Jola Houchin

Jola Ann Houchin

1950 - 2021

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Jola Higgingbottom Houchin of Tulsa, Oklahoma passed away on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 after an extraordinary 71 years of faith, family, and friendship. Jola was born on May 18, 1950 in El Dorado, Kansas to the late Robert and Jean Higgingbottom. Her father’s career as an engineer in the oil industry led Jola’s childhood years with her brother Frank to numerous towns in Kansas and Oklahoma; including El Dorado, Oklahoma City and eventually on to Liberal, Kansas, where she spent the majority of her time in high school. Upon high school graduation, Jola followed her brother Frank to the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated in 1972 with a BA in Education. During her time at the University of Oklahoma, she joined Pi Beta Phi sorority and remained an active member for her entire life. Jola’s life would change indefinitely when she met Larry Houchin, a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity from Bartlesville, OK. The two met as co-workers at Harold’s Clothing Store in Norman, Oklahoma when she was 20 years old. The young couple had a very short courtship and were married a short 11 months later. They remained in love and each other’s best friend for 39 years until Larry’s unexpected death in 2011. After Jola and Larry graduated from OU in 1972, they made their home in Tulsa, where Larry began his 38-year career as an investment professional. Jola supported the family as a 2nd grade school teacher at Jenks Elementary until the arrival of their beloved daughter, Jola Ann “Annie” Houchin. Their family continued to grow with the arrival of their son, Philip Houchin, three years later. Jola was born to be a mother and cherished that role even as her children grew into adults. A close-knit family, the Houchin’s touched the lives of so many with their generous spirit and enthusiasm for life. Jola and Larry loved to travel and spent many vacations on beaches all over the world. While they enjoyed traveling with family and friends, they always made their relationship a priority with an annual trip to a far-away beach destination by themselves, which ended up being St. Barts for the last 20 years of their marriage. Jola and her business partner, Connie Cope, became fitness pioneers in 1983 with the opening of Contours Fitness Studio. Contours became a mainstay in the Tulsa community for over 20 years, leading the way to a fitness revolution that was beginning to take shape worldwide. Jola and Connie also developed the first fitness program at St. Francis Health Zone. Anyone that lived in Tulsa during this period knows of the impact Contours had on everyone’s lives – a place to get in shape and a social hub in mid-town Tulsa. Jola also had a green thumb and a life-long love of landscaping and gardening. She received her Master Gardener certification and during any free time would always be found “in the dirt” for countless hours beautifying her homes with new or updated landscaping. She was a self-taught landscape architect without the degree. While having great achievements throughout her life, Jola’s greatest gift was motherhood with her innate nurturing spirit. She loved her family and her friends immensely. Her greatest traits were her kind spirit and selfless nature. She was especially proud of her grandsons and cherished the role of “Jolie”. Jola and her late husband, Larry, are now together again, and the profound impact they had on everyone’s lives will remain forever imprinted. Jola is survived by her daughter, Annie Houchin of Tulsa; her son, Philip Houchin of Tulsa, along with his family – daughter-in-law, Katy Houchin, and her three grandsons – John Philip, Bayn and Wells Houchin; brother, Dr. Frank Higgingbottom, and sister-in-law, Leith Higgingbottom, of Dallas, Texas. In celebration of Jola’s life, services will be held 1:00 PM Thursday, November 18, 2021 at First United Methodist Church, 1115 S. Boulder Ave., Tulsa. Condolences for the family may be left at In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an organization dear to Jola’s heart – the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S Peoria Ave., Tulsa, OK 74114. Ninde Funeral Directors, Brookside Chapel (918) 742-5556

Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Thursday, November 18, 2021
First United Methodist Church
1115 S. Boulder Avenue
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States