Joe Allan Leone, a life-long educator and resident of Midwest City, Oklahoma passed away peacefully on July 13, 2020 at the age of 87.
Joe is preceded in death by his mother and father, Elizabeth and Joe Leone; three children, LaDonna Kay, Stephen Alan, and Mikele Joe; brother, Kenneth Leone and sister, Dorothy Leone. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Bette Leone; sisters, Doris Rufenacht and Mary Noll; his daughter, Gina Leone-Nelson; his grandchildren, Kirstin Muse, Mara Davis and Derek Nelson; and his great-grandchildren, Kruze Muse, Aleksi Muse, Zara Davis and Israel Nelson. Joe was born in Hen
Joe was born in Henryetta, Oklahoma on May 25, 1933 to Elizabeth Leona and Joe Leone. Joe started his educational journey by attending elementary school all the way through high school in the Coalgate public school system. He then enrolled at East Central University in Ada and worked at Dicus Grocery where he first met his lifelong wife and best friend, Bette. Joe put his education on hold to join the US Navy in 1951 before returning to marry Bette and graduate from ECU with his Bachelor’s degree in 1955. He went on to gain a Master’s Degree from ECU and earned Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in Higher Education Administration.
Joe accomplished many things in his professional life including coaching basketball at Coalgate High School, being the State Department Guidance and Counselor Director, being the President of Rose State College, becoming Vice Chancellor Oklahoma State Regents, and sitting as the Chancellor of Oklahoma State Regents for the Higher Education System.
Joe was an accomplished man, but he was a humble man as well. Many of his accomplishments were unknown to most of his family because he never talked about himself. He was always more concerned with how he could help others. His main focus was on helping his family, friends, and the people he came in contact with. Joe helped out, employed, and educated people without number in his life. He was a thankful and kind man who always spoke positively about others no matter the circumstance.
He made sure to do what was right in every situation no matter the personal, financial, or reputational losses he would incur from doing the right thing. He never gave up on anybody in his life no matter how down and out they may have been. As his wife Bette often said, “Joe is good as gold”. Joe lived out the example of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with his life and he is now home and at peace. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family and all who knew him. Joe’s legacy will live on through his family and the people whose lives he touched.
A funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church on 1107 Felix PL, Midwest, City, OK 73110. Father Wood officiated.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations/gifts be made to the Rose State College Foundation, supporting the Stephen and Mikele Leone Scholarship fund at https://www.rose.edu/nav/alumni-foundation/rsc-foundation/ways-to-give/