A Member of the ‘When Calls the Heart’ Founding Family Has Died

Crown Media When Calls the Heart

A founding member of the “When Calls the Heart” family has died. Dr. Edward Oke, husband of the author of “When Calls the Heart,” Janette Oke, passed away in early January. Hallmark’s series, “When Calls the Heart,” is based on Oke’s books.


Co-Creator Brian Bird Shared the News on Social Media

Co-creator of the series, Brian Bird, shared the news on social media with “When Calls the Heart” fans. He wrote: “#Hearties, on Jan3, our beloved Janette Oke lost her husband of 64 years, Dr. Edward Oke, after his long cancer battle. And as we might expect from the author of WCTH and so many books filled with faith and love, Janette was by his side when he passed.”

The “Hearties” family, as “When Calls the Heart” fans are called, gathered around to share their support and condolences to Oke.

Gracie wrote on Twitter: “To Mrs Janette Oke: What comfort to know that your beloved knew & served the LORD. There will be a reunion someday! ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions…’ John 14:2”

A Twitter user who goes by ShelbysHope wrote: “Sending much love, prayers, and hugs to Janette Oke, her family, and all those who loved Dr. Edward Oke.”

A Twitter user who refers to herself as LucaBeth_Writer tweeted: “Praying for God’s comfort for her and their loved ones. What a blessing to have him that long. My condolences.”

Pia Sprague wrote: “I’m thinking of Janette Oke today and her family and sending love and prayers.”

To make sure you don’t miss a single update about “When Calls the Heart,” join the Hearties News Facebook group, follow the Heavy on Hallmark Facebook page or subscribe to the Heavy on Hallmark newsletter here.


He Had a Seminary Master’s Degree & a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration

According to his obituary published in Rimbey Review, Edward Oke received a master’s degree at Goshen Seminary after he and his wife were married, and he earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Andrews University.

His obituary read: “It was especially meaningful for him to help young people learn and grow in their Christian faith. He loved the interaction with his many students and they in turn, often dubbed him their favourite Prof.”

His students referred to him as the “College Cupid,” Rimbey Review shared, because he officiated so many marriages between students.

Edward and Janette Oke have three children, 16 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

In an interview with Dove.org, Janette Oke shared that her husband was president of Mountain View Bible College. She told Dove that she believed her ultimate calling was being a housewife.

“There is no higher honor or greater task given to any woman than being a homemaker. That is my number one priority,” she said.

Oke has been closely involved in Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” series. She even had a cameo on the show in 2016, Bird shared on Twitter.

Bird has also shared that Oke always gets a preview of the television series’ plans and was in favor of the choice of having Elizabeth end up with Lucas over Nathan.

Bird wrote: “It would be dishonoring if Janette hadn’t been okay with the direction we took, but she always gets a preview of our plans, and she’s always been in favor of being unpredictable storytellers and not repeating storylines. So we feel okay in that regard.”

To make sure you don’t miss a single update about “When Calls the Heart,” join the Hearties News Facebook group, follow the Heavy on Hallmark Facebook page or subscribe to the Heavy on Hallmark newsletter here.

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