Leslie Michelle Ringo

Leslie Ringo
Leslie Michelle Ringo entered this world on Saturday, July 1, 1978. She remains the only child of her surviving parents, Doris Laverne Helton and John Stephen Ringo, sister, Ashley Nicole Elkins and brother, Ryan Nathaniel Helton. Her parents and all who knew and loved Leslie are now united in grief as they mourn her sudden and tragic death on Friday, September 1, 2017. 
 
Remarkably, Leslie shared many life parallels with Princess Dianna of British fame, the most striking being that Leslie shared both the exact month and day of her birth and death with Princess Dianna. Like Dianna, Leslie was born on the Day of Emancipation and died an unexpected death at the age of thirty-nine. Additionally, like Dianna, Leslie was the mother of two children, Stephanie Nicole Roberts, age 18 and Nathan Tyler Brown, age 13 at the time of her death. Leslie also shared Diana’s personality strengths: profound, giving and determined, and weaknesses: troubled, depressive and long-suffering. Like Dianna, Leslie fought her entire life to win out in her struggle against dominance, injustice or oppression of any type. 
Leslie was without a doubt a “people person” at her core, and she thrived on having a large network of family and friends with whom she could spend time when she chose to. Fortunately, she was born into a large extended family and had multiple aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and step parents to relate to during her lifetime, which unfortunately are too numerous to name here individually, but who knew and loved her. 
 
She had a very special bond with her beloved maternal grandfather, Lt. Col. Hillary Albert Tucker, USAF, affectionately known as “Poppy”. She spent much of her formative years in his care between periods of time spent with her parents who were divorced when she was a toddler. She loved and adored her Poppy with all of her heart and he was a dominant authority figure and influence in her life until his death in April of 2016. 
 
Her best friend from childhood, Jeanette Clausen, whom she knew and loved since the age of five when they met, later became godmother to both of Leslie’s children. Upon Leslie’s death, Jeanette recorded a special tribute video to honor Leslie’s life that will be posted to YouTube and made available to anyone who wishes to view it alongside Leslie’s memorial tribute slideshow, lovingly created by her stepmother, Melody Ringo, who “adopted” Leslie as her second daughter twenty years ago to the day that Leslie died. 
 
Leslie’s birth mother had legal custody of her until she was twelve, at which time her father obtained custody of her. From that time forward, she moved back and forth between living with her father and with Poppy until the age of eighteen. Having dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen, Poppy and her father insisted that she study for her G.E.D., which she eventually obtained. 
 
Over the next few years, she was then able to obtain her Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA) license and a phlebotomy certification. For the next few years, she spent brief periods of time working in doctor’s offices, hospitals and nursing homes, following in the footsteps of numerous relatives who had full time careers in the medical field. Doctors, patients and co-workers alike who worked with her all praised her special giftings in nursing and excellent applied medical techniques.
Conversely, when experiencing difficult times in her life, of which there were many, Leslie pulled within herself and became a very private person, only opening up to a handful of close confidants. For much of her adult life, unfortunately Leslie battled the demons of addiction both to drugs of all kinds and alcohol. She spent time in multiple rehab centers and was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for a period of time, but was never able to overcome her addictions permanently. Sadly, her addictions are what contributed to her losing permanent legal custody of her children to their fathers and caused her own demise. Her personal brand of emotional self-torture eventually locked her into negative life patterns and choices that ultimately led to her death. 
 
Leslie’s life motto was “Live, Laugh, Love”.  Anyone who knew her well knows that she was the ultimate personification of that motto for the brief periods of time that her true personality surfaced and flourished. 
The lyrics of the famous song, Candle In the Wind, re-written and adapted by Sir Elton John as a musical tribute for Princess Dianna after she died, also aptly describes our dear and precious Leslie Michelle Ringo who will be missed by all who knew and loved her deeply.  
[NOTE: words substituted in brackets below apply to Leslie’s life]: 
 
Goodbye England’s [Texas’s] rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself 
Where lives were torn apart
And you whispered to those in pain
Now you belong to Heaven
And the stars spell out your name
 
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset when the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s [Texas’s] greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before 
Your legend ever will
 
Loveliness we’ve lost
These empty days without your smile
This torch we’ll always carry for our nation’s [family’s] golden child
Even though we try
The truth brings us to tears
All our words cannot express 
The joy you’ve brought us through the years
 
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind 
Never fading with the sunset when the rain sets in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s [Texas’s] greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before 
Your legend ever will
 
Goodbye England’s [Texas’s] rose 
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself 
Where lives were torn apart
From the country [loved ones] lost
Without your soul who’ll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you will ever know
 
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind 
Never fading with the sunset when the rain set in 
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s [Texas’s] greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before 
Your legend ever will
 
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s [Texas’s] greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before your legend ever will. 
 
~Lyrics written and sung by Sir Elton John 
Listen to this song by clicking here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUTr3YgKzb8