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     Wilbur Charles Leverett, age 94, of Lamar, passed away Sunday, August 8, 2010, at Truman Healthcare Center.


     Wilbur was born July 8, 1916, in Galena, Missouri, to Charley and Mary Ann (Lundy) Leverett.  The Leveretts were a musical family and Wilbur and his younger brother, Homer, mastered the ukulele, banjo, fiddle and guitar at an early age.  Calling themselves “The Original Ozark Hillbillies” they first performed in 1930 at the Gilloiz Theater in Springfield and the original Branson Theater, beginning a career that would span four decades.  In 1933, they moved to Lamar, and in 1934 switched from theater stages to churches.  As musical evangelists, they performed in nearly all 50 states and Canada.  They made and sold many records, the last one in 1970 when they were on the Hee Haw television show.  They were favorite performers of the famous Missouri artist, Thomas Hart Benton, who painted their portrait which still hangs in the Whitney Museum in New York City.  When Homer’s health began to deteriorate in 1970, the brothers gave up their long career on the road and retired to Lamar. 


    Survivors include his son, Ralph C. Leverett, Jackson, Tennessee; a granddaughter, Heather Leverett, Nashville, Tennessee; and a grandson, Daniel Leverett, also of Nashville.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Charley & Mary Ann Leverett, and his brother, Homer Leverett.


     A graveside funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 10th at Lake Cemetery with Rev. Larry Garfield officiating.




#7 Long Beach, CAWesley Sullivan 2010-08-14 18:24
Ralph, Have lost track of you. Sorry to hear that your father has gone to his reward. I have great memories of both Homer and Wilbur, and of course, you. The last time I saw them was when I was in seminary and went to Lamar. I saw a "letter to the editor" you wrote to the Hearld of Holiness several years ago. Contact me and let's update.
#6 Lamar, Mo.Melody Metzger 2010-08-10 13:30
I will always have wonderful memories of seeing Wilbur when we would go up and see Poppy (Mr. Guy). They were quite the "roomies". I knew him before the nursing home, but really didn't get to know him well until he was there, and I will always, always treasure that special time of my life. Thank you for letting us be a part of his family.
#5 IANTHATERRI LOCKE BRAKER 2010-08-10 10:56
#4 Lamar, MissouriConnie Geren Voigt 2010-08-10 08:54
Dear Ralph,

So sorry to hear about your father's passing. My mother said to please tell you her prayers are with you. She and my dad loved your dad and Homer. They were friends from childhood, and grew up only a few miles apart. They knew each other before dad began preaching and before your dad and Homer left the stage and sang only in churches. Their sound was beautiful.
#3 Overland Park, KSMichelle Patton Magee 2010-08-09 20:44
Sorry to hear about your father's passing. You and your family will be in my prayers.
#2 Lamar, Mo.Gerald and Arline Shaver 2010-08-09 18:38
So sorry to hear of Wilbur's passing. He will be missed. Loved his musical abilities, He was a very special man.May he Rest in Peace. Prayers for the family in their time of grief.
#1 Lamar, MOBrenda Loveall Caruthers 2010-08-09 16:39
To the Leverett family. I'm sorry for your loss. I grew up in the Nazarene Church in Lamar and I remember Homer and Wilbur singing at our church. I enjoyed them very much and I am so glad to have known them.

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