Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 AM, Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church for Leigh Elaine Rountree of Artesia, New Mexico.
Mrs. Rountree, 74, died December 25, 2018 in Artesia.
Daniel Phelps will officiate at the services. Burial will follow the services at Woodbine Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Houston Branch, Joey Walker, Barry Pearson, Avery Jamieson, Jerry Don Fanning, and Larry Young. Honorary pallbearers are David Torres, Bill Netherlin, Garrett Garcia, David Vandiver, and Joel Carson, Jr.
Laney was born May 18, 1944 in Artesia; the daughter of Howard Edward Kissinger and Edna Irene Nicholson Kissinger.
Laney grew up on the family farm, going to grade school at Atoka School, then transfering into Artesia for junior high and high school. She took piano lessons from an early age and always had a love for music. She graduated from Artesia High School in 1962, where she was active in the orchestra, playing violin. She attended Eastern New Mexico University for a short time before meeting her lifetime love, Wiley Rountree, while on summer break in Artesia. The two were married on September 15, 1965 in Artesia.
She was a music teacher and owned "Laney's Music Studio" where she taught piano and violin to over a hundred students in the Artesia area. Laney was very active in the community. She was a member of Artesia Story League and loved to visit classrooms and tell stories for the holidays, almost always dressing in character. She was the director of Artesia Talespinners, a Story League club for teenage girls, helping them learn to memorize, tell, and write stories and poems. Laney was the choir director at First Christian Church for many years, where she enjoyed singing, directing, and playing the piano for the congregation. It was here that she started a girl choir singing group, "Laney's Angels", which would perform at church and community events.
She was a member of The Classique Ensemble, playing violin with a string and wind group of local musicians. She belonged to the Artesia Community Theatre, and was both an actor and director, where she portrayed many characters in musical and theater productions. She loved stepping on stage and become the character she was portraying. She even directed her four grandchildren in several children's theater productions. She was also a member of P.E.O. Chapter J and was an avid animal lover, with a special fondness for cats.
She loved college football and baseball and her favorite team to watch were the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Her greatest joy was spending time with her family. She enjoyed family dinners and barbeques, shopping with her girls, and playing a family game of Monopoly. She loved having the grandchildren over to make crafts, bake, play games or play outside, and have sleepovers.. She enjoyed attending their awards assemblies, concerts, games, and recitals and always called or texted them to find out what was going on in their lives. As they got older and could drive, she looked forward to them coming over to her house with their friends for lunch during the school year.
Survivors include her husband Wiley C. Rountree, III of Artesia; daughter Kandi Branch and husband Tate of Artesia; son Bill Rountree of Artesia; grandchildren Calllie Rountree, Houston Branch, Kassidy Branch and Marleigh Branch.
Memorial contributions may be made to Paws and Claws or to the Humane Society.
While I lost touch with Laney after leaving for college (in 2002), she was always dear to my heart. The piano lessons and time I spent with her were very special to me. Her friends and family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
Amber Ortega (Fajardo)Everett, WA
Just learned of Elaine's passing. We go back to grade school days at Atoka. I remember riding my bicycle to her house to visit. May God comfort you.
God Bless You
Jolene Reynolds GoodwinCarlsbad, NM
So sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.
Mike & Shawna CallawayHagerman, NM
I am praying for peace and comfort for your family. We love you guys!
Thad PhippsArtesia, NM
My son, Kaylin, and I were sad to hear of the loss of Laney. She touched our lives with music and drama and was such a pleasure to watch and know. This obituary is a beautiful telling of her life and the precious impact she had on her community and family. With love, Hayley
Hayley kleinArtesia, NM
Your mom was amazing! She touched so many lives with her smile, kindness, and inspiring talents. Her willingness to invest in the lives of so many didn't go unnoticed.
We are praying for God's comfort and His warm embrace during this difficult time.
We love you!
