBC's longest running comedies.     

But to her friends and family, she was just a down home southern Oklahoma girl.

"Oh yes, she was just adorable and I think everybody loved her, everybody thought she'd be a success," says her childhood friend Marian Riesen.

To America she was "Blanch", but to her friends in Ardmore she was Eddi Rue McClanahan.     

Riesen was a childhood friend who kept in touch with Texoma's star over the years.     

She says dancing was Eddi Rue's passion growing up.

"She went to New York once in high school, her parents took her and she said this- I'm home. This is where I want to be and she just stayed at it until she finally did it."

Riesen says she remembers her always being so determined and dedicated.     

Even back in high school she was named a class favorite and involved in many different groups.

After receiving the call about her friend's passing, Riesen spent some time looking back at old pictures of the two of them and their friends and remembered the many times Eddi Rue would come back to visit Ardmore.

"She was darling, darling personality and very effervescent and we always all got together when she was here and rallied around her and talked about our successful star and that's really what we felt about her," says Riesen.

She was also a star to many others throughout Texoma.     

When in town, she would frequent Ponder's Restaurant in Ardmore.     

The owner's daughter says she was very down to earth.

"She just always seemed calm and very personable," says Pat Ponder. "She didn't shy away from you, she would always acknowledge and always speak to you if you acknowledged her."

Thursday, America lost a star but Ardmore lost so much more.

"She was our golden girl, absolutely," says Ponder.

Rue McClanahan was 76 years old.

-Meredith Saldana, ABC Texoma News