Leota Hurlbut - Sylvan Grove KS
3/12/1920 - 9/9/2020
Leota Pauline (Allison) Hurlbut was born on March 12, 1920, to Jennie Hazeline (Palmer) Allison, age 20, and Floyd Allison, age 22 in a small house just over the hill 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 Edward Allison was born when Leota was 3 years old. In her youngest years, her family moved up near her grandparents, to the Cheyenne Community in southern Osborne County. During her grade school years, she attended the Happy Hollow School, a small rural school in the Covet township of Osborne County. The 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 to school and back. 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 into a small house on the south side of Luray. She remembered her dad working for numerous local farmers and ranchers. Leota’s family were all hard workers. While her father was working, her mother had a large garden and large 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 peaceful day she left her window open just a crack, to get some fresh air in. While they were gone the wind came up. When her family walked back into their home later in the day there was a heavy layer of dirt covering everything, which according to her, took forever to get cleaned back up.
As a teenager her family moved into a small house on the south end of Luray. The location of that house may have become key to her meeting her future husband. Leota graduated from Luray High School in 1939. She enjoyed high school. She had many close friends and she did well in many of her classes which included French at that time. After graduation, she started working at the local grocery store.
The story of Dale & 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 for lunch. Dale didn’t 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 & 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. They moved into their first home on the Cade Ranch south of Luray. Two months later Dale was drafted into the army.
The couple had their first son, Gary Edward Hurlbut in Gainesville, Texas while Dale was stationed at the Army base there. They moved around to many different bases until they moved to a small home west of Lucas and just a few miles from where Wilson Lake is now. On that small farm, the couple added two more sons, Ronnie and Darrell.
In 1959, the couple took a chance and bought the first and last home they would own. The family homestead is located two miles east of Sylvan Grove. Till the end, Leota enjoyed walking around outside the farm telling stories about all the improvements the couple made together. On that section, they made their life and had many more adventures together, from riding their motorcycle with Leota leaning over Dale and shining the light in front of them to dragging their kids & grandkids on a sleigh behind a motorcycle in the field covered in snow alongside the house. Their family of five grew to include eight grandkids, 11 great grandkids and one great-great grandchild. In the end, she was surrounded by people that loved her. She loved having a tidy home and home cooking. She spent her days 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 Hurlbut (Diana) of Macks Creek, MO; grandson, Troy Hurlbut; granddaughter, Shelley Price (Todd) and their son Austin Price; granddaughter, Angela Hurlbut; grandson, Dave Hurlbut (Marcy) and their children Danelle Hoard and her daughter McKinley Dorsey, Gabby Penaloza (David), Marshall, MeKelle, and Aubrelle Hurlbut; granddaughter, Dana Karlin (Nathan) and their children Chase and Avery Karlin; granddaughter, Jennifer Dunlap (Jeremy) and their children Kylan and Emerson Dunlap; granddaughter, Sara Hamm (Brad) and their daughter Harper Hamm; and grandson, Logan Hurlbut (Jasmine). Leota was preceded in death by her husband, Dale; son, Gary Hurlbut; and brother, Orlis Allison.
Visitation: 10-11 a.m., Monday, September 14, 2020 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Sylvan Grove.
Graveside service: 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.
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