Leita Diveley, 94, a longtime resident of Coffeyville, Kan., died on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Journey Home Hospice in Bartlesville, OK.
Leita Marie DeCow was born April 21, 1927, in her childhood home north of Chetopa near Labette Creek, to her parents, Oliver and Denzel Nadine (Grant) DeCow. She attended Columbus schools for the majority of her education. Her family moved to Baxter Springs, and she graduated from Baxter Springs High School in 1944.
After high school Leita attended NEO in Miami for two years and returned to Baxter Springs to work in the office of a local chiropractor.
She and her parents attended the Baxter Springs First Baptist Church where she met her husband, Dick Diveley. They were married July 18, 1948, in Baxter Springs. After they were married, they moved to Dodge City for three years where Dick was employed.
Around 1950 Dick and Leita moved to Coffeyville where Dick was an electric lineman. In 1951, their son, Randy Stephen was born, and in 1955, their second son Richard Kent, was born.
During the boy’s childhood, Leita stayed home to raise the children. When they were through sixth grade she started working at Royal Cleaners as a cashier. She subsequently held jobs at Coopers Greenhouse, Jolly Kids, and HW Reeds Department Store before wrapping up her career with 15 years with First National Bank where she retired in 1985.
Leita and Dick lived in the same home on East Third in Coffeyville since 1953. They were heavily involved with the Coffeyville Red Ravens Booster Club and Quarterback Club and have had countless friends, family members, and Red Ravens in their home. They were also active members of the First Baptist Church in Coffeyville.
She started volunteer work at the hospital when the boys were young and continued that work her entire life. She received her 50-year pin for her service with the Red Cross, and also worked with the Salvation Army for over 50 years. Her life was filled with many activities and organizations associated with the First Baptist Women as well.
In the summer of 1984, Dick was involved in a boiler explosion at Coffeyville Light and Power, which left him with considerable burn damage across his body. In 1993 he was diagnosed with cancer before he died in 1994. Leita was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 which was treated. In 2007, her son Randy died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
Leita is survived by her youngest son, Kent and his wife Kim, of Ponca City, Okla.; grandchildren Landon and Jenny Diveley of Tulsa, Okla., Logan and Sara Diveley of Bartlesville, Okla., Laecen and Josh Seese of Lima, Ohio, Laurin and James Sharp of Dewey, Okla., Reba and Jeremy Southworth of Ponca City, Okla., Dalton Diveley of Enid, Okla., and Macom Diveley of Ponca City, Okla.; as well as 10 great-grandchildren, Trent and Ethan Diveley, Wyatt and Emmett Diveley, Nicholas and Addison Seese, Maverick and Malachi Sharp, Atheya and Marin Southworth.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 1pm at the Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Ave., Coffeyville, Kansas. Graveside inurnment will follow at the Oswego Cemetery where she will be laid to rest by her husband. Memorial donations may be made payable to the Coffeyville Community College Foundation/Dick Diveley Scholarship, First Baptist Church of Coffeyville, or the American Red Cross in her memory. To leave an online message of condolence or to share a memory visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com