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Jerol's Story

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Jarol LeGate, 81, longtime Claremore resident, retired teacher and community leader, died Friday, March 31, 2017. She was the widow of Richard LeGate, who died just seven months ago on Sept. 26.
Final rites will be 11 a.m., Monday, April 10, at First Presbyterian Church, where she has been an elder, under direction of MMS Payne Funeral Service. The family will greet visitors at the Funeral Home 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 9.
Born Jan. 20, 1936 in Oklahoma City, the daughter of Geraldine Ellen Fruin and Ralph Glenn Buchner, she grew up in the Central Oklahoma corridor of Stillwater, Guthrie and Coyle and graduated from Stillwater High in 1954.
She attended Cottey College; a PEO Sisterhood sponsored college in Nevada, Mo., and graduated from Oklahoma State University. She served as president of the Stillwater OSU Alumni group. She married Richard LeGate of Claremore June 24, 1961, after being introduced by a Claremore sorority sister.
She taught school in Denver, and in San Diego, where her husband was stationed as a Navy helicopter pilot.
She taught in Tulsa and later in Claremore, where she was able to share her great love of geography. She was Claremore Teacher of the Year in 1996.
Although she was proud of her Central Oklahoma roots, she quickly fell in love with Claremore. When the opportunity came for employment elsewhere, it was Mrs. LeGate who insisted on staying in Claremore.
She often said she was born to be a Presbyterian, attend Cottey and be a Democrat.
She was Miss Democrat at OSU and hosted Harry Truman on his trip to the campus. She attended three Democrat party national conventions and was at the controversial 1968 convention in Chicago.
She was a longtime leader in Rogers County, District and State Democrat party organizations until changing her politics in favor of a loved family friend and neighbor Scott Walton.
She was Vacation Church School Director and chairman of Circle III at the Presbyterian Church, Jr. Ocieleta and PEO President, Community Theater and Symphony board member and charter member of the Claremore Hospital Auxiliary.
Survivors are her daughters, Jane LeGate and her husband, Bruce Clarke, and their children Cole, Carson and Jamie Clarke and Jamie's wife, Katie, and a great-granddaughter, Lila; Linda Richter and her husband, Darrin, and grandsons, Trevor and Robby Richter. Also surviving is a brother, Jay Beltz of San Diego, and brother in-law Steve LeGate, and his wife, Kim, of Tulsa.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Claremore Public Schools Foundation or the charity of your choice.
View and Sign Jarol's online tribute at mmsfuneralhomes.com
Published on April 6, 2017
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