Photography

       


Sharlea (Mercer) Leatherwood

October 19, 1950 ~ October 1, 2018 (age 67)

Sharlea Mae Leatherwood, R.Ph., P.D., 67, of Kansas City, Mo., peacefully transcended this plane on October 1, 2018, surrounded by loved ones.  She was the second of four children, born to Charles E. Mercer, III and Audrey M. Mercer on October 19, 1950.  Imbued with both an unassuming fearlessness and an unmitigated generosity of spirit she inherited from her parents, she lived her life with mindfulness and purpose.  Like her Mother before her, she sparkled.  To know her was truly to love her.  Sharlea worked her way through college, graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy in 1981, at the top of her class. As a pharmacist, a wife, and a mother, she rose to the top of her profession, owned and operated pharmacies, and became a tireless advocate for locally owned and independent pharmacies.   She shattered every glass ceiling she encountered, setting the example for the women who would follow her, including her daughters and granddaughters.  In the course of her lengthy and distinguished career, Sharlea was instrumental in shaping public health care policy on both state and national levels.  On the state level, she served as President of the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, held myriad leadership positions, including President, of the Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) and the MPA Foundation, and served as an adjunct Professor at the UMKC School of Pharmacy.  On the national level, she served as the first woman President of the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) and the NCPA Foundation – organizations that support the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy. In recognition of her civic leadership and advocacy efforts, she was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia, the John W. Dargavel Medal, and the Calvin Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award – awards which humbled her but made her family so proud.  On August 26, 1988, Sharlea married her soulmate, Gary R. Leatherwood.  During their 30 years together, they made enduring memories enjoying the company of family and friends, traveling the world, and simply being together.  While life may be impermanent, her love remains a timeless, selfless, and inseparable love that casts a bright light on those closest to her and everyone who was fortunate enough to share this part of her path.  It is a light that continues to shine on all those who, with heavy hearts, now commend her to the next part of her journey.  She was preceded by her parents and her older brother, Charles E. Mercer, Jr.  She is survived by her devoted and loving husband, Gary R. Leatherwood, her children, Julie Sloan, Jill and Todd Marek,  Adam and Cher Leatherwood, and Matthew and Kari Leatherwood, her grandchildren, Siduri Sloan, Hayden, Samuel and Lila Leatherwood, and her siblings Kimberly Elkins and Timothy Mercer.  Visitation services will be held at Terrace Park Funeral Home, 801 NW 108th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64155, on Friday, October 12 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at 4:00 p.m.   In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Michael J Fox Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.  We think she would like that.  “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.   Because for those who love with heart and soul, there is no separation.” – Rumi

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