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Leatha M Mahan

May 27, 1916 March 19, 2010
Leatha M Mahan
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Obituary for Leatha M Mahan


Leatha Marie Washburn Mahan, faithful servant, wife, loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away March 19, 2010 at the Baptist Retirement Center in Oklahoma City. Private graveside services will be Monday, March 29, 2010 at 10:30 am at Altus Cemetery in Altus, Oklahoma. A memorial celebration will be held at 1:00 pm at Grace United Methodist Church, 620 S. Park Lane in Altus followed by a reception. Arrangements are by Lowell-Tims Funeral Home.

Leatha, the daughter of Cortez and Eva Wylie Washburn, was born May 27, 1916 in Quinlan, Oklahoma. She attended elementary school in Winfield, Kansas. At an early age she loved reading, learning, and playing piano, passions that would influence her family in later years. She returned to Quinlan for high school and graduated valedictorian of her class. Her goal in life at that time was to become a missionary with an emphasis on early childhood education. To work toward this goal she attended Southwestern College in Winfield, KS for one year before transferring to the National College for Christian Workers in Kansas City, MO.

On September 4, 1937, in Quinlan, Oklahoma, she married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Maurice Edwin Mahan, a graduate of Oklahoma A&M College. Their first home was in Collinsville, OK where Maurice began his career working for the Soil Conservation Service. His job took them to Claremore, OK before moving to Texas. They lived in San Angelo, Ranger, and Brownwood, where their first child Sue was born, before another move to Fabens, where J. was born. While in Fabens, Leatha began her mission work volunteering at the Mexican mission in El Paso.

In 1943 life changed for the Mahan family when Leatha"s sister, Anna Lee, died leaving behind her husband and two young sons. Maurice resigned from his job and they returned to Quinlan to help the family and to farm. After a year of farm life, the Soil Conservation Service asked Maurice to return to work prompting a move to Altus. Five years later, Maurice took a job with Prudential Insurance Company, and the family moved to Headrick, where Terry and Jan were born. Two more children, Ben and Shari, were born after moving back to Altus in 1951. Altus remained their home for the next 45 years. Leatha was very supportive of her husband"s work in insurance and real estate which led to the founding of his own firm, the Mahan Agency.

Leatha"s devotion to her family was to be admired. The Mahan household, a bevy of activity, was one that welcomed everyone. She was a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, home room mother, and PTA member for over twenty years. She rarely missed a high school play, piano recital, or choir concert. In her later years she spoke often about her "six wonderful children and their families". Leatha loved "Beautiful Lake Altus" where she enjoyed boating and camping with her family. They also enjoyed vacationing at Angel Fire, New Mexico where they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. After retirement, they enjoyed camping with the Good Sams and going to reunions.

Leatha"s involvement in the community was commendable. She and Maurice were members of First United Methodist Church leaving only to become charter members of Grace United Methodist Church. As a member of United Methodist Women, she served on local, district, state, and national levels. In addition, she was actively involved with Southwest Oklahoma Migrant Ministry serving on the "Little School" board of directors for 25 years. "Escuelita" or "Little School" started as a day care center for migrant workers and later served the local community. A member of Associated Christian Ministries from its inception, she was able to further her dream of being a missionary. Leatha was active with the Girl Scouts both on local and state levels. She and Maurice contributed to the establishment of Camp Kate Portwood near Granite. Leatha was also a member of the Garden Club.

In 1996, the couple moved to the Baptist Retirement Center in Oklahoma City becoming active in that community and joining New Hope United Methodist Church. The family wishes to thank the wonderful nurses and staff at the Baptist Retirement Center for the excellent care and warm support they provided over the last few years.

Leatha was preceded in death by Maurice, her husband of 63 years, her parents, two brothers and five sisters. Survivors include her children, Susanna Norman and husband, Joe, of Amarillo, TX; James C. Mahan and wife, Glenda, of Altus, OK; Terry Mahan and wife, Sandra, of Anthem, AZ; Janice Ford and husband, John, of Azle, TX; Dr. Ben Mahan and wife, Georgia, of Tullahoma, TN; Shari Portman and husband, Robert, of Oklahoma City, OK; 18 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Also included are her sisters-in-law Wilma Washburn of Pomona, CA; Lola Fritzler of Derby, KS; Shirley Mahan of Altus, OK; brother-in-law Fred Mahan and wife Dorothy of Goddard, KS; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of floral remembrances, the family respectfully suggests donations in Leatha"s name be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 620 S. Park Lane, Altus, OK 73521.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 pm Sunday, March 28 at the funeral home. Sign the online guest book at .

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