Agnes Gaffney Leachman Bittman


Agnes Bittman
Agnes Gaffney Leachman Bittman

Agnes Gaffney Leachman was born November 19, 1930, in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Claude Eugene and Eliza Catherine Gaffney Leachman.  Her grandfather, Dr. Thaddeus Condit Leachman of Woodward, Oklahoma, was the presiding physician. Agnes met her Lord and Savior on Monday, September 12, 2022.

She grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was graduated from Stillwater High School, and she also attended The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, and was the Class Vice-President.  She was graduated from The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, with a BFA in Drama degree and had been awarded the highest honor in the School of Drama, the Buffalo Mask Award.  While at O.U., Miss Leachman was named BWOC (Big Woman on Campus) both her Junior and Senior years.  She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity and served as the Secretary and as Social Chairman.  She was one of the finalists for Miss O.U. Freshman and was named the Girl of the Golden Heart of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

After graduation, she became the Assistant Manager of the Leachman-Video Theatres in Stillwater where she had worked from the time, she was in the 8th grade.  She accepted a position as Admissions Counselor for Lindenwood College in St. Charles, MO, prior to her marriage.

Agnes married Richard Hayes Bittman of Perry, Oklahoma in 1954.  The couple celebrated over 60 sixty years of marriage.

Mrs. Bittman was active in many community organizations serving as the President of Amarillo Little Theatre, the President of the Amarillo Council of Camp Fire Girls from which she received the Luther Halsey Gulick Award (highest award given to a volunteer), was a member of the Junior League of Amarillo, Republican Women and was the Decorations Chairperson for the Symphony Ball.  She was in the casts of several ALT productions playing opposite Don Ameche and Robert Horton.

Mrs. Bittman always was active in her church, First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, where she served as Superintendent and taught Sunday School.  She continued her church service in Odessa as a Sunday School teacher, in Chattanooga where she was on Lay Staff, in Roswell, where she and her husband were charter members of Northminster Presbyterian and at Peachtree Presbyterian in Atlanta, GA.  It was at PPC where she was ordained and installed as an Elder.  Upon returning to Amarillo, the Bittmans became members of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Agnes was elected an Elder serving Evangelism, Building and Grounds, and Worship committees.  She was Moderator of Worship.  She also taught kindergarten Sunday School classes and was on the Worship Team of members who held services at Bivins Memorial Nursing Home once a month.  In 2009, Agnes was honored with the Woman of Faith award at WPC. In 2011, she was awarded the Bivins B Award. (Lifetime achievement award given in recognition of a special contribution of a volunteer.)

Agnes is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Claudia and Malcolm Shelton and Claire and Matthew Davis, all of Amarillo, TX.    Her grandchildren, Luke Shelton and his wife, Stephanie, Kirk Shelton, all of Fort Worth, TX, Liza Rowlan and her husband, Andrew, and Jackson Davis, of Amarillo, TX.    Her great-grandchildren, Walker and Stella Shelton of Fort Worth, TX, and Hunter, Hayes, and Heath Rowlan of Amarillo, TX.  Her sister, Claudette G. Leachman Landess of Amarillo.  Her nephew Craig Landess and his wife Eleisha of Dallas, TX, and her niece Amy Juba and husband, Bob of Amarillo, TX, and many nephews and nieces.

*The family wishes to thank the Sycamore Nursing home and their staff and BSA Hospice for their encouragement, care, and love for our mother.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Amarillo Little Theatre, or to the charity of their choice.

A private family memorial honoring the lives of Agnes and her husband, Richard Bittman will be set for a later date.   Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

5 Replies to “Agnes Gaffney Leachman Bittman”

  1. Claudia, I’m so deeply sorry your mom has passed however, happy she is back with your daddy. I’ve enjoyed reading the many, many, accomplishments she had, and I was aware of many . She was a great women and know it will be difficult for you not having her. Be proud of the great life she had. Love you and your family.

  2. I lived across the street from the Bittman’s an Teckla. Agnes and I enjoyed many times together. A beautiful obituary for her.

  3. Claudia and Claire – What a beautiful obituary for your talented, beautiful, hard-working and exuberant mother. She used the gifts God gave her to the fullest. It has been a long road and you have walked by her side every step, ministering to her with love and concern.
    I rejoice with you in the knowledge that she has entered her heavenly home and she is renewed and restored.

  4. Dear Claudia and Claire,
    Your mom was a lady in every sense of the word. She was a woman of great faith, great talent, and had a servant’s heart. Her kindness was beyond reproach. My granddaddy always told me to leave this world a better place than it was when you got here. She most certainly did that. She will be sorely missed.
    I’m so very sorry for your loss and I love you both.

  5. Jeff and I met Agnes when she joined Westminster Church after their stint in Georgia.. she was a dynamo in serving our church. She organized the worship services for Bivins Nursing Home. She organized singers and musicians, teachers and volunteers so those who could not go to church to worship had a time of worship. She was loved. She let her light (love of Christ) shine. You are missed Agnes.

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