PURTEE, Lenna Jo

Lenna Jo (Brown) Purtee, daughter of a Roger Mills County pioneer family, died at the age of 104 in Olympia, Washington on Saturday, February 8, 2014. The former Lenna Brown was born on the family home place on January 24, 1910, the last child of John and Rosa (Dilka) Brown. She attended the Powwow School, a one room school house now on display at the museum complex in Cheyenne, Oklahoma. (The one room school on display in the Cheyenne, Ok Museum Complex is the Roll One Room School). She later attended upper school in Strong City, OK. Her father died when she was five. In 1926 she moved with her mother to California where she met Charles Mathew Purtee, who was from neighboring Vici, Ellis County, OK. When she was eighteen, they eloped and were married in Yuma, Arizona.
She was the last of her family who included brothers John, Otto, Carl and Arthur and sisters Emma Harrel and Clara Hendershot. She fondly remembered her young on the Canadian River where her Swiss born father was noted for his orchards. She attributed her long life to eating apples everyday and proudly observed that she still had all her teeth. She was an avid reader of history and biographies; she made many of her own clothes and knitted afghans for her friends and families.
She was proud of her two sons, Charles Duane Purtee of Sayre, OK and Northridge, California and David Purtee of Olympia, Washington. She is survived by her sons, daughters-in-law; Corene and Karen, seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
Lenna and Charles spent their lives mainly in Southern California, living and working on Palomar Mountain and in Fallbrook, Escondido and several other communities. They lived for 25 years in Borrego Springs, California, where she drove a school bus, which paid for her childhood dream of traveling the world. In Borrego Springs, she was active in church and political groups. In their retirement years, they moved next to their younger son, David, in Moscow, Idaho. They later followed him and his family to Olympia, Washington.
A Memorial Service will be held during the Brown Family Reunion in June in Elk City, OK. Interment will be with her husband of sixty years, Charles, in the Purtee family plot in Vassar Cemetery in Vici, Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or your local Humane Society. Cheyenne Star, March 6, 2014