Lenora Mae Tatum 1923-2019 passed away peacefully Sunday February 3, just short of her 96th birthday.
Lenora Mae Black was born February 13, 1923 in Paris, Arkansas to the late William (Alvin) and Myrtle Black. The family moved to Oklahoma and then to California during the depression. They lived in several places in California and finally settled in Chowchilla.
Lenora met her husband Truman Tatum there and they married in August 1939. They lived in Chowchilla where all four of their children were born, until 1955 when they moved north to the Ukiah area. While she was a stay at home mom most of the time she did work the pear and grape harvests in late summer to earn money for back to school clothes. And in Chowchilla she worked in the cotton fields both chopping and picking it.
She had married at 16 and never graduated high school so in 1963 after her daughter Charlotte graduated she attended high school. She went during the day with the kids for 3 years then finished up in night school. In 1967 she graduated from Ukiah High School. She then worked for a local bank for a couple of years. She then decided to be a foster parent. Over the years she fostered several children, but it became too difficult to have to give back the children, especially the babies. Later on she attended Mendocino Community College where she received an associates degree. Then she became a tax preparer; first with H&R Block then on her own. She did taxes for several years but retired when Truman retired. He wanted to spend the winters in the desert and so they did for several years with family and friends.
They stayed in the Ukiah area until after Truman retired and then they moved to Oakhurst, then Merced, then Chowchilla. After her husband died in 1996 she moved to McKinleyville where her son Mark lived. In 2005 she moved near Atlanta, GA Where 2 of her granddaughters lived. She lived there until 2012 when she moved back to Merced.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Truman Tatum, 4 brothers, 2 sisters, son Mark Tatum, daughter Charlotte Dorman (John), and three of her grandchildren.
She is survived by her son Darryl Tatum ( Charlie) of Sacramento, CA, daughter Jane Johnsen (Keith) of Columbus,OH, daughter-in-law Sally Tatum (Mark) of Eureka, CA, 10 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and 13 great great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews
Lenora was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for most of her life. She loved genealogy and has done a great amount of research on her family tree. She enjoyed deer hunting and went most years with Truman. As a matter of fact she holds the family record for the largest buck, a massive 6 point mule deer. She loved her family and loved spending time with them.
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