Dance, Smile, Live
May 13, 1973 – December 27, 2011
Lakeasha Monique Rutledge Draft courageously faced lung cancer, showing us all with every breath that we all need to hold onto life and love with both hands for as long as we can. Not just an inspiration, but a light, and a force that led the way with a beautiful, sweet smile and bright shining eyes that both belied the pure steel of her strength and determination.
Strong is too pale, too shallow and too small of a word to describe Keasha’s vibrancy… Quite simply, she was ferocious. She fiercely held onto life, and love with a forcefulness that was absolutely awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking.
Born on May 13, 1973 to Tommy and Gail Rutledge in Anderson, South Carolina, she was always a shining star while she attended the Palmetto schools of Anderson District One, and graduated a year early with honors. Keasha was a faithful member of her family church New Prospect Baptist Church of Williamston, SC. Always active and ambitious, Keasha participated in many organizations from National Honor Society to earning the title of captain on the varsity cheerleading squad. She was known for her phenomenal dancing ability, although her track and field accomplishments were stellar also, as she placed first in the high jump at the state meet every year from seventh through twelfth grade. She still holds the school record for high jump. As a Clemson University student, she was a well-loved classmate, dancer for the Rallycats and was inducted into the Lambda Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in the Spring of 1992. Keasha received her Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University in 1995. She began her career in engineering for Cutler-Hammer. Keasha was an NBA dancer and beloved teammate for the Charlotte Hornets Honeybees. She began working as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Sanofi-Aventis in Charlotte and transferred to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked until her illness transpired. On November 27, 2011, she married her long-time sweetheart, Christopher Draft.
Keasha leaves to cherish beautiful memories her loving husband, Chris Draft; parents, Tommy and Gail Rutledge; parents-in-law, Anthony and Rose Draft; maternal grandmother, Wilma Clement; paternal grandmother, Synola Rutledge; and a host of relatives and friends.
In honor of Keasha’s admirable vibrant spirit, celebrate each day, dance often, smile, laugh, and embrace life.