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Rev. Lucinda Darlene ''Cindi'' O'Leary, age 82, of Rock Stream, NY left this world behind in the comfort of her home to join her Lord and Savior on Saturday December 2, 2023.
Lucinda was born in Battle Creek, MI on April 6, 1941, daughter of the late Willard LeRoy and Donna Mae (Lilly) Bennett. She attended Kellogg Community College and was employed as an administrator for several major industrial firms in Pennsylvania. She was a technical writer and instructor for a physics firm with 32 offices across the country.
A graduate of Lancaster (PA) Theological Seminary, Lucinda served as a student pastor and lay pastor to several churches during her time at the seminary. Being clergy was the career she enjoyed the most, having come from a family that has produced many pastors through the generations. In 1992, Rev. O’Leary became the first woman to be ordained in her family. She has served churches in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New York.
Rev. O’Leary’s cultural roots are Native American, and she radiated her heritage with pride, leading several mission projects with the Minneconjou Sioux at the Cheyenne River Reservation, in South Dakota. Cindi organized many conferences and educated people to help the Cheyenne River Minneconjou people air their concerns and about oppression and discrimination injustices they have suffered from.
On April 3, 1999 in Wilmington, DE, Cindi married the then Captain Joseph J. O'Leary Sr. U.S. Army Retired. They moved to Rock Stream, NY in 2003 where she accepted the position of full time pastor of the Rock Stream Presbyterian Church and Lakemont Congregational Christian Church, joining the two congregations in many joint services and programs. Rev. O'Leary was highly respected and praised by the many families she ministered to, through church, services, and countless funerals during her 20 years of service, retiring in 2023. She was a member of the Geneva Presbytery, and the Dundee Area Council of Churches.
Showing her breadth, Lucinda was an accomplished artist who created many native pieces of the Lakota-Sioux.
She is dearly loved and will be forever missed by her husband of 24 years, now Major Joseph J. O'Leary Sr. U.S. Army, Retired Master Aviator at home; children, Kayelynne (Billy) Krotendofer of Gordonsville, VA, Larry E. Pickar Jr. of Aurora, CO, Aimee E. (Kevin) Neiswander of Loveland, CO, Terry and his wife Kay Baker of Smyrna, DE, Joseph J. O'Leary Jr. of St. Louis, MO, Christina M. O'Leary of Nelson, PA, and Chelsea A. (Jesse) Draper of Fair Hill, MD; 13 grandchildren; 1 great granddaughter; 2 brothers Willard LeRoy (Kathy) Bennett Jr. of Greenville, SC, and David Bennett of Clearwater, FL; a sister Priscilla D. Sellick of Hastings, MI; and many nieces, nephews, cousins & in-laws.
In addition to her parents, Cindi was predeceased by her granddaughter, Adrianne R. Stock; and sister, Sally Ann Williams.
A funeral service will be celebrated at 11:30am on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808, where family and friends may visit beginning at 10:30am. Interment will be held in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery at a later date.