Thomas "Leon" Sherrer passed away March 28th, 2014 in Durant, OK at the age of 94. Born February 6, 1920 in Snow, Oklahoma to Robert Lavell and Delanie Isabella (Robison) Sherrer, Leon grew up on a small farm with six brothers and three sisters.
The one room school he attended until the eighth grade had only one teacher- Leon's oldest brother. After the eighth grade he attended Antlers High School where he graduated in 1939. Upon graduation from high school, Leon spent 18 months in the Civilian Conservation Corp. He worked as a carpenter at Camp Maxey in Paris, Texas, an air base in Dodge City, Kansas, and then in the San Francisco Bay area for four years during World War II doing ship repair and defense work.
On May 6, 1948 Sherrer's Restaurant opened. Leon and his brother Lloyd built the facility themselves and operated it together until Lloyd's untimely death in 1965. During his18 years of service to the state of Oklahoma, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Oklahoma School Land Commission, Deputy Director and eventually Director of Training & Education for the Oklahoma Civil Defense Agency.
Leon continued to operate the restaurant throughout his tenure with the State and beyond, working and serving the community up to his last moments. Always civically minded, Leon served two terms on the Durant City Council in the 1960's and fulfilled the role of Mayor during that time. Leon was proud to serve his third consecutive term as councilman for the City of Durant since 2003 and was affectionately known as "the Eldest City Councilman in the State of Oklahoma."
Over the years, Leon served on the Oklahoma State Small Business Council, the SODA Board, and was a Life Member of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association of which he had been a Director for the last 39 years. A member since 1950, Leon was an active participant at the First Baptist of Durant. He so enjoyed the company of the Adult 3 Sunday School Class; he seldom missed a social gathering.
Leon and Verta (Bussell) began their life together in 1949 working side by side. They had two children, Sherry Ann and Danny Lynn; three grandchildren, Dawn Hogue, Aaron Sherrer, and Lauren Sherrer; and three great-grandchildren, Macy Hogue, Kyle Hogue, and Emma Sherrer. Leon's smile and optimistic attitude were instrumental in guiding his family and will be greatly missed.
Leon was preceded in death by his wife, Verta Bussell Sherrer; his parents, Robert and Delanie Sherrer; brothers, Leonard Franklin Sherrer, Robert Lloyd Sherrer, Archie Lavell (A.L.) Sherrer, Bennett Lee Sherrer, and Murray Laverne Sherrer; sisters, Audrey May Sherrer Holland and Wilma Delanie Sherrer Franks; and daughter Sherry Ann Sherrer Harmon. Leon is survived by his son, Danny Lynn Sherrer and wife Sarah of Durant, OK; his grandchildren, Dawn Hogue and her husband Russell of McKinney, TX, Aaron Sherrer and his wife Mellissa of Durant, OK, and Lauren Evelyn Sherrer of Durant, OK; great-grandchildren, Macy and Kyle Hogue of McKinney, TX and Emma Ainsley Sherrer of Durant, OK; his brother, William Loyce (Barney) Sherrer and wife Valda of Mena, AR; his sister, Daisy Loretta Sherrer Westbrook and husband David of Garland, TX and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Family hour will be from 7-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home in Durant, Oklahoma. A service celebrating his life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at the First Baptist Church in Durant with Bro. James Robinson officiating.
Interment will follow at the Antlers City Cemetery in Antlers, Oklahoma. Serving as pallbearers will be Paul Buntz, Jim Cunningham, Curtis Kitchens, Tommy Kramer, Jerry Polson, and Bart Rustin. Honorary pallbearers include Dick Bogard, Bill Garner, D. Sam Goodwin, H.K. Jones, Pat Powers, Willie Starnes and Alfred Wheeler.
Family and friends may send online condolences and view tributes at www.holmescoffeymurray.com. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Leon's honor to the First Baptist Church of Durant. Services are under the direction of Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home, Durant, Oklahoma.