Leona Daphine Head (Mills) passed away on December 31st, 2017 at the Beehive Homes assisted living residence in Gallup, New Mexico. She was 97 years old. Leona was born to Barney and Frances Mills on December 4th, 1920 in Hamilton, TX. In 1922, she and her family came to New Mexico in a covered wagon, settling outside of Dexter. After graduating from Dexter High School, Leona completed a teaching certificate at Highlands University. Her first teaching assignment consisted of 50 first grade students in Wagon Mound, NM. Leona went on to finish a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in art at Eastern New Mexico University. She taught grades K-12, as well as college level art courses. She spent the majority of her teaching career and her final years in education, as the art teacher at Clovis High School. She loved teaching and she loved her students. She held a special place in her heart for students Bruce DeFoor, Dick Wimberly, Roger Bitnis, Chuck Glikus, and Michael Reynolds. Leona loved the arts. She was an accomplished artist and musician. Following her teaching career, she played the violin in a string quintet until she was 85 years of age.
Leona was preceded in death by her parents, Barney and Frances; sisters, Nadine Cogdill and Elsie Osweiler; brother, Barney Mills; husband, Allen Madison Head; daughter, Tyletha Leese; and son, Allen Dale Head. She is survived by her daughters Chere Gulledge and Sabrina Ezzell (Brad Vergien); her grandchildren, Lynne Schultz (Jeb), Kayree McConnell (Tim), Cassie McMillan, and John Montano (Corinna); her great-grandchildren Tawny Phillips (Patrick), Devon Montano, Kinley Nichols, MacKenzie McMillan, Britain McMillan and her great-great-grandaughter, Story Grace Hurley. She is also survived by cousins, nieces, and nephews that she loved dearly.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the Beehive Home staff. They showed true caring and compassion towards Leona every day and extended the same caring nature towards family when they needed it most.
Memorial services will be held at Steed-Todd Mortuary, 800 E. Manana, in Clovis, NM at 2pm on Saturday, January 6th, 2017. Burial will follow at Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens, 1601 E. Llano Estacado, Clovis, NM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home in Portales, NM at http://nmcch.org
RIP Mrs. Head. One of your art students from CHS class of 79.
Jonathan Hartley, SC
What a wonderful woman, what a hopeful example . . . Sabrina, I am particularly grateful for all Leona has been to you. Thinking of all her beloveds, and wishing you comfort. Much love, Jana
Jana GunnellTaos, NM
My condolences on your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.
Christine LujanGallup, NM
My heart is very sad.....I have so may very wonderful memories of my Great Aunt Leona. From her beautiful long hair that was may times down and many times up in a bun. To her great stories. And her amazing art. Hugs to Sabrina and the rest of the Head Family.
Karen Head-WorkmanWheat Ridge, CO
Chere and family.. I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mother was such a wonderful and talented lady and I know you will miss her very much. Lots of memories from when we were kids... so much fun.
Donna Reynolds HesterAmarillo, TX
The name of Leona Head will be in the history books of Curry Co. for many many years to come. God rest her soul and bless her family.
The Pat Hill family
Pat and Judy HillClovis, NM
Mrs Head encouraged me to reach beyond my cautious self perception and take the leap into creativity. She did not wish for her students to paint inside the lines but insisted we realize there is life outside. I have never forgotten her stronge willed positive lessons.
Marilyn Sanders JordanRowlett, TX
Leona was a delight! I will remember her fondly. My condolences to you and family. *HUGS*
Lisa ElkinsThoreau, NM
So sorry to here of her passing. May your sweet memories of her wonderful life help you through this difficult time. Love and prayers to you all.
Dennis and Marie HungerfordRosamond, CA
Aunt Leona was a dear, sweet woman. Her sister, Elsie, supervised a foster home many decades ago.I was a scared, young girl in that home. Meeting all of Elsie's relatives brought a real sense of family to a young girl that had no family. Aunt Leona was a memorable part of that time in my life. She brought joy to many. May she be welcomed into the loving arms of our Lord.
Linda J. ThompsonDenver, NC
My condolences to Sabrina and the rest of the family and friends on the loss of such a wonderful artistic lady.
Yvonne BrunerChicago, IL