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Lela Jane Gettes

Funeral service for Lela Jane Gettes will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2019 at First Baptist East with Rev. Doug Passmore, Pastor officiating.

Burial will follow in Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma under the direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.

The family will greet friends Wednesday evening, May 8, 2019 from 6pm until 8pm at the funeral home.

Lela Jane Gettes, Lawton passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Lawton. She was born to Lewis and Volina (Aikins) Baker on September 29, 1934 in Idabel, Oklahoma. She was raised in Clarksville, Texas, but several years later moved to Lawton, Oklahoma with her father. At a young age, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at New Zion Baptist Church under Reverend N.H. Jones. During her young adulthood, she attended Union Baptist Church with her father and later transferred to Galilee Missionary Baptist Church under Reverend L. K. Jones. Lela was educated in the Lawton, Oklahoma school system attending Dunbar elementary school and Douglas High School. Following graduation from high school, she married Leroy Lee, Sr and to that union five children were born; Ronald Dean Lee, Janice Voletta Lee, Leroy Lee, Jr, Lewis Eugene Lee, and John A.W. Lee. She lived in Nashville, Tennessee working for the school system and at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Soon thereafter, she relocated back to Lawton where she enrolled in the Practical Nursing program at Great Plains Vocational School. She graduated with her LPN certification in 1968. Over a 22-year nursing career, Lela served as president of the Oklahoma LPN association and active member of the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. She was employed at the Old Southwestern Hospital, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, McMahon Tomlinson Nursing Home, Joseph’s Nursing Home, and private duty nursing services. Following her LPN certification, Lela applied to Cameron University’s Registered Nursing program. She encountered numerous obstacles because of impending social injustice. Her legal case along with others was presented to the Oklahoma State Supreme Court and was overturned. That outcome would allow her entrance into the program, but she chose an alternative career path. On April 20, 1972, she married Lincoln Gettes in Henrietta, Texas, and to that union one child was born Larmeta Renee Gettes. Thereafter, their church membership was transferred to First Baptist East, where she supported both youth and leadership programs. Lela was always a focused, education-driven person, and that quality motivated her to enroll in the Sociology program at Cameron University. In 1983, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree. She began a new career working for the State of Oklahoma at Jim Taliaferro Community Mental Health Center for 18 years. Lela cared deeply for the citizens of the community and was a strong advocate for mental health reform. In 1990, she was presented a citation by Governor Henry Bellmon for her outstanding service to the State of Oklahoma. Following her retirement, Lela enjoyed cross-country traveling with her family, social gatherings with her Taliaferro retirees “Golden Girls Club”, Red Hat Society, and supporting her grand-children in their extra-curricular activities. Lela was a strong, God-fearing woman who taught and inspired her children to love the Lord and always respect their fellow man. She never met a stranger and always greeted a person with her beautiful smile. One of her favorite biblical passages was Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Cherishing her memory include three sisters; Larmeter Baker-Bivins, Philadelphia, Shirley Reed, (Rudolph), Colorado Springs; Sarah Sparks (Robert), Albequerque, one brother, Odell Gunter, Sr. (Lawton); three sons Leroy Jr (Fort Worth), Lewis (Vickye Beasley-Lee) Wichita, Kansas, and John (Claireeta), Lawton; one daughter of the home Larmeta Renee, Lawton. Five grand-children Kasi Lee Aska, Megale O. Lee, Jacqueline ‘Sade’ Lee, Cory Dean Lee, and John A.W. Lee II. Numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; Lewis and Volina Baker, husband Lincoln Gettes, daughter Janice V. Lee, son Ronald D. Lee, grandsons Antonio Lee, Andrew Lee, granddaughter Tashikka Lee, and sister Snowie Lewis.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to First Baptist East “Building for His Glory” fund 3302 SE Lee Blvd, Lawton, OK 73501 or Hearts that Care Health Clinic 304 SW “A” Avenue, Lawton OK 73501.

An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at

The Lawton Constitution

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