Marie Athalea Littlefield Strickland


Marie Athalea "Lee" Littlefield Strickland was born on 12/16/20 in Fletcher, Oklahoma, to Elmo and Annabelle Littlefield. In 1938 she graduated Fletcher High as a National Honor Student, then went on to receive an Associate's Degree from Cameron College in Lawton before enrolling at Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha.
On 4/4/42 she married William "Bill" Strickland, Jr., and together they traveled with the Army across the country, returning to Oklahoma when Bill was discharged and began attending OU. During the Korean war, Bill's reserve unit was called up for duty, so she stayed behind with the children for a year until he returned safely. Years later, Lee attended OU herself, receiving a BS in Education in 1962 at the age of 41, a rarity then.
Of all the things she did, Lee was most proud of her teaching career. She taught Home Economics at Central Junior High until 1973, then transferred to Whittier Middle School, where she earned Norman's Teacher of the Year in 1975. That same year she began writing textbooks for OU's Independent Study Department and updating the Child Development and Nutrition editions up until 2005.
After teaching, Lee worked as a realtor, before fully retiring to travel and hike. For several years she also partnered with her best friend Jean Trousdale to build, decorate, and donate beautiful, detailed dollhouses to the Christmas Store of Cleveland County.
Lee eventually joined the Highpointer's Club, teaming up with Bill and Jean to volunteer with many aspects of the organization. At the age of 73 she fell and broke her hip, and was worried that her hiking days were over. However, she went on to reach a total of 32 highpoints in the US, most after the injury. Her 98 years were full of more life, adventure, and joy than can fit here.
Lee is survived by her youngest sister, Ann Coleman; two children, James Strickland and Susan Kathleen Milner; four grandchildren, Kevin Milner, Athalea Bradley, Kellie Kirkpatrick, and Hillary Budreau; and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, older brother Lloyd Littlefield, sister Lurland Raibourn, Bill Strickland, beloved husband of 70 years, and JeanTrousdale, best friend of over 30 years.
Memorial services will be held later in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Christmas Store of Cleveland County.
Published on December 29, 2018
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