Leota Pauline Hurlbut
Leota Pauline (Allison) Hurlbut was born on March 12, 1920, to Jennie and Floyd Allison in a small house east of Luray in a blizzard. She told stories of it being so cold the family needed to cover the windows with blankets, to keep their little bundle warm inside their small home. Her brother Orlis was born when Leota was 3 years old. In her younger years, her family moved to Southern Osborne Country. Her school was located just 2 miles from her home and each day it was her responsibility to see that she and her younger brother, made it. She remembered more than one time when her brother’s ornery nature made them a bit late getting home. As the kids got older, they moved to Luray. Leota’s family were hard workers. While her father was working, her mother had a large garden and a herd of turkeys. Leota helped by keeping the house immaculate, a habit that stayed with her to the end. To her credit, even at such a young age this was probably a full-time job as that was the decade of the dust bowls. Leota told a story about one day when she and her family decided to go to Russell to visit family. They left first thing in the morning and since it was a beautiful outside, she left her window open just a crack for some fresh air. When her family walked back into their home later the weather had changed, there was a heavy layer of dirt covering everything. Leota graduated from Luray High School in 1939. She enjoyed high school and had many longtime friends. After graduation, she started working at the local grocery store.
The story of Dale and Leota’s love starts here. One day as Leota was walking to work, Dale’s younger brother Leonard, who happened to be in Luray picking up his brother who was working on the highway crew, pulled up next to her and offered her a ride. She of course politely refused but it is said that, that night after he got home Leonard made a point to tell his older brother that he needed to go to the grocery store and check out the scenery. Dale did and he was immediately smitten with the vibrant redhead. Leota enjoyed telling of his sudden fondness for crackers and sardines. Dale did not wait long to make his move and the couple was soon dating. On January 23, 1942, Dale picked up Leota for date night, leaned over and said “let’s get married.” She said yes and off they went. The couple picked up their best friends, Nat and Lavonna Nelson and headed for Salina. When they returned home, her parents met the news with congratulations and hugs. Her brother Orlis though needed a few minutes alone to process his surprise. Two months later Dale was drafted into the army. The couple had 3 sons, Gary, Ronnie and Darrell.
In 1959, the couple bought the first and last home they would own, near Sylvan Grove. Leota enjoyed walking around outside the farm, telling stories about all the improvements the couple made together. Whether it was riding their motorcycle at night with Leota leaning over Dale and shining the light out in front of them or dragging their kids and grandkids on a sleigh behind a motorcycle in the field covered in snow the loved the life they made. Their family of five grew to include eight grandkids, 11 great grandkids and one great-great. She spent her last few years enjoying old TV shows, doing word puzzles, reading cards and letters from friends and family and playing with the youngest members of her family.
Leota is survived by her sons, Ron Hurlbut of Sylvan Grove and Darrell (Diana) Hurlbut of Macks Creek, Mo.; grandson, Troy Hurlbut; granddaughter, Shelley (Todd) Price and their son Austin Price; granddaughter, Angela Hurlbut; grandson, Dave (Marcy) Hurlbut and their children Danelle Hoard and her daughter McKinley Dorsey, Gabby (David) Penaloza, Marshall, MeKelle, and Aubrelle Hurlbut; granddaughter, Dana (Nathan) Karlin and their children Chase and Avery Karlin; granddaughter, Jennifer (Jeremy) Dunlap and their children Kylan and Emerson Dunlap; granddaughter, Sara (Brad) Hamm and their daughter Harper Hamm; and grandson, Logan (Jasmine) Hurlbut.
Leota was preceded in death by her husband, Dale; son, Gary Hurlbut; and brother, Orlis Allison.
Visitation was September 14, 2020 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Sylvan Grove followed by the graveside service at 11:30 a.m., Monday, September 14, 2020 at Sylvan Grove Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, c/o, Parsons Funeral Home – Hall Chapel, 111 E. Elm St. Lincoln, KS 67455.