Lavonia LeeAnn Cinotto was born and raised in Enid, OK. Born to Herb and Sherry Castor on March 30, 1967. As the baby of the family it didn’t stop her from being “little miss independent”. It took a lot to run away from home in her little red wagon with her doll lamp and freeze pops at such a young age, although she might have been encouraged by her cousin Cindy, who could talk her into anything. Then there was Steve, her older brother and as brothers do, he would double dog dare her. One time he dared her to jump off the top of a semi-truck down to the monkey bars. She had just eaten crackers causing her hands slip, falling to the ground and breaking her arm. As she ran towards the house, like any good brother would do, he ran right along beside begging, “Don’t tell mom, don’t tell mom!”. However, she always knew he had her back. He could fuss and pick on her, but nobody else could.
LeeAnn was the apple of her Daddy’s eye. Her favorite memory was of her Dad and her building a snowman in the back yard and the snowball fight that ensued. While she was her Daddy’s girl, her mom was her best friend. Whether it was staying up all night sewing on LeeAnn’s prom dress, playing games together or simply the late-night talks. It was through these small acts that a great mother-daughter relationship was formed. She especially enjoyed the many family vacations. Who in their right minds would take 9 kids on vacation to Colorado where horseback riding, fishing and jeeping were all part of the fun? Her parents were the greatest. They instilled her desire to do small things with great heart.
LeeAnn attended the Kremlin Hillsdale public schools. Trying to fit in to the already established girl pack of three was hard, but she managed to find life-long friends and expects her secrets to still be safe with them. LeeAnn loved to play most sports, but basketball was her favorite. She was defensive player of the year and leading rebounder her senior year back in the good old days when it was six on six (Google it). She was diligent in her studies and received many academic awards. During these years LeeAnn also had a younger cousin Dana that would tag along. LeeAnn would take her to the basketball practices, church hayrides and gatherings, hoping to surround her with good influences. What a blessing that little tag along became. Do small things with great heart.
LeeAnn loved to go to the Colorado church camp where she was baptized in the Delores River in July of 1985. Church also brought her three close friends, Julie, Stacey and Dena Jo, also know as her “crazy tribe”. Each one with drastically different personalities, but all forming this perfect friendship puzzle. While we’d love to share some stories from their “Old ladies gone wild” trips or “Safari Stacey” we want to keep it appropriate for all ages. Find your tribe and love them hard.
After graduation, LeeAnn chose to move to Dallas for work. Her Uncle Lonnie and Aunt Cheryl took her in to help her get her start. Once she was babysitting Kimberly and Ryan. She sent the youngest, Ryan, to bed early. While puzzled, he didn’t fuss and just went to bed. After a bit, she realized it was the weekend and going to bed early wasn’t necessary, so she got him back up. Ryan jumped up and down chanting “LeeAnn is great. She lets me stay up late and eat chocolate cake!”.
She married Jeff on November 5, 1988. They lived in Morgantown, Indiana for three years. She loved living in Indiana where she quickly become attached to the young kids at church and enjoyed entertaining them in her home. Do small things with great heart.
She worked up until she had her biggest blessing in life, Caitlin Marieann. Her boss her to come back to work, but she agreed only if she could bring her daughter. The front office soon looked like a daycare.
In 1991, they moved to Enid. LeeAnn worked part time for her Dad while her Mom would watch Caitlin. One day after work LeeAnn found a little handwritten note from her Dad and a hundred-dollar bill tucked in her purse, it said, “You are special. May God bless you”. She tucked that little note away and still had it upon her passing. Everyone needs to be reminded they are special.
She loved the holidays, especially Christmas. She loved to organize the widow’s baskets, Christmas caroling, the children’s Christmas play and gifting to the Angel tree. She loved to visit the elderly to just sit and play cards in the nursing homes. She loved the stories they would tell. Do small things with great heart.
LeeAnn’s true passion was interior design and this led to an opportunity to design for HGTV’s Designing for the Sexes star, Michael Payne. Her creativity was always a part of her job, no matter the title. In 2007, LeeAnn went to work for Luckinbill, Inc. Although she worked in accounting, she will be remembered for the parties she threw and friendships she made. Do small things with great heart.
After the loss of her parents, LeeAnn moved to Oklahoma City to be closer to her beloved daughter. Caitlin bought her first home and together they enjoyed remodeling it. Her joy was to see her home filled with friends and family. LeeAnn loved to travel with Caitlin. She was excited to see new places and enjoy new experiences. For her 50th birthday, Caitlin treated her Mom to a New England trip, something LeeAnn had always wanted to do. Just watching the OU Sooners or the OKC Thunder, brought happiness to LeeAnn’s heart. Spending time with Caitlin was her greatest joy.
Though she may no longer be with us, her legacy will live on in each small act passed on by those she touched. Do small things with great heart.