Lelen Leon Terrell of Yukon passed away after a courageous battle with prostate cancer on Aug. 11, 2019, at the age of 88.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Dover Christian Church with Rev. Matt Barrie officiating. Graveside services will follow at the Banner Cemetery under the direction of Yanda and Son Funeral Home of Yukon.
Leon, the youngest of 10 children, was born to E.P. “Pete” and Keelen Terrell in Dover on May 28, 1931.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Walter, Joe, John and Carl; five sisters, Verda, Nellie, Eva, Lillie and Suda Mae; and son-in-law, Jack Lyon.
Leon married his high school sweetheart Evelyn Ludwig on Nov. 17, 1951.
They were married 55 ½ years before her death in 2007.
Together they had three children: Leeanne Lyon West and her husband Chris of Yukon, Mark Terrell and his wife Susan of Tomball, Texas, and Lisa Letellier and her husband Chad of Stonewall.
Grandchildren are Sarah Lyon Farrar and husband Hank of Cashion; Logan Lyon and wife Rachel of Yukon; Scarlett Austin Morgan and husband Josiah of Yukon; Rozalin Austin Roark and husband Chad of Mannsfield, Texas; Forrest Austin and wife Rachel of Oklahoma City; Zackary Albert of Ada; Jesse Albert of Yukon; Madison Terrell of Tomball, Texas; Brice West of Yukon; and four great grandchildren, Rachel Farrar, Aubree Roark, Emily Farrar and Abraham Roark.
He is survived by his wife of the home, Betty Williams, formerly of Crescent, and her three children, Bill Williams and wife Jan of Tulsa; Cindy Crossfield of Cushing; and Janis Farrar and her husband Raymond of Cashion.
Together they are loved by 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Leon and Betty were married on Sept. 20, 2009, having known each other since third grade at Dover.
Leon was raised on a farm east of Dover. He graduated high school in 1949 where he excelled at baseball, basketball and was the senior class president.
He attended Southwestern State University for one year on a basketball scholarship. Soon after marrying Evelyn, he was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.
Leon was a proud member of Company B, 9th Ordnance Battalion, 1st Armored Division where he achieved the rank of Corporal.
After basic training, Leon was cleared by the FBI to serve as a military policeman stationed in Pirmasens, Germany, guarding the top-secret nuclear artillery piece “Atomic Annie” for the term of his enlistment.
Leon was licensed to drive any military vehicle and was awarded a sharpshooter badge.
Leon’s 32-year work career began with the current BJ Services, an oilfield service company in 1957, where he was employed until retirement.
He worked his way up to district manager and was stationed in Oklahoma City, Kingfisher, Seminole, Lindsay and Healdton, completing his service in Yukon.
After retirement, Leon became a master furniture builder, building bedroom suites, quilt boxes, pie safes, all types of tables and shelves for his family.
Later in life he developed a passion for building decorative birdhouses with no two being alike. He built replicas of his homeplace in Dover, many churches, unique birdhouses for his Army reunion events and numerous Christmas and birthday gifts.
The “Silly Santa” games during the Christmas holidays was the most anticipated time of year for the family. Family members schemed, coordinated and jockeyed themselves in position to win the coveted Christmas birdhouse.
In all, he built over 100 birdhouses for family members and friends.
Leon’s primary passion was the love for his family. He was selfless with his time, energy, love and the giving of money making sure his family was happily provided for.
He was the center of his family and will be tremendously missed by all.
Memorial donations can be made in Leon’s name to the OK Kids Korral, a childhood cancer community sponsored by Toby Keith in Oklahoma City. ATTN: Donor Relations: The Toby Keith Foundation, 818 N.E. 8th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 or www.tobykeithfoundation.org.
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com.