Leanorah Bryant Huddleston Harding Hendry was born April 26, 1923, and passed away on May 10, 2013 in Spring, Texas. She was born in Stanton, Martin County, Texas to David Albert Bryant and Eva Lee McMurray Bryant, the middle daughter of five girls born to the couple. The family moved to Sweetwater in 1933, and she graduated from Newman High School there in 1941. Leanorah married Willie Noel (Bill) Huddleston July, 5, 1941 in Sweetwater, with two children born of this union. Bill died March 24, 1969 in San Angelo, Texas, where the couple had lived since 1948. She married State Representative Forrest A. Harding November 30, 1970 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He died April 21, 1985. She then married Lloyd Hendry July 23, 1988, onboard the S.S Constitution in Honolulu, Hawaii. He passed away September 4, 2011 in San Angelo.
Survivors are her son, Michael Noel Huddleston of Spring, Texas, his wife JoLynne, and their two children, daughter Jennifer Green and her husband Kalen, and children, Sara and Jackson, and Jason Huddleston. Her parents, all four sisters and their husbands, and her daughter, Karen Kay Huddleston, predeceased her. Leanorah was so proud of her children. She never got over the death of her precious Karen (Bunny) in 2002. When they were children, she made their home a loving, happy home to which everyone loved to come. She was always there for Mike & Bunny, and her sisters were very special to her.
Leanorah was very active in civic affairs during the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, acting as chairman of various drives and organizations during that time. She was presented a Life Membership in Texas Parents and Teachers Association for her statewide work in that organization. She spoke at several seminars and installed officers at almost every school in San Angelo. She served as President of the John H. Reagan PTA and served as Secretary and President of the City Council of Parents and Teachers, and as Life Membership Chairman for District 6. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Legislative Ladies Club, American Business Women Association, Terpsichorean Dance Club, La Paloma Dance Club, Lawyers Wives Club, Concho Valley Archeological Society, Concho Valley Corvette Club, San Angelo Dinner Club, Premier Lifestyles, The Symphony Guild, and the River Club. She was active in Thousand Trails Resort Club, the Rolling Rotarians, the V8 Ford Club, National Antique Car Club, Wool Capital Region Antique Car Club, Concho Valley Republican Women, and participated in the Ms. Senior San Angelo Pageant in 1991. Leanorah worked at West Texas Utilities for 10 years. She also did a lot of modeling in San Angelo and Austin.
Politics became an important part of Leanorah's life, meeting six Presidents, Prime Ministers, Cabinet members, Generals, and two Miss Americas, and she was kissed by three Governors.
On the first anniversary of Rep. Harding's death, April 21, 1986, this gracious lady presented Angelo State University with electronic carillon bells in honor of his memory. Leanorah and Lloyd were patrons of the Celebration Bridge, purchasing two benches near the Rotary water feature, one as a memoriam to Lloyd's mother, Ida Hendry, and one for them. They traveled extensively, with their premier trip taking the Concord to England, then taking the Orient Express to Bath, riding the express train under the English Channel to France, and coming home on the Queen Elizabeth II. Lloyd honored her by presenting her with a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship while he was President of San Angelo Rotary Club.
Leanorah's faith was an inspiration to all who knew her. God's wondrous nature was her Temple, and love and service her creed. Her beautiful smile lit up every room into which she ever walked.
A graveside service and interment will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., Austin, Texas 78702.
In celebration of her life and inspiration to so many, here is a poem written for Leanorah by her son, Mike, on a recent Birthday:
An Ode to My Mom
I cannot imagine a better Mom than you.
You're always there for me when I'm depressed and blue.
All organ recitals and each band performance,
Your proud smile was there in every audience.
You and me, we've shared loss: Dad, Forrest, and KK.
But we help each other, good and bad, come what may.
The courage you have shown to lovingly support
Sisters, parents, and friends through woes of every sort
Has my admiration and ultimate respect.
I've watched as you attacked causes to great effect.
You put a smile on the face of all the folks you meet.
Those fortunate to know you think you're really neat.
So thank you for being the greatest Mom of all.
I will always love you.
From your loving son,