Ima "Jean" Lea Lang 96, born to Inez & O.O. Carter of Ardmore, Oklahoma on Oct. 7th 1923.
As a child Jean picked cotton until the age of 6 when she contracted tuberculosis. By the age of 7 she had recovered but soon after the dust bowl hit Oklahoma and the family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she eventually met her future husband and father of her children, Clayton Lea. As the US became embroiled in World War II they moved west to Santa Maria, California stopping briefly in Las Vegas to get married a week before he shipped out. While Clayton was overseas Jean worked for the Army Air Corps as a photographer, she attended college studying business during this time as well. After Clayton return home from the war she followed him to a life on the pipeline for the El Paso Natural Gas company. His work involved moving frequently from camp to camp. They started their family and raised their children in these camps, which provided a great community and environment to be a kid. The last of these camps was also their longest residence, Leupp Arizona. Jean was Chickasaw but lived most of her life on the Navajo reservation gaining a great affinity for the peoples there which is shared by her daughter.
After Clayton's death, She followed her daughter to Coeur d' Alene in 1980. She work as a dental asst. and office manager for both Dr. Fulwiler's, also as office manager for Merger Mines until her retirement. She remarried to Charles Lang, eventually being widowed a second time. She became a prolific oil painter in her 60's, which she excelled at until she was physically unable to continue in her later years. She also loved camping throughout her entire life, her favorite place being the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. She enjoyed fishing, even in her 90's she would go to Round lake camping and fishing with her daughter and son in law.
She was preceded in death by Clayton Lea and her last husband Charles Lang, her Grandson Cyrus Derosier and her parents. Jean is survived by her daughter Doña Lea-Johnson and her husband Bradford Johnson of Post Falls, Grandson Joseph Scozzari and his wife Jodie of Hayden, Great-Grandchildren Sheena Ellars and her husband Jon of Coeur d' Alene, Connor Scozzari and his partner Lily Misquez of Spokane Valley, Hayley Wilson adopted grand-daughter and Jean's care provider. Jean is also survived by her son, Ronald Lea of Oklahoma.
Internment will be in Santa Maria in the spring next to the love of her life Clayton. She lived a long full life, witnessing much first hand, both the joyous and trying times of family and the world. She had many stories of how things where and how they are now having witness such great changes in the world over nearly a full century.
Her pain is now over, Godspeed onwards mother.
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