Leigh Elaine Rountree
May 18, 1944  -  December 25, 2018


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.


Obituary Provided By:


611 W. Grand Ave.
Artesia, NM  88210
www.artesiafunerals.com