NORMAN — James Leroy Mohon was born May 22, 1927, in Council Hill, the eldest child of Jesse Leonard and Lois Adeline (Holt) Mohon. He died Nov. 10, 2013, and his family, friends and church community feel the loss of this strong, yet exceptionally gentle man.
He leaves a loving family: his wife, Dr. Barbara J. Holtzclaw; a daughter, Greta Louise Mohon and a son Gordon Christopher Mohon (wife Lynnette); and grandchildren, Christina, Madelyn, Mackenzie and Lyndsee, all of Norman.
Jim grew up with loving parents in a farming community with a strong faith connection, and his two siblings, Doris Jean Pruitt (husband Archie) and Thomas Earl (wife Lavada), who still remember their older brother as a protector, mentor and role model. They remained close throughout life and as adults, their families managed to spend Christmases and reunions together at their mother’s Council Hill home site until her death in 1995.
Jim is also survived by Barbara’s children from a previous marriage, Pamela Holtzclaw Williams (husband Bryan), Mark R. Holtzclaw, Eric R. Holtzclaw (wife Kumiko), Kris R. Holtzclaw (wife Leslie) and Kurt R. Holtzclaw (wife Jitty); by nieces and nephews, Kathy Pruitt Jennings, Lizabeth Pruitt Kreller, Michael Mohon, Gerald Mohon and Richard Mohon; and Barbara’s grandchildren, Wesley Williams, Jeffery Williams, Julie Holtzclaw Fletcher (husband James), Avery Fletcher, Jennifer Holtzclaw, Daniel Holtzclaw; Brandon Holtzclaw and Kristin Holtzclaw.
Jim served in the U.S. Army and after his service, he earned a B.A. in history and later an MPA from University of Oklahoma. He lived in Norman during a 30-year career in management and systems analysis with the Air Force Logistics Command.
He was married in 1953 to Roberta Bosley, the mother of his children, until her death in 1971. When he met Barbara Holtzclaw in 1975, a love story began that has endured 37 years. They married in 1976 and embarked on the experience of sharing a family of seven teenagers with optimism and good humor. Jim was supportive of Barbara’s educational pursuits as an OU College of Nursing professor, keeping a home in Norman with creative commuting schedules when Barbara’s academic assignments were in Philadelphia, Nashville, Tenn. and San Antonio.
Retirement from federal service in 1984 allowed Jim full time attention to his passion: genealogy. He was a member of the Cleveland County Genealogical Society, the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Sons of the American Revolution and the National Genealogical Society.
Research at the National Archives in Philadelphia, and exploration in Tennessee, led him to publish a book on a family branch, Lamb and Allied Families of the Sequatchie Valley that gained the National Genealogical Society’s 1997 Award of Excellence. While searching other Mohon links, he met another Mohon family from the same Kentucky region as his own ancestors.
After attending several of their annual Kentucky reunions, the possibility of links to Jim’s family led him to search their ancestry. This was the basis of his second book, published in 2001, John Mohon of Lunenburg County and his Descendants. While this research was unable to reveal a direct connection between the two families, Jim considered the book a labor of love; published in hopes of providing Mohon descendants and collateral families with possible missing links.
Jim’s family has been a member of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church since its early years. As church historian for at least a decade, he helped write a brief church history for a major church anniversary celebration.
A memorial service will take place 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Stephen’s UMC, 1801 W. Brooks St. (N.W. corner of Brooks and McGee) in Norman. Suggested memorial gift sites: The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), online at lbda.org (or mailed to 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W. Lilburn, GA 30047); or the Cleveland County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6176, Norman, OK 73070.
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