In Memoriam
Constance  Marie  Leach
Sequoyah  High School Student

TAHLEQUAH     Services for Constance Marie Leach , 36, formerly of Tahlequah, were held at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 13, 2008, in the Green Country Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. D.J. McCarter officiating. Interment followed in the Holland Cemetery at Tahlequah under the care of Green Country Funeral Home.

     Serving as pallbearers were Terry Hendricks, Jess Jones, Chad Jones, Aaron Hair, Marcus Osceola, Wovoka Tommie, Brian Jumper Jr. and Tracy Adair. Honorary pallbearers were Nathan Blackbird, Jonathan Washington, Armondo Moreno and Robb Cypress.

      Connie was born May 9, 1971, in St. Louis, Mo., and passed from this life on March 9, 2008, in Big Cypress, Fla. 

     Connie was raised in the Tahlequah area. She attended Briggs Elementary School and graduated from  Sequoyah High School  in 1990.  After graduation, Connie relocated to Big Cypress, Florida where she resided for 13 years.

     She loved being a mom and an aunt, and looked forward to the summer months when her niece Kelsey would make her annual trip to visit her. She loved listening to Tom Petty, and she loved to cook, enough so, that she attended culinary school and became a chef.

Connie always enjoyed helping other people.

     Connie was preceded in death by her grandfather, Glenn Leach, and a cousin, Nathan Blackbird.

     Connie is survived by her significant other, Jason Lee Billie, of the home; their four children, Talisha Marie (Leach) Cypress and husband Robb, Gray Sun Beartrack Billie, Carlee Thorn Billie, and Lavin Nathan Lee Billie; two grandsons; Adam MacElroy Jr. and Blaze N. Cypress; a special cousin, Teonna Rock, all of Big Cypress; a sister, Tammy Leach (Seq.Cls '93) of Tahlequah, nieces; Kelsey Washington, Kristin Leach, Erin Leach and Trista Hendricks, and a nephew; Brian Jumper Jr., also of Tahlequah; her parents; Larry W. Leach and Linda S. Leach; as well as many other friends and family members who will miss her dearly.

Authorities identify woman killed in tour bus crash near music festival
By Macollvie Jean-Francois and Andrew Ba Tran | ~ March 10, 2008

      Constance Leach would walk to the Langerado Music Festival from her home on Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, according to family members. She loved music and was especially fond of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The 36-year-old Clewiston resident often sent Langerado T-Shirts to family members in her hometown of Tahlequah, Okla.

Leach died early Sunday morning in a two-vehicle crash on the road leading to the concert grounds as the final bands played, authorities said.

A charter bus and pickup truck collided on Snake Road just north of Alligator Alley about 1:15 a.m. while sounds of a trance-fusion band, sacred steel ensemble and modern cabaret blared from concert stages, according to the Florida Highway Patrol and the festival's Web site.

Leach was declared dead at the scene from injuries caused by the accident, officials said.

The wreck is being investigated by the Miccosukee Police Department since it happened on tribal land, said Sgt. Mark Wysocky, spokesman for the Highway Patrol. The Miccosukee Police Department declined comment as the crash was still under investigation.

Wysocky said the charter bus may have been heading to or coming from the festival, held on campgrounds about 15 miles north of Alligator Alley. It ended Sunday.

Leach had been driving the truck, according to her sister Tammy, 33, in Tahlequah. Leach was either driving to or from the closest open convenience store, a Shell gas station about 30 minutes away from her home, said her sister. "The road is so bad. I hated that road," she said. "It's nothing but a bunch of curves... and it's just dark as it can be."

Leach leaves behind four children and two grandsons, said Tammy Leach. "They understand something bad happened, but don't understand she's not coming back," she said of the younger offspring.

The stay-at-home mother moved to South Florida with her boyfriend about 12 years ago. But recently, Leach, a Cherokee, yearned to go back to Oklahoma and rejoin family, said Tammy Leach. Relatives were working out details to take Leach's body back to Tahlequah for burial.