La Vonne Halliburton, Past State President

Our thanks to McAlester Fortnightly for forwarding the following obituary to us.

Helen La Vonne (McCollum) Halliburton, 86, of McAlester, died Friday, October 14, 2016 at her residence.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at Bishop Chapel of Memories officiated by Rev. J.T. Carnell and Janet (Halliburton) Roloff. Interment will be at Blanco Cemetery. Service arrangements are under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service.
La Vonne was born to Walter Bruce and Ellen Lorene (McCully) McCollum on February 17, 1930 in Enid. She was raised in Enid and graduated from Enid High School.
She attended Oklahoma State University where she met Rudia Halliburton, and they were married on February 14, 1949 in Enid. She finished her undergraduate degree at Phillips University. La Vonne received a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma. She worked as substitute teacher, an in-home traveling teacher, taught high school English at Tahlequah, and retired from Wagoner High School.
La Vonne was a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and had served as State President. After retiring, she and Rudia moved to McAlester and she served as pastor’s wife for many years of the Hartshorne First Christian Church. They were also long-time members of the First Christian Church of McAlester.
She is survived by her daughters: Judith Colburn and husband, Charles of Tahlequah, Janet Roloff of McAlester; grandchildren: Carrie Colburn of Tahlequah, James Eric Colburn and wife, Brynn of Bella Vista, Arkansas, Robert Roloff of Edmond; and great-grandchildren: Gavin Colburn of Bella Vista, Arkansas, Ethan Roloff of Edmond, Jaxon Roloff of Edmond, Hanna Hart of Bella Vista, Arkansas.
She was preceded in death by her parents: Walter and Ellen McCollum; her husband: Rudia Halliburton on May 22, 2016; brother: Marion Bruce McCollum; and a grandson: Bonn Myner.
Special thanks to her caregivers: Caroline Davis and Paula Simmons of Hospice of McAlester and her many friends who visited her in her last days.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of McAlester, 801 East Wyandotte, McAlester, OK 74501

The first two sections are excerpts from “History of General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Oklahoma” published with copyright 1996.
Photo P21, text P26:

“Mrs. Rudia Halliburton Tahlequah – 1986-1988
Helen LaVonne Halliburton, the daughter of Walter Bruce McCollum and Ellen Lurene McCully McCollum, was born February 17, 1930, she has one brother Marion Bruce McCollum. She graduated from Enid Public Schools in 1948 and attended Oklahoma A & M College where she met and married Rudia Halliburton. They have two daughters, Janet Diane, attorney for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and Judith Elaine Colburn, teacher and mother of one daughter, Carrie Elaine, and one son, James Eric.
LaVonne graduated from Northeastern State University with a B.A. and a Masters of Education. She retired in 1992 after 31 years as a high school teacher.
LaVonne is a member of the Friends in Council Study Club in Tahlequah, where she served in all offices and also in all offices in Sixth District, having been President 1978-1980. After her term as GFWC-OK President, she was appointed in 1990-1992 as GFWC Education Chairman.
She chose as the theme for her State President administration “Know the beauty of the eye, the aye and the I.” She hoped that club members of the state would appreciate the wonders that they could see, the usefulness of saying “yes” to the work at hand, and the greatness that is within themselves.
During her tenure as GFWC Education Chairman, she presented workshops in several states, planned projects and provided literature for the clubwomen to use in their projects pertaining to education in their respective states. She planned and implemented informative workshops for the international conventions. Adult non-readers who became readers were featured participants. They told their stories so that others might feel that they, too, could learn to read as adults.”


“The GFWC Friends in Council Club of Tahlequah was organized in November 1932, by Mrs. W.S. (Felicia) Paden and federated in January 1933 with eight members. Mrs. H.M. Metzler was the first president.
GFWC Friends in Council Club has participated in many GFWC projects, as well as community projects such as CARE, Bluie Lawrence scholarship, GFWC-OK Education Fund, local libraries, planting dogwood trees in Kaufman Park, landscaping at historic Thompson House and city park, and financial support of many local and national charities.
At the International GFWC convention in Tulsa in 1989, Callie Stinson, blind since birth and a long-time member of GFWC Friends in Council Club, spoke to a breakfast meeting on the subject, “Words”.
In 1992, GFWC Friends in Council Club cooperated with other groups to observe “Tahlequah Indian Territory Days.” “Fair-on-the-Square Day” the Council sold barbeque rabbit legs and rabbit stew, for re-living the days before statehood. Through the years GFWC Friends in Council Club has run the gamut in programs from Oklahoma Indians, Fallout Shelters, Medical News in Biochemistry, Recreation in the islands with an Island Feast, “Grusse aus Deutschland”, ERA, CPR, whatever was up to date and in the news at the time. LaVonne Halliburton is now president of this club.”

Helen LaVonne McCollum married Rudia Halliburton, Jr. on February 14, 1949 in Enid. LaVonne served as GFWC-OK State President 1986-1988 while a member of GFWC Friends in Council Study Club in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Rudia retired from Northeastern Oklahoma State University at Tahlequah in 1991. LaVonne retired teaching in 1992 and they moved to their Ranch near Savanna, Oklahoma. Lavonne joined GFWC McAlester Fortnightly Civics Department in September, 1992. She then joined the Homemakers Department in September 1996 and held dual membership in the Ceramic & Crafts Department beginning in 1998 through 2016. LaVonne served as GFWC McAlester Fortnightly President during 1998-2000. During her presidency, LaVonne prepared this volunteer club for their upcoming 100 year anniversary in 2004 by organizing the historical scrapbooks and club minutes.

LaVonne expressed her love for mankind which made her a perfect pastor’s wife at the Hartshorne First Christian Church for fourteen years. LaVonne was a member of the Savanna Senior Citizens.

LaVonne will be remembered for her great leadership skills, loving smile and demeanor along with her endless energy and unique projects.

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