Burl Leon “Lefty” Mead passed away at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at the Miami Nursing Center.

Burl was born Feb. 4, 1918, in Durant, Okla., to Levi Landers Mead and Bessie B. Shelton Mead. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Miami and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and the American Legion.

He married Melba Dillard in Idabel, Okla., on Aug. 28, 1944. She survives.

He joined the CCC Camp in 1936. He worked for Dierks Lumber and Coal company in Wright City, Okla., from 1937 to 1942. He pitched baseball for their advertising team until he entered the military during World War II. He worked for B.F. Goodrich for 34 years and retired in 1980.

He was drafted into the Army on Dec. 4, 1942. He served with the 624th Medical Clearing Company, attached to the 3rd Army until Feb. 17, 1946. He retired from the Army Reserves as a master sergeant in 1950.

His passion was baseball. He spent many hours working with Babe Ruth teams and Little League teams teaching young boys the fundamentals of pitching. Many boys from the surrounding area learned to pitch baseball in his backyard.

Survivors include two sons, Ron Mead and his wife Sue and DeWayne Mead and his wife Karen, all of Miami; one grandson, Myk Mead and his wife Sherry, of Miami; two granddaughters, Shelly Mead-Gaught and husband Robert of Columbia, Mo., and JoDee Liptak and husband Arturo of Bixby, Okla.; one great-grandson, Mykal Dalton Mead of Miami; two great-granddaughters, Felicia and Veronica Liptak of Bixby, Okla; two sisters, Bernice Sweeney of Calera, Okla., and Anita Herrell of Ada, Okla.; one sister-in-law, Gerry Mead of Calif., four stepgrandchildren and nine stepgreat-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and four sisters.

Private services will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in care of the funeral home.

Paid Obituary