Leah was born on May 6, 1971 in Durant, Okla. She married United States District Court Judge Ronald A. White on September 20, 2008 at Grace Episcopal Church in Muskogee.
Leah attended school through the 10th grade in Eureka Springs, Ark. She graduated from high school in Durant in 1989 before entering the University of Oklahoma.
Leah obtained a B.S. in Environmental Design from the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture in 1994. While attending OU, she was an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2004, where she was honored Order of the Curule Chair.
While attending law school, she was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International and Comparative Law, and was a Scribes Honorary Society Member. Leah practiced as an attorney most recently with the firm of GableGotwals in Tulsa.
During her legal career, she also worked for McKinney & Stringer in Tulsa, as well as the international firm, Baker & McKenzie, in Dallas. She was very proud that she passed the bar in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas.
She practiced law in the area of commercial litigation and real estate transactions at GableGotwals until four months before her death.
She is survived by her husband, Ron, her parents Jane and Woodie Acord of Eureka Springs, and Pat and Dorothy Phelps of Durant, Okla. She also left behind five sisters and four brothers-in-law, Kara and John Amis of Tulsa; Lenzie and Shane Knight of Durant; Haley and Pasquale Montanaro of Dallas; Amy and Ricardo Carnevali of Houston; and Dr. Suzanne Acord of Honolulu. She had seven nieces and nephews who adored their "Tia."
Leah will be remembered for her laugh, genuine integrity, deep care for others, generosity, work ethic and love of life. Leah's courage and cheerfulness while fighting cancer amazed and inspired all who met or knew her. She was a loving sister not only to her own, but to so many friends, all "adopted" brothers and sisters, who depended upon her for advice, support and spiritual guidance. Her motto for life was "You choose to be happy." Despite her shortness of life, she chose to be happy and rejoice in God's love.
A celebration of Leah's life was held April 17 at St. John's Episcopal Church, Tulsa, Okla. In lieu of flowers, Leah asked that donations be made in her memory to the Growing Grace Fund, c/o Grace Episcopal Church, 218 North Sixth Street, Muskogee, OK 74401.