June 12, 2019 — Alva Jean (“AJ” or “Jean”) McLeod 92, went to be with her Lord and Savior the morning of Friday, April 26, 2019 at Spruce Point Assisted Living Facility, her home for the last five years.
She is interred at Pacific Sunset Cemetery next to her husband, Donald, who preceded her in 2010.
Born in Olustee, Okla., on Dec. 26, 1926, to Thomas Bascom and Mary Maud Lafferty, she was the second-youngest of seven children. Within five years, the family migrated west to Texas before permanently settling in Los Banos, Calif., where Thomas and his two sons engaged in the carpentry trade.
Upon graduating high school, Alva Jean enrolled in Glad Tidings Bible College in San Francisco.
It was while there that she met her longtime friend Mary Lou Feltmar with whom she shared many adventures and maintained close contact over the years.
Mary Lou currently resides in Plano Texas. In 1948, they both earned diplomas for completing the college’s three year course.
Plans for ministry involvement were placed on hold when her mother was no longer able to care for herself. Alva returned to Los Banos to aid her younger sister Wilma (still in high school) in caring for their mother. During this time she went to work for Wells Fargo Bank,
In 1963, she married Donald McLeod, a forestry firefighter who worked at the local Gustine station. Two years later, they brought their son (and only child) Byron into the world.
They remained in California for the majority of the next three decades, living in the northern California Redwoods and later in the Sacramento area. Following her retirement from Bank of America in 1991, she and Don moved to Florence. This fulfilled a dream which began some 15 years prior when they visited the town during a summer vacation.
Known for her strong faith in God and love for people, AJ was always a part of a community church. While in Florence, she was involved with Crossroad Assemblies of God as a regular attendee, hosting small groups and teaching Sunday School.
Alva Jean loved to bake and was an excellent cook — to the benefit of many. Reading and gardening were two other areas she passionately pursued.
While at Spruce Point, AJ made many new friends. She also enjoyed the variety of musical guests and bingo nights.
The highlight of her week was attending church with faithful friends, usually sharing lunch afterwards.
A celebration of life service will be held for Alva Jean on Saturday, June 22, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Crossroad Assemblies of God in Florence.
Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.