Dr. Leo Meece, 69-year-old retired Woodward Physician, died Saturday February 5, 2000. Funeral services will be held at 2 p. m. Wednesday in the First Baptist Church with Dr. Russell Duck officiating. Burial will be in the Elmwood Cemetery under the direction of Billings Funeral Home.
Leo Meece was born on February 25, 1930 in Grandfield, Oklahoma. He was the son of James Franklin and Martha Janie (Hail) Meece. Leo attended school at a country school, Victory #6 in Tillman County where he graduated in 1948. He was active in football, basketball, and baseball and was Salutatorian of his Senior Class. Leo attended Southwestern State University on a football scholarship, but after his freshman year due to his commitment to Pharmacy, he let his scholarship go because of the conflict with his Pharmacy Labs. While at Southwestern he participated in varsity football, basketball, and track. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the O Club, Class President, and Student Council Vice President. He was a member of Alpha Nu, Beta Beta Beta an (Honorary Biology Fraternity), and Alpha Phi Sigma, an (Honorary Scholarship Fraternity). He was also a member of Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities as a Junior. Leo received the Freshman Chemistry Award and the Merck Award for the Top Pharmacy Senior. He interrupted his education on May 31, 1951 with a four year enlistment in the United States Air Force. During his first year he was allowed to return to Southwestern on Temporary Duty to complete his degrees in Chemistry and Biology. The was when he became engaged to Jerry Joyce Self. They were married on May 30, 1953 in the First Baptist Church of Sentinel, Oklahoma. They returned to Langley Air Force Base where he served his remaining two years. In 1955, Leo returned to Southwestern to complete his degree in Pharmacy, graduating in 1952, Magna Cum Laude.
In September of 1956 he enrolled in the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. He served as President of his Junior Class and as Vice President of the Student Council. At the end of his junior year he was elected to membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Dr. Meece graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in May of 1960. He completed his internship at St. Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma City, where he also completed a one year of surgical residence. In 1962, he moved his family to Laverne to enter a partnership practice with Dr. Donald Karns. He remained there until February of 1969, when he moved to Woodward. For a period of time during the oil boom there were only four practicing physicians in Woodward. The office hours were whatever was required to meet the patient load. There were many evenings when the Doctors were making hospital rounds at 7:00 in the evening and then went home to their family. From the time he moved to Woodward Dr. Meece served the athletic department as an unofficial school physician. From 1969 until 1993, the time of his initial cancer diagnosis he had not missed a home football game. When his daughters, Leah and Cheryl were playing basketball, half the team called him Pa-pa Leo, not often to his face, but a lot to his daughters. When Dr. Alan Braly moved to Woodward he joined Leo on the sidelines and after. They worked together for fourteen years as colleagues and friends.
Dr. Meece was a member of the Woodward School Board for eight years having served as president during construction of the current Woodward High School. Leo served the hospital as Chief of Staff and served on numerous committees. He was an active member of the Lions Club, and was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He served the Oklahoma State Medical Association as a Delegate to the State Convention for several years. He served as a Director of the State Association and on the medical P. R. O. review board. Leo served as President of the Northwest Counties Medical Association and was a member of the American Medical Association. He was Board Certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
When Dr. Meece discontinued his OB work a few years before his retirement, he was delivering the babies of babies he had delivered twenty years earlier. Leo was an avid sportsman, playing basketball, tennis, and golf. He always had a hunting dog and during quail season was out hunting as much as possible.
Leo was an active member of the First Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife Jerry of the home; three daughters, Deborah Fletcher and husband Doug of Salt Lake City, Utah; Leah Barby and husband Brad of Woodward; Cheryl Neal and husband Charles of Georgetown, Texas; six grandchildren, Robert Gordon Fletcher, Lauren Marie Fletcher, Ryan Guy Barby, Jennifer Ann Barby, Tyler Wade Neal, and Zachary Meece Neal; one sister, Mary Bertie Fletcher of Atlanta, Georgia; two sisters-in-law, Grace Meece of Weatherford; Ruby Meece of Gainesville, Texas; many nieces and nephews and wonderful friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Franklin and Martha Janie Meece and three brothers, Clarence, Edward and his wife Jo, and Clifford.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Radiation Cancer Treatment Fund for Woodward Patients with the funeral home acting as custodian.
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