Lelon T. McLouth, SR

11/03/1913 — 11/23/2008

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Leloa, Oregon

Lelon T. McLouth, SR

The soul of LELON LEE McLOUTH, SR., is rejoicing in Eternity as of Sunday morning, 23 November 2008. Last month, Lee celebrated his 95th birthday. He was born on 3 October 1913-the day the United States first initiated a Federal Income tax. His birthplace no longer exists in Lela, Oregon, a town outside Salem, but his original name, Lelan, came from that town. Lee was the youngest of 6 children born to Gus and Katie McLouth. He attended school in Echo, Oregon through the 8th grade before quitting to help his family earn a living with their horses and mule-teams. He continued working for 79 more years until the age of 92, holding many types of jobs including school bus driver, watermelon truck driver, security guard, sheep herder, feedlot worker, farm hand, railroad worker, cowboy, janitor, recycler, Safeway courtesy clerk, and Jefferson Elementary School crossing guard-his all-time favorite. He especially enjoyed working for Bob Frazier of Walla Walla and Frank Trent of Richland.

Above all, Lee loved Jesus as his Savior and Lord of his life. He also loved animals of all kinds, especially dogs and horses. His favorite TV program was Lawrence Welk, and he loved listening to western and gospel music. The Spudnut Shop was his favorite spot to hang out, where he was automatically served his favorite glazed spudnut and black coffee, which he said always made him feel good. Years ago early one Saturday morning when there were no available tables, he was invited to join another family. That became a weekly ritual, and even when he was no longer able to come to the restaurant, Jerry and Gayla Calvert visited Lee every Saturday morning, bringing him a spudnut and coffee.

With apprehension in 1999, Lee prepared to take his first plane ride after being nominated to receive a special recognition award in Washington DC. The principal at Jefferson Elementary School nominated him for the honor of being named Washington State's Outstanding Older Worker. He was among 49 other winners from every state selected to go to Washington DC for an awards ceremony. He loved to tell the story about his trip-drinking his first glass of wine on an empty stomach at the banquet thinking it was punch, meeting congressional, how a policeman rescued him late at night from an unsafe part of DC, and how his good FBI friend Chris Coble personally showed him the U.S. Treasury Department and around the DC area. Lee realized he really liked to fly, so the plane flight home was a breeze. That's no surprise since his favorite hymn was "I'll Fly Away."

At the Richland Rite-Aid corner at the busy intersection of Van Giesen and George Washington Way where Lee used to wait for school children, there's a wooden bench whose yellow sign has since disappeared that used to say "THANK YOU LELON McLOUTH FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN". Many people still refer to that place as Lelon's Corner. Drivers passing by the Jefferson School may not have known his name, but they would honk and wave, and recognize him as the always-faithful crossing guard with the eagle-eye vision, taking children by the hand, safely crossing the street with them. Each year on the last day of school before Christmas break, he would wear a Santa Claus outfit and give candy to all the children. During his years as crossing guard, he has crossed 2 generations of families.

{em-}On 20 May 1993, an unknown friend left a note in an envelope addressed to "Cross Guard." It read "There have been many days when I've been rushing somewhere and had the privilege to slow down or stop where you are the cross-guard. Many times as I sat there waiting for the light to change, I have watched you walk a group of children across the street. Today was like most days, except when I watched you I saw you as a very special gift to those children. You are so careful to watch for their safety; you appear so kind and gentle, and you usually hold one lucky child's hand who I suspect raced his or her friends to the corner to win that honor. Today you were a gift to me as well. I actually thought you looked like a living Normal Rockwell painting! I wanted to let you know that if I feel that way then others must feel the same blessings I do. I thought in case no one has told you lately, Thank You for being such a good role model for the children as well as all the adults who see you every day. You are truly a gift to our community. Sincerely, A Friend" Another stranger even honored him with a poem she wrote about him, even though she never met him.

After moving from his own apartment, and no longer able to drive his pickup, his last 3 years were spent at Richland Gardens Assisted Living, which he soon came to realize was a wonderful place to live because all the staff were so kind to him.

He attended Richland Assembly of God Church as well as Temple Baptist Church, making many friends from both congregations. Lee always loved visitors, and he was blessed by the faithful visits made by Assembly's Senior Pastor Mel Veland.

Lee was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, and his 5 sisters and brothers, Hazel Putnam Longhorn, Gladys Hooker, and Albert, Wesley, and Robert McLouth. He is survived by Joan Bouvier of Pasco-the mother of his 2 sons, Lelon, Jr., of Kennewick, and Brian of Spokane. He leaves 2 grandsons Brandon and Taylor and many, many other family members and friends.

