He passed away with his loving wife Jean and his two daughters at his bedside on December 11, 2012.
Leigh attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he met the “love of his life”, Jean Boyden.
Jean was a Kappa and Leigh was a Beta at the University of Oregon.
He also received his Master’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from New York University.
Leigh and Jean were married July 2, 1955 in Portland, OR.
Leigh and Jean moved to Spokane, WA in 1958 after four years in the U. S. Air force, stationