Retired county treasurer passes away

Leck, 67, worked 28 years in treasurer’s office

Canadian County elected officials celebrate Carolyn Leck’s 28 years of service during her June 2022 retirement reception: from left, District 2 Commissioner David Anderson, Assessor Matt Wehmuller, Court Clerk Marie Hirst, then-District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart (now a state senator), Leck; former Treasurer David Radcliff; and new Treasurer Jay Arnold. (Photo by Randy K. Anderson)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Retired Canadian County Treasurer Carolyn Leck, who worked 28 years for the county, passed away Aug. 10 after a long illness. She was 67.
Leck, of El Reno, served 11 years as Canadian County’s elected treasurer. She succeeded David Radcliff, who retired in 2011.

Carolyn Leck

“Carolyn and I were ‘teammates’ when it came to a fight – when it came to what we stood for when we presented our budgets to the commissioners,” Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst said. “She always valued her employees as her greatest asset, like I do.”

Hirst acknowledged that she and Leck “didn’t always see eye to eye,” but Hirst frequently sought Leck’s advice because of her seniority, experience and knowledge.

“We’ve been friends since I went to work for the county, and that’s been 27 years ago,” Hirst added. “There wasn’t anything Carolyn wouldn’t do for a friend or for an employee. I always admired her tenacity. If she believed that something was right, she was going to stick with it to the end.”

Canadian County’s court clerk described Leck as a fighter.
“Carolyn left this world on her own terms,” Hirst said. “She really did. I only hope that I can measure up to the impact that she had on Canadian County.”

Citing health reasons, Leck stepped down from her elected office one year before her third, four-year term was due to expire. Jay Arnold succeeded her July 1, 2022 when he was sworn in as Canadian County treasurer.

“Carolyn was one-of-a-kind, for sure,” Arnold said. “And you always knew where you stood with her.

“She was real, down-to-earth, and she would definitely tell you what she thought.”


Leck came to the Canadian County Treasurer’s Office in 1994, having worked since 1985 at Citizens National Bank.

District 18 State Sen. Jack Stewart (R-Yukon) served three terms with Leck when he was Canadian County’s District 3 commissioner. They campaigned together for re-election in 2014 and 2018.

“Carolyn had a wealth of knowledge in the banking industry, working with David Radcliff who recruited her to work for the Treasurer’s Office,” Stewart said. “She was great for Canadian County – so knowledgeable about banking principles, auditing requirements and investment practices.

“Carolyn would defend her positions and was a woman of strong convictions, bringing it all together for the good of Canadian County citizens. We will miss her as a friend, former county elected official and public servant.”

Both Stewart and former Treasurer Radcliff joined other county officials to attend Leck’s retirement reception in late June 2022.

“It’s been an incredible honor to serve the citizens of Canadian County and to have the great fortune of working with such incredible, dedicated and hard-working people,” Leck said upon leaving office.

“It’s been a heck of a ride, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson enjoyed working with Leck for more than a decade.

“She was outspoken, and you always knew where she stood!” the District 2 county commissioner said.

Canadian County Commissioners in spring 2022 appointed Arnold to serve the final 12 months of Leck’s unexpired term.

He began his first full, four-year term this July 1 after not drawing an opponent in the election for county treasurer.

Starting his government career in 2003, Arnold worked 15 years at the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office before moving to the financial division of the County Clerk’s Office.

“I had reached out to Carolyn back in 2019 about wanting to run (for treasurer) whenever she retired,” Arnold shared. “She was very supportive and wanted me to get in the office so she could show me as much as she could leading up to that time.”

After Leck’s second deputy retired, Arnold joined the Treasurer’s Office in September 2020.

“Carolyn helped me prepare to become treasurer,” he added. “She was very supportive, and we had lots of long conversations about the ins and outs of the office. She made herself available to me anytime I would have a question.

“I always valued my time with Carolyn, and she’s left a legacy in the office and the county as a whole.”

A memorial service for Carolyn Leck will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 at the El Reno Cemetery pavilion.