A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 26th at Einan's Funeral Home at the corner of Swift Blvd and Hwy 240 915 By-Pass Highway. It was Lee's wish to be cremated, so there will be a brief graveside service after the memorial service to bury his remains next to his wife at Sunset Memorial Gardens Einan's.

Aware of Lelon's efforts in recycling, Washington State University Tri-Cities where he worked as janitor until 1992 when it was under the University of Washington as the Tri-Cities University Center set up the Lelon McLouth Environmental Scholarship in his honor in 2006 to be presented for environmental awards. Instead of sending flowers for the memorial service, please honor Lelon's memory with a gift of love and remembrance to the WSU scholarship fund. Make checks payable to "WSU Tri-Cities" and identify "LELON McLOUTH SCHOLARSHIP FUND" on the check.

WSU Tri-Cities

ATTN: Development Dept 2710 University Drive

Richland WA 99354

The family wishes to express its deepest appreciation to the staff at Kadlec Hospital, Richland Gardens, Tri-Cities Chaplaincy and Hospice, and to Leslie Canyon Adult Family Home for their special efforts to care for and comfort Lelon.

"And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us 'not guilty,' filled us with Christ's goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His Glory." - Romans 8:30

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Lelon T. McLouth, SR

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  • Dad I love and miss you so much. I will never forget the many good memories I have. I used to enjoy going to dinner every friday with you and visiting. I can’t stop thinking about you every minute of the day and night. I am at peace knowing you are with the lord and are no longer in pain. I love and miss you so much dad.

    Lelon McLouth jr.
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, US
  • Dad; I love you and miss you so much. I remember riding on the combine with you when I was young; like it was yesterday. I know you will be riding down the road with me across the country driving that dang truck. LOVE YOU DAD, Brian

    brian mclouth
    November 4, 2014
    spokane, WA, US
  • Lee and I Worked together for some where near 10 years.

    Lee was a man of honor and strength. He worked with kids for a lot of his life, Driving the school bus, and caring for the kids on his beat at the cross walks.

    He treated them as his own kids.

    When lee did not feel well his sons would come and help out with his work. He Did not want his work not completed. HE was above the best, and will be missed by all that knew him. I am sure he has a place with the man above.

    I will miss him very much, Frank Trent.

    Frank Frent
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, 99352, WA, USA
  • We are so saddened to hear of the passing of a sweet, gentle man. Lelon had a heart big enough for the world, and strength strong enough to give love to every child and person that crossed his path. I will remember him from my teaching days at Jefferson, and later as a Safeway customer. As we stayed in touch over the years, I felt as if he were my personal guardian angel. What a wonderful man. He will be missed, but eternaly remembered by so many. God bless you Lelon.

    Lindsay and John Dale
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • We had the honor and the pleasure to know your father and we were very sorry to hear about his passing away. With deepest sympathy,

    family Doutlik

    Dajana Covel
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • I have so many warm memories of Lelon. I first met Lelon years ago when I was a regular Safeway customer. I always went through his checkout stand so we could visit and he always insisted on helping me out to my car. He invited me to lunch and we have been good friends since then. Lelon touched so many hearts. I will always remember the love and friendship he showed to me and all who knew him. Lelon is an inspiration and I will miss him greatly.

    Patti Ammonet
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Lee, I will always remember your dad from my elementary school days. Even though she was only in 4th-6th grade at the time, I swear my little sister had a crush on the sweet older gentleman who would hold her hand while she crossed the street.

    I hope that you will find peace and comfort as you reflect and go through this hard time of loss.

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you,

    Shara
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Dear Lelon,Brian and Family,

    We were sad to hear of Lee’s death. We know he will be deeply missed by you and all of his many friends. He was a kind man and good to my mother, Evelyn. Larry and I enjoyed the times we had with him. We enjoyed driving with him in the farm country where he use to work near the Snake river. We enjoyed his stories about driving a combine on the rolling hills in that area. He was very proud of the experience. We drove Lee to Pendleton Oregon to see Hazel just before she passed away. We were amazed that she could remember all of us so clearly at her age. Lee talked a lot during the trip about his many experiences with sheep herding and farming in that area. Please let us know if there is anthing we can do for you. God Bless you.

    Sincerely,

    Joni and Larry

    Joni and Larry Olsen
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • I remember Uncle Lelon from the time I was very small, he brought a load of watermelons to Chewelah and stayed with us a night. Uncle Lelon climbed in the back of his truck and tossed each of us kids a nice ripe one. I will always remember his kind heart, generosity and stories. One of my favorite pictures is of Uncle Lelon holding me. He will be greatly missed and his memory charished. God bless you. Carolyn

    Carolyn Dixon
    November 4, 2014
    Springdale, WA, US
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