Darlene Louise Leap was born June 26, 1942 in her maternal Cherokee grandparents home in Merkel, Texas. She went Home to see her Savior and Lord on May 16, 2018 and is in the Celestial City “Walking the Streets of Gold!!!”
She was so loved and favored by her grandpa “Daddy Bishop” that her grandma got on to him one day for not giving enough attention to his own kids. But Darlene and “Daddy Bishop” always did have a very special relationship.
Darlene was a very active and precocious child. With no formal training, she was even at an early age an amazing artist who “just off the top of her head” could draw anything and sew with ease anything easily.
Michael Jordan (the basketball star) asked her to make a bear to represent him. Anything she would make and enter into a competition, she would take best of show...even at the National Craft Show.
While working at Luby’s cafeteria, Darlene organized a strike for the rights of the workers. Needless to say, her job didn’t last much longer, but she did get her point across.
While going to the Richmond Avenue Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, Darlene met the love of her life “Ozark Leap.” They were married soon after and have been together for over 57+ years. They were called by God to do mission work to the Native Americans from Arizona to Canada starting Indigenous churches and holding many tent meetings that Darlene would cook for among other things.
Favorite verse from the Holy Bible: Psalms 37:4 “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart.”
After having done mission work most of her life, Darlene finally validated through genealogy at the age of 73 that she is Cherokee. Ozark, her husband, started calling her his “Cherokee Queen.” Oh my, talk about being delighted...she immediately made plans to make some Cherokee Dolls.
Darlene loved collecting dolls and could always find “a doll worth a bundle” at a thrift store or garage sale. She loved Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, dogs, ice cream, Chanel #5, and ice tea. Darlene loved all God’s creatures, frogs and birds especially Ravens were her favorite (she loved to talk to them). When it came to food, her delight was a Big Juicy Rib Eye and all the trimins.
For many years she created original patterns of stuffed animals for “The Pattern Garden” and Butterick. Her patterns would usually include big feet as she loved feet and men’s big work worn hands. Darlene also created many original cards for Day Spring.
Oh Yes! And she also made spectacular Native Navajo dolls by hand. Each were unique with authentic turquoise and silver jewelry, clothing and real sheep wool hair. The hands and faces were each uniquely hand designed reflecting whatever emotions she felt inspired with at the time.
Darlene had a true servants heart and lived an exemplary life serving her family, countless others and most of all her Savior Jesus Christ.
Favorite quote is “Only one life ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Darlene would always stand for the Hallelujah Chorus out of respect. She had a delightful sense of humor and was always the wisest woman in the room. We Love You Fiercely Mom!
She leaves behind her husband Norvin Glenn Leap “Ozark” husband of 57+ years of Blue Eye, AR; daughters: Delaina Carol Schreck and husband Jeff of Port Angeles, WA, Esther Ruth Gunter and husband Dean of Colorado Springs, CO, Joy Michele Watson and husband Tom of Berryville, AR and Stella Ann Leap and Dana Huskey of Branson West, MO; brothers: Theodore Williams and wife Donna of Van Buren, AR, Robert Williams and wife Stacey of Texarkana, TX, and Jonathan Williams and wife Kathleen of San Antonio, TX; 9 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many more loved family members and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents and sister Adele Joy Gerrish.
Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 11, 2018 at Smith Family Funeral Home in Green Forest, AR. Jonathan Williams will officiate. Interment at Farewell Cemetery.