Claudia Frances (Smith) Leonard was born on November 30, 1936, near Owasso, Oklahoma, to Rufus and Nola Smith. She received her early education at Owasso Schools, then when the family moved near Oilton, she attended Lagoon Creek School and then on to Oilton High School where she graduated in 1955. She was a starter on the Oilton High School Ladies Basketball team. After graduating high school, she moved to Sand Springs with her older sister Maxine and worked at the Oral Roberts Ministry in downtown Tulsa. She would take the Sand Springs Trolley Line every day to work and then back home. In the meantime, her mama and daddy moved to Tulsa. Part of her job requirements at Oral Roberts Ministry was to attend church on a regular basis. They lived in Turley, so they tried out the Northside Free Will Baptist Church. There she was saved and started her lifelong walk with the Lord. While there, she met a young lady named Joyce who was dating a fellow named Aron Leonard. And Aron had a brother: F. B. Leonard. Joyce got our daddy to come to church so he could meet this young lady named Claudia. It wasn’t long until Daddy was saved and he and our Mama were married on September 5, 1958. By the way, Joyce and Aron got married too.
In 1960 they moved to the Skiatook area where they have lived ever since. They had almost 63 years of a wonderful marriage. Along the way Claudia always worked as a homemaker.
In 1981, the need arose for someone to teach Kindergarten at Northside Christian Academy. She took on the job and worked in that position until her retirement in 1991. After retirement she taught many of her grandchildren to read. She loved to garden, fish, and spend time with her LARGE FAMILY. She loved Gospel singing and she loved her church where she worked tirelessly in Ladies Auxiliary, Sunday School and V.B.S. throughout the years. Mama was an active member of the Skiatook Free Will Baptist Church.
She lived her life according to Matthew 23:11, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” She truly was a servant to all.
She is proceeded in death by her mother and father, two sisters, Maxine and Pat, and three brothers, Neil, Ralph, and Allen.
Claudia is survived by her husband F.B., four children and their spouses: Lynne and David Graves of Barnsdall, Ok., Carla and Bob Jones of Barnsdall, Ok., Michael and Michelle Leonard of Skiatook, and Mitchell and Rachel Leonard, also of Skiatook; one brother Wiley Smith of Spavinaw, Ok. She was so thankful for and proud of her 35 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren that she dearly loved. She is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces and many, many friends and loved ones. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Pallbearers are Nathan Jones, Jacob Jones, Zach Leonard, Caleb Leonard, Eli Leonard and Jesse Graves.
Honorary Pallbearers are, Joseph Graves, Isaac Graves, Josiah Jones, Gabriel Graves, Andrew Leonard, Benjamin Jones, Micah Graves, Stephen Jones, Ethan Leonard, Thaddeus Graves, Alex Jones, Isaiah Leonard, Seth Leonard and Silas Leonard.
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