A visitation honoring and remembering the life of Leota Cole will be 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at Bixby Funeral Service. Leota passed away Monday, February 10th, 2020. She was 87. Private family services will be held at a later date. Family suggests memorial donations, in Leota's memory, be directed to the Clarehouse (7617 S. Mingo Rd., Tulsa, OK 74133 - www.clarehouse.org).
Born November 20, 1932, in Agnos, Arkansas, Leota Duke was the daughter of Mordy Edward and Beulah Ann (Estes) Duke. The eighth of nine siblings, Leota would form close-knit relationships with her siblings. These relationships would only grow stronger over the years. This was due, in part, to the fact that Leota loved to talk on the phone with her sisters and sisters-in-law and made this a part of her daily routine.
In her youth, Leota’s family would move from Arkansas to Oklahoma. The family would eventually settle in Canadian where her father bought the local grocery store and renamed it Duke’s Grocery. It was in Canadian that Leota attended school and played on the girls’ basketball team.
After high school, Leota moved to Tulsa where she attended Draughn’s School of Business. She would complete her program, but, before she could begin her career, she met Wesley Cole in a cafe while visiting her sister. This meeting would change both Leota and Wesley’s lives forever. It was while sitting at the cafe counter that Wesley asked permission to drive Leota home. She and her sister agreed it would be just fine. It was also there, that Leota noticed Wesley had a tear in his shirt and she knew he needed a woman to take care of him. The two would say, “I do” just a few months later in a Muskogee wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day.
The Cole’s would make their first home in Muskogee and later moved to Tulsa where Wesley ran Bishop’s Farm. He would also attend the Academy and he became a Sheriff’s Deputy for Tulsa County. This is when the family would move to their Broken Arrow homestead. Those years were the best years of Leota’s life as she thoroughly enjoyed taking care of her husband and family and did a spectacular job at it!
Leota was known to keep an immaculate home. She was a wonderful cook and baker, and she kept busy canning the produce from Wesley’s garden. She also appreciated a good bonfire either to burn off the brush, or just so the family could enjoy a weenie and marshmallow roast!
It was a known fact that if you stopped by Leota’s home she would have a sweet treat ready to eat, be that a piece of cake or slice of pie, and a hot cup of coffee to help wash it down. Her children were the envy of every kid that her children went to school with because the lunches she packed were over the top! She was maybe even the first mom in the area to freeze a can of pop and slip it in their lunches too!
In her spare time, Leota loved watching Jeopardy or movies and was quite knowledgeable about Hollywood stars. (This may have been because she always had a desire to be on the red carpet herself.) In her younger days, Leota was known to dance and she always had a fondness for music. She loved get-togethers with her family and friends and playing Rook and games. (There may even have been an occasion when Leota admitted that she and the girls would sometimes cheat to win these games. To take it one step further, she also admitted to teaching the girls how to cheat!) There is no doubt, the thing that brought Leota the most joy was spending time with her family – especially her grandchildren.
This strong, sweet, and devout woman would do anything necessary for her family. She will undoubtedly be missed by those who knew and loved her. Her family takes refuge in knowing that she is now at home with her Savior and has joined those who have gone before her.
Leota is survived by her sisters: Texie Massingale, Mary Lou Borum, and Kathryn Cannon; her children: LeAnna Cook, Linda Cole, Lisa Palmer, son-in-law Dave Palmer, and Lyndall Cole; six grandchildren: Jennifer Cook, Wesley Holmes and wife Julie, Robby Cook, Molly Holmes, Drew Palmer, and wife Marissa, Lindsay Lintelman and husband Kyle; five great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her Parents Mordy and Annie Duke; her Husband, Wesley Cole; Infant son Alan Wesley Cole; brothers: L.D. Duke, David Duke, and Clifton Duke; sisters: Tracy Finley and Mardell Rapp.