Norma Leatha Barcellos, 86, of Hawthorne passed away on April 9, 2020 at Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks, Nevada after a lengthy illness.
Leatha was born on July 27, 1933 in Allen, Oklahoma to Johnnie and Nellie Payne. Leatha moved to Hawthorne, NV in 1947 when her father came to work for Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) Hawthorne. Leatha was very active at Mineral County High School. She was a cheerleader, played basketball and her proudest accomplishment was being Valedictorian of the MCHS Class of 1951. While in high school, she met the love of her life, Frank Barcellos. Leatha and Frank married after high school on June 20, 1951. Leatha and Frank were married for 68 years at the time of her death.
Leatha began her career at NAD Hawthorne in June 1951, in the secretarial pool as a Clerk-Typist. After much training and a few job changes, Leatha landed in the Chief, Programs and Budgeting Division. When Leatha retired she was the Budget Officer and Comptroller for the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant. Leatha achieved a GSA 12-Step 10 rank, which at that time was the highest rank achieved, particularly for a woman. At her retirement, Leatha was presented the highest award for a Civil Service employee by the Department of Defense.
Leatha was an active member of the Business and Professional Women (BPW) as well as the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), including being the local and State President. Leatha was an instrumental member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Horizons Credit Union, serving as Chairman for several years. Leatha was also a very active member of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, twice receiving the medal for Outstanding Christian Service.
Leatha is survived by her husband, Frank of Hawthorne, and brother John D. Payne, of Richland, WA. Her son Frank Alan (Anna) Barcellos of Salem, OR, daughters Becky Tanner of Lebanon, OR and Karen (Vern) Watson of Hawthorne. Leatha is also survived by her grandchildren Keri (Jared) Bates, Kevin Barcellos, Courtney (Doug) Bell, Erin Jackson, Ashley (Spencer) Schrupp, Andrea (Rick) Templeton, Jennifer Tanner, Patrick (Sarah) Watson and Sean (Noelle) Watson and 18 great-grandchildren along with several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Leatha is preceded in death by her parents, sister Doris Gayle Jones, twin brother Norman Keith Payne, brother James Carlin Payne and son-in-law Ray Tanner. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic requirement of 10 persons at a gathering, a graveside service with the family was held at 11 a.m. on April 16, 2020 at the Hawthorne Cemetery with a Celebration of Life to be held at a future date.