It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my beautiful mom: Stacey Ann Leopard Jones, 46, of Pelzer, South Carolina, passed away on June 26, 2023 after a two year battle with Melanoma.
Stacey was born on September 1, 1977, to Ricky and Pamela Leopard in Simpsonville, South Carolina. She graduated from Laurens High School and ultimately went on to study Phlebotomy at Greenville Technical College, for which she had an incredible passion. Stacey excelled at every professional journey in which she pursued— from dispatch at Laurens City Police Department to Laboratory Owner at Any Lab Test Now. Not only did Stacey excel professionally, but she also had a passion for helping others. She served as a phenomenal mentor to dozens of phlebotomy students, and shared with them her astounding knowledge, compassion, and drive.
Stacey gave birth to myself, Madison Gault, in May of 1997. Over the years, she and I developed an unyielding and everlasting bond built on unconditional love, belly aching laughter and the purest of friendship. Although she excelled at everything she did, she was an exceptionally wonderful mother whom I was blessed to have. Stacey was always pure in her intentions and true in her actions, and I have always felt so humbly loved by her. Through her strength and purity, her fierce sense of pride and determination, her generous heart and sensitivity, her humor, her fight and of course her sass, I’ve learned everything that makes me who I am. I can wholeheartedly say that I am me because of her and that is one of my greatest blessings. Stacey welcomed my husband, Caleb Gault, into her heart with arms wide open and treated him as nothing less than her own.
Perhaps one of the most monumental moments in Stacey’s life was when she met the love of her life, Douglas Jones, at work in late 2002. It seemed as if all of the stars in the sky aligned when God brought the two of them together. Not only did Doug love Stacey with his entire soul, but he also welcomed me into his heart with arms wide open. After dating for only a few short months, they were so sure of their unyielding love for one another that they married in September of 2003 and never looked back. Together, they created a love story that is grossly romantic and sickeningly sweet (according to my pre-teen definition of their love); however, looking back, the unfaltering commitment, love and dedication shared between Stacey and Doug is something that not many are lucky enough to experience. They created a beautiful home, a successful and meaningful business, and memories that make up a world more perfect than the universe.
I believe that Stacey may have loved her dogs more than myself and my dad on most days (only partially kidding). It’s always been said that you can judge someone’s true character by the way in which they treat their fellow animals. If compassion for animals is intimately connected with the goodness of character, I can confidently assert that Stacey has the kindest, most astonishing character of anyone I know.
Stacey had a special type of love that was never self-serving or short-sighted—it was always purposeful, persistent and focused on the well-being of others. The love that she had naturally overflowed from her heart and was evident in everything that she did.
Throughout her life and especially in her fight against Melanoma, she set an example of unconditional devotion and indomitable spirit. Rather than falling into a dark place as most others would easily do, Stacey used her diagnosis to educate, support and advocate for Melanoma awareness. She was devoted to both raising awareness and providing support for others facing this disease.
Stacey immediately lit up any room she entered and made an impact on so many people. She was a joyful presence with her lively socks and contagious smile. She showed grace when grace wasn’t deserved, loved her friends and family so fiercely, filled her home and everything she touched with warmth and kindness. Stacey was sunshine in human form and to know her was to love her through and through.
Stacey is survived by her mother Pamela Cathcart Leopard, her father Ricky Dale Leopard, her husband Douglas Clifton Jones, her daughter Madison Jones Gault and her son-in-law Caleb Gault. She is also survived by her father-in-law Jerry Jones, a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Most importantly, Stacey is survived by her DOT. To continue Stacey’s fight against melanoma, donate to the Melanoma Research Foundation in her honor at donate.melanoma.org and check your skin for your ABCDs.
A celebration of life is planned for July 29, 2023, at their home in Pelzer, SC.