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A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Leta McCollough Cleland, 99 of Chico, California, will be held on January 10, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 667 E. 1st Avenue in Chico. Leta passed away on November 7, 2009. She was born on September 15, 1910 in Chicora, Pennsylvania to John L. McCollough and Florence Smith McCollough.

Leta graduated from Chicora High School and went on to graduate with a B.A. in English and a teaching credential from Thiel College in Greenville, PA. She was a very fashionable and independent young woman, and had a passion for literature and bird watching. In 1943 Leta married William Floyd Cleland and took time off from teaching to raise her family and help her husband run their dairy farm. She taught elementary school for 25 years in Pennsylvania, Arizona and at Hooker Oak Elementary in Chico. Leta enjoyed reading, bridge, swimming and interesting conversations. She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Prime Timers, Friends of the Library, National Education Association and California Teachers Association.

Leta is survived by her beloved family: daughter, Carol Cleland of Lafayette, CO; two sons, Donald Cleland of Aptos, CA and William Cleland of Orland, CA; five grandchildren, Elspeth Wilson, Jennifer Ramirez, Sarah Hammack, James Cleland and Jason Cleland; four great-grandchildren; and many dear friends and relatives. Leta's husband, William Cleland, preceded her in death in 1974.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers may be given to Faith Lutheran Church in memory of Leta for the Kagitumba Parish in Rwanda, Africa.

Arrangements are under the direction of Affordable Mortuary. Send condolences online at www.affordablemortuary.net.

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Nov. 10, 2009
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