Helen LaVonne (McCollum) Halliburton

The following is from a letter sent to Jeff Riley at OK History by McAlester Fortnightly [mcafortnightly@gmail.com]

Dear Jeff,

The life of Helen LaVonne (McCollum) Halliburton was celebrated during her funeral service October 18, 2016 in McAlester Oklahoma. As stated in the attached memorial, her daughters presented LaVonne’s GFWC President Quilt to GFWC McAlester Fortnightly to be donated to the Oklahoma History Center in memory of LaVonne’s life of selfless service to her community and state.

Photo of LaVonne presiding during the October 2-4, 1987 South Central Region meeting held in Tulsa, OK, along with Alice Clark Donahue, GFWC International incoming President as Keynote Speaker.

Published in GFWC.org NEWS & NOTES January, 2015: “In Memorium: Alice Clark Donahue It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of Alice C. Donahue (1988-1990), 37th international president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, on December 18, 2014. During her administration, Alice promoted GFWC’s Centennial celebration and held the organization’s first video teleconference. Planning for the future was a major administration priority, and during her term GFWC published the Strategic Membership Plan. Her administration theme was “A Past to Remember-A Future to Mold.” Our thoughts go out to Alice’s friends and family.”

Apache Study Club Quilt Block signed by Mary Joyce Swanda, Kathryn Gallagher and Carol Crews.

Beth McClain lovingly holds this quilt accepting for GFWC McAlester Fortnightly. Beth is a current and 64 year member of the Homemakers Department, 1986-1988 past president of GFWC McAlester Fortnightly.

Seeing Red

The following article was sent in by GFWC McAlester Fortnightly.

The Heart Truth® educational session for women celebrated with the centerpiece of The Heart Truth as The Red Dress®, “Go Red Day” for women’s heart health awareness is a success.

This National Wear Red Day® celebration is a biennial event, which is organized by GFWC McAlester Fortnightly. Proceeds benefit American Heart Association of Tulsa, OK, which provides informational brochures and Red Dress Pins for this event. Proceeds also benefit Club scholarship and leadership development programs.

Our attached program includes Salad Luncheon, Physician Education, Style Show from 8 local dress shops and many Door Prizes donated from our community.

Dr. Jinok Chung, Cardiologist with Oklahoma Heart Physicians, narrated a powerpoint presentation explaining women’s heart health with statistics stating women tend to be busy and don’t take time for their own health.

Full article and photo page available in March 5, 2017 edition of MCALESTER NEWS CAPITAL

Wear Red Article March 5, 2017

Margaret Fields, Director Casual Gourmet Dept. and Ellen Wilson, Board Treasurer, greet and register participants.

GFWC OK members l-r: Kay Grumbine Scholarship Chairwoman, State President Miriam Costilow, guest Anne Mathiews, members Neva Mitchell & Judy Goodyear, GFWC OK Past President Rita Sanders, & member Kathy McGilberry create salad plates.

Michelle Priddle, GFWC McAlester Fortnightly Board Secretary, presents her chocolate, strawberry cheesecake celebrating GFWC’s involvement with The Heart Truth® sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

GFWC OK Past President Rita Sanders, models one outfit from the 24 shown during the Style Show

SE District

Images from the Convention

The Women of the SE District at the Convention
The Women of the SE District at the Convention
Miriam Presents to Nancy LaVal the letter and certificate from GFWC Headquarters for 90+ years
Miriam Presents to Nancy LaVal (President of Heavener GFWC) the letter and certificate from GFWC Headquarters for 90+ years
Sheri Jeter Presents on Mothers' InterSE 100+ Years
Sheri Jeter Presents on Mothers’ InterSE 100+ Years
Sheri Jeter Presents on Mothers' InterSE 100+ Years -- wearing her Mother's GFWC Outfit in honor of the celebration.
Sheri Jeter Presents on Mothers’ InterSE 100+ Years — wearing her Mother’s GFWC Outfit in honor of the celebration.
Miriam Presents to Metra Christofferson the letter and certificate from GFWC Headquarters for 100+ years
Miriam Presents to Metra Christofferson (President of Mothers’ InterSE GFWC) the letter and certificate from GFWC Headquarters for 100+ years
SE District Convention Donations to Foster Care
SE District Convention Donations to Foster Care
SE District Convention Donations to Foster Care
SE District Convention Donations to Foster Care

La Vonne Halliburton, cont’d

Our thanks to McAlester Fortnightly for forwarding the condolence letter to us as well.

From: “Sheila Shea”
Date: Oct 17, 2016 2:23 PM
Subject: RE: LaVonne Halliburton GFWC OK Past State President
To: “mcafortnightly@gmail.com”
Cc: “Rosemary Thomas” , “costilow4423@sbcglobal.net”

Dear Members of the GFWC McAlester Fortnightly Club,

We at GFWC are saddened by the news of the loss of Helen LaVonne Halliburton and extend our condolences to you, her family, and GFWC Oklahoma. Thanks for letting us know of her passing.

Forever Living the Volunteer Spirit Through GFWC,


SHEILA E. SHEA | International President
General Federation of Women’s Clubs | 1734 N Street NW | Washington, DC 20036-2990
P: 202-347-3168 ext. 119 | Toll Free: 800-443-GFWC | F: 202-835-0246
GFWC—Dedicated to Community Improvement by Enhancing the Lives of Others through Volunteer Service

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.

2016-2018 National GFWC Membership New/ SW Region

This is the information that has come from the South Central membership Chairman Penny Peterson.

Hi Everyone!
It was so great to be able to spend time with many of you this past weekend! I hope you all had a safe trip home. My luggage made the trip safely, too!

I have attached a copy of the October GFWC Membership News. THANK YOU so much for sharing it with the members in your state. As always, if you have any ideas or suggestions , you may wish to share, please let me know. I have attached a copy of the script the GFWC Membership Committee members have been using at the region conferences, if you wish to use any part of it in your communiqué to your members.

In federation friendship,

PENNY W. PETERSON |2016-2018 GFWC Membership Committee Member
2641 E. Lupine Avenue | Phoenix, Arizona 85028-1825
P: 602-971-2874 | C: 602-791-1745 | E: penny.peterson@cox.net