Delecia MillerArtesia, NM
Wiley, Kandi, and family,
We are so sorry for your loss and are keeping your entire family in our prayers. Your family and the entire Artesia family have lost a great friend and loved one.
Mark & Carrie McCalebArtesia, NM
Please accept my deepest condolences for your family's loss.
Tina HollemanArtesia, NM
What an amazing woman. She will be missed dearly!
Ricky SwaffordMidland, TX
Lainey was my piano teacher from 5th grade to my senior year. She was always so kind and encouraging you to me. I still have all my composer statues on top of my piano from all the recitals and little apple ornaments she made on my tree. Praying for her family at this time. She is a treasure and will be missed!
Aundrea CarrilloEdmond, OK
We are so very sorry for your loss! Thoughts and prayers to all of you.
James & Angela McCarthyCarlsbad, NM
Our hearts hurt for you and your family at the passing of your loved one. She was a gracious lady, loved by so many. We will miss her smile and her cheerful greeting that we always got whenever we met. We pray for God's Blessing of comfort for each of you. Curtis & Kaye Teel
Curtis & Kaye TeelArtesia, NM
Kandi I was so saddened to hear of Laney’s passing. She was a wonderful woman, always kind and quick to smile. My deepest condolences on your loss.
Debbie KishurArtesia, NM
What a great neighbor she was!! I took piano lessons at same time my daughter did she encouraged us but was strict on practicing which she should have been. What a talented lady she was and shared all of them with the whole town. She has left a deep memory in my heart. Thank you family for sharing her with us. My sincere condolences to all. Sincerely.
Rhonda (Blount)Andrews, TX
I'm so sorry for your loss. Mandy
I'm so sorry for your loss. Laney was a very special lady. She loved her family so much. She will be missed but her talent and kindness will live on through her children and grandchildren. Love to you all.
Kerry BoggsArtesia, NM
I am so sorry for your loss. She was an amazing person and I absolutely loved my piano teacher. She taught me so much more about life than just how to play the piano.
Julie GomezArtesia, NM
Laney was always such a blessing to us. You will be in our prayers . Love to your family
Mike & Patty CrouchArtesia, NM
Prayers to your family. I took piano lessons for years and lived across the street from her and her family. What a sweet sweet lady! Love to each of you! Carrie Blount
Carrie BlountCarlsbad, NM
Many prayers for all of you. Mrs. Rountree was a wonderful lady! I loved listening to her read a story to the students. She definitely had a gift!
Carla KirkpatrickArtesia, NM
Wiley, I’m so sorry for your loss and know you’ll finish your grieving and start Celebrating Lainie’s life and times. It’s really tough when we lose the LOVE OR OUR LIFE.
Max JohnsonSanta Fe, NM
Houston and family; I loved your grandma! She always was so excited to help with anything that involved you! Prayers for peace and comfort - she was an amazing and kind person!
Donna O’BryantCollege Station, TX
She was a wonderful lady who brighten so many people’s world. So sorry for your loss.
Larraine DrakeArtesia, NM
My deepest sympathy with Elaine’s family and loved ones.I so enjoyed visiting with her at our High School Reunion’s. It is hard for me to realize that our class of ‘62 is slowly dwindling down..that we are the Elders now....we had several classes together,and she was so much fun...May God comfort her family in this time of sorrow.
Serena Bates FernauShow Low, AZ
We extend our sympathy to the Rountree family. Laney was a special person.
Kelly and Herb RobbinsPortland, OR
Laney was such a special person. I have such precious memories of her & my mother, Mary Black, in the First Christian Church choir! Prayers for the family.
Lilli SmartSherman, TX
Wiley, Kandi, Bill, Tate and the grandkids. Our hearts are so heavy at the loss of your precious Mom and our precious friend. She will be greatly missed by this community and especially this family. We loved her very much and we love you guys. You are in our prayers.
Christine SwaffordArtesia, NM
Your smile and gift of music will be greatly missed by all.
Jim Bob and Sandra TeelArtesia, NM