Leon Black was born October 31, 1925, in Soper to William F. and Rosa Ganuary (Kiser) Black. He passed from this life September 12, 2011 in Antlers at the age of 85. Leon’s family was tenant farmers around the Soper area. He began grade school at Atlas, and their final move was to Nelson where Leon entered the fourth grade with Ms. Damon Antwine, (Roger later had her in first grade), and they were able to purchase a farm of their own. Leon completed high school in Soper where he took courses for flight navigator, but he failed the military physical because of his heart murmur. Leon moved to Mena, AR., where he worked at the lumber mills as a crane operator. He met Annie Mae Hughes at a church social. She was a high school junior in Norman and had the highest grades of her class. Most of her girlfriends were already married when she quit school to marry Leon in front of a Justice of the Peace in Mena on July 19, 1947. Their wedding pictures were taken in a Photo-Matic for 25 cents. Leon & Annie lived in an upstairs apartment in Mena, owned by Albert E. Brumley. This is where Jimmie was born prematurely and died within 2 weeks in 1948. Roger was born in January 1950 and Tommie was born in December 1953. As soon as Annie Mae and Tommie were able to travel, Leon moved everyone back to Nelson to take over the family farm when his father became ill. As the farm now had to support a growing family, Leon worked many day jobs: peanut threshing, Little Dixie chair construction and Babcock-Wilcox where he worked until retirement. Leon and Annie Mae raised milo, peanuts, cucumbers, hogs, beef cows, corn and hay. Leon farmed with horses and mules before purchasing his first tractor. They had gardens large enough to put up 2-3 years of food every year. They had a separate building for the canned goods and freezers. Leon always taught Sunday School and Bible Study classes (until he moved into the Nursing Home). He helped organize the two mission Churches of First Baptist at West Side and Kent. Leon studied everything he worked at: Church lessons, agriculture, machine operator and nursing home care. He conferred with the county agriculture agent to learn about fertilizers for all his crops. He was B & W’s only employee that could operate the press. The press was retired shortly after Leon retired. He was the Ombudsman for 15 years while Annie Mae was in the Choctaw Nation Nursing Home in Antlers. While he held this job, the nursing home received top scores at every inspection. As a resident of the nursing home, he made it his daily goal to have everyone smile at least once each day. Leon was preceded in death by his parents: William & Rosa Black; his wife: Annie Mae Black; son: Tommie Black, & infant son: Jimmie. He is survived by one son: Roger Black & wife Carol of Arkansas City, KS.; grandchildren: Christoffer Black of TX., Kenneth Black & wife Angela of TX.; Liz Ardila & husband Andres of OH., Jason Black of KS., & Brian Black of KS.; great-grandchildren: Kaylee Black of TX., and Adam & Nicole Ardila of OH.; as well as many other relatives and friends. Family night will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2011 at the Mills & Coffey Funeral Home in Antlers. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the Antlers First Baptist Church with Reverend Aaron Reed officiating. Musical selections will include: “Victory In Jesus,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “The Sweetest Song I Know” sang by the congregation. Pallbearers will include: Bob Holley, Robert Branton, Raymond Moffat, Colby Moffat, Robert Spalding and Dave Davidson. Interment will follow at Sugar Creek Cemetery in Nelson. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to: First Baptist Church Backpack Food Project at 208 NE B Street in Antlers, OK 74523 OR First United Methodist Church ATTN: Shoe Project at 2448 Edgemont Dr. in Arkansas City, KS 67005. Family and friends may send online condolences at www.millscoffey.com .
Funeral services conducted by Mills & Coffey Funeral Home in Antlers.