Leland Basil Womack, Jr. of Rolla passed away Monday, May 1, 2023. Leland was born in 1928 in Houston, MO to Ethel D. and Leland B. Womack, Sr.
He grew up in Houston and loved riding his horse Patches, playing the piano, and singing in the choir. When he was old enough, he drove his grandfather, a physician, to his house calls in the countryside.
After graduating from Houston High School in 1946 he enrolled in Central Methodist College. He graduated with a B.A. in Biology in 1950 and was drafted into the army to serve in the Korean War the same year. In 1953 Leland came home and attended Mizzou and Southwest Missouri State College to obtain a teaching certificate. In 1955 he began teaching Biology at Rolla High School. He eventually obtained his Masters in Education from Lincoln University in Jefferson City in 1969. In 1971 he left the classroom to accept a position as the Administrative Assistant/Curriculum under Superintendent Dr. John Roam. He returned to the classroom in 1977 to teach Science at Rolla Middle School. Leland retired in 1983 after a 28-year career in education.
During his professional career he also raised three children with his wife Dawna Lee Womack, also a teacher – Garth, Neal, and Liene. They had a farm south of Rolla where Leland used conservation techniques to manage his forest. His farm was registered as a National Tree Farm as a result. He always had a large vegetable garden and loved taking care of the flowers and garden. In retirement, he helped with landscaping projects around Rolla through the Master Gardener program for 15 years. He cared for the garden at the Presbyterian Manor where he also served on the board for many years. Leland taught Biology to nursing students at Park College/RTT and trained Hospice volunteers for seven years. He was active in the Methodist Church through singing in the choir and working on the grounds. Leland loved singing in barbershop quartets and going to concerts.
There never really was a retirement from teaching for Leland. You could not go anywhere in Rolla without running into a former student or the children of one of his students, all greeting him and thanking him, always addressing him as Mr.
Womack. His greatest frustration late in life was that he was unable to contribute to his community as he had always loved doing.
Growing up in Houston, Leland was always greeted as junior. He never appreciated being called L.B. Womack, Jr.. On his 94th birthday he informed family members that on the day he left for college, his father told him that he should not be referred to as junior anymore. Mr. Womack passed away one month after his 95th birthday, as no man’s junior.
Leland desired no funeral. If interested, donations can go to the Presbyterian Manor in Rolla, Missouri.