Leeta was born on June 10, 1941 to Dudley and Opal Powell in Bertram, Texas, and into a Texan lineage that goes back to the founding of the state in the 1840s. She was raised in rural central Texas. She received a degree in history from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and held a national certification in event planning.
Her long career working for the state of Texas began in the economic development division focused on revitalizing small towns. She then went on to work for the state’s international tourism division, which gave her the opportunity to travel the world promoting the state of Texas. Finally, she ran the Thompson Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Upon retiring, she moved to Kansas City to be near her daughter and grandchildren. Leeta was a tireless volunteer. She gave her time and boundless energy to the Kansas City Public Library, the American Red Cross, The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Nelson Atkins Museum, and the the Kansas City Fringe. She also travelled often, returning to places around the world she had visited for work so that she could really experience and enjoy them.
Leeta is survived by daughter Carole Eckhardt; brother Curtis Powell; grandchildren Kaili Kreiner, Forest Eckhardt, Adrienne Eckhardt; cats Loony, Smoke, Lady, Marm; and an extensive group of loving family and friends.
A memorial celebrating Leeta’s life will be held in Kansas City in late May. Those who would like to attend, please visit www.gatherus.com and search Leeta Murphy to leave your contact information so that the family can inform you when a date and location are chosen.
The family has also set up a fundraiser for the KC Pet Project in her name. All are invited to donate. https://donate.kcpetproject.org/fundraiser/1903446