Leah Gail Everhart, 60, of Fayetteville, NC. passed away on May 23, 2019.
Leah was born in Clovis, New Mexico September 16, 1958. From there her father’s service in the US Air Force had the family relocate to West Germany, Texas and Arkansas where she graduated a Benton Panther in 1976. She was married by age 19 and had her only child, Carissa, in 1979.
Leah’s education expanded at Westark Community College in Fort Smith before moving to Stillwater, OK and completing her BS in Mechanical Engineering. She then went on to earn a MS in Mechanical Engineering in 1989, both from Oklahoma State University. Leah received honors from Phi Kappa Phi (academics), Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical engineering), Golden Key (academic), and Mortar Board, Inc. (national service).
She found rewarding employment and 11 years of growth at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Columbia, MD. There Leah collaborated on multiple projects earning recognition for her contributions and awards for her outstanding achievements. Her area of expertise led her to positions in Tucson, AZ, Los Angeles, CA, Albuquerque, NM and Cleveland, OH. She spent a combined total of 25 years utilizing progressive engineering experience in research and industry, including those that supported programs for the Dept. of Defense, Dept of Energy and NASA. Although much of her work was classified, The Cassini Project, mission to Saturn, was one of the successful projects that she was able share with her family.
In 2013 she moved to Fayetteville, NC and went into business with her younger brother creating wonderfully inventive escape rooms. Leah enjoyed brainstorming new ideas with Chock, her younger brother, and creating puzzles all their own. The interaction with their customers was an incredibly rewarding experience for Leah and she treasured each encounter.
Leah had many talents and interests. She was very creative in her sketches and paintings. She enjoyed reading and has done some writing of her own. She created beautiful floral arrangements and holiday wreaths. She could create anything with a sewing machine. She enjoyed cooking and had such a wonderful talent for baking.
She loved many genres of music and how it could set a mood, raise spirits and help one clean a house while on roller skates, possibly the most ingenious way of getting her teenage daughter to assist in chores. John Fogerty‘s music was her favorite, but he is just the top of a long list of amazing musical artists that supported her every emotion.
She was a roller coaster fanatic and appreciated nature in all its wonder. Witnessing a coastal sunset, admiring the fog over the red rock mountains of Sedona, whale watching off the coast of Mexico, rafting through the rough rapids of the Cheat River, Leah embraced the beauty and appreciated the wonderment of the world around her. She savored sharing moments with family and friends. Her relationships have been complicated and she left us long before she should have. We treasure our renewed relationship and desperately wish that we had more time.
Leah was loved deeply and will be remembered with admiration and daily effort striving to make her proud.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Winfred F. and Clare Jean Henley.
She is survived by her daughter, Carissa Gail Keary (Brian), three grandchildren, Alyssa Jade, Kyla Gail, and Alexander Chance, all of Little Rock, AR, as well as her brothers, Lonnie D. Henley (Sara Hanks) of Alexandria, VA. and Charles W. Henley (Sandy K.) of Fayetteville, NC.
There will be a memorial service on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at Sullivan’s Highland Funeral Service, 610 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301. The family will receive guests from 1-2pm with service at 2:00pm.
Leah wanted to make an impact and change lives by way of donations. In lieu of flowers please honor her by giving to one of her most recent charities, in her name. Fayetteville Animal Protection Society (FAPS) or Leilani Mae Horse Rescue.