James Leon Chittum, 76, of Abilene, Texas, peacefully passed away in his home on April 19, 2023.
Visitation will be from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Friday, April 21 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. Funeral services will be held at 10:00am Saturday, April 22 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park.
Leon was born in Abilene to Gabriel Jeremiah Chittum and Sadie Laverne Whitehurst on July 19, 1946, and went to school in Hawley before eventually moving to Abilene. Among his many professions, he was an owner and machinist of Ashworth Machine, part owner of Chittum Auto Sales, owner of a Texaco gas station, and, in his early years, a truck driver for Independent Grocers. However, of all his trade skills, his true career passion was buying and selling just about anything, including his newly restored 1964 Chevy Biscayne. Few things gave him greater pleasure than making a deal and turning a profit, especially if it involved a Cushman scooter. His ability to negotiate was a true gift and something in which he took great pride.
Additionally, Leon loved company and rarely sat still. He was either on the move or on the phone with few lulls in-between. His one-of-a-kind personality had a saying for most every situation (some sayings more colorful than others) and never minded offering unsolicited advice (“This is how I would do it”). But, most importantly, he adored his family and beloved dog Lucy. He truly cherished every single moment with each of them and always wished you “would just stay a little longer.”
Leon was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Judy Ann Morgan Chittum, brothers Roger Chittum and Jerry Paul O’Bar, sister Mary Laverne O’Bar, and grandson Kyle Valentine. He is survived by daughter Stephanie Taylor, her husband Ikie Taylor, daughter Melissa Valentine, her husband Vic Valentine, daughter Kandal Steenbock, her husband Martin Steenbock, stepson Blane Barnes, his wife Linda Barnes, stepdaughter Whitnee Tibbets and her fiancé Aaron Page. He is also survived by his brother Maxey Chittum, his wife Janet Chittum, sister Joyce O’Bar, her husband Don O’Bar, brother Mark O’Bar and his wife Nita O’Bar. Leon had 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren including Morgan Cleveland and son Vynn, M’Leigh Cleveland, Mattie Tibbets, Tate Tibbets, Kristen Terry and husband Aaron Terry with sons Abbott and Bowen, Brandt Taylor and wife Brenda Taylor, Cole Taylor, Sydne Valentine, Emma and Lua Valentine, Joshua Barnes, and Juden Barnes.
Pallbearers will be Jayden Tibbets, Josh Ames, Kirk Whitehurst, Casey Chittum, Grant Chittum, and Cole Chittum.
Memorials may be given to Reach for a Difference, the Big Country organization for autism.
Finally, the family would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who have cared for Leon over the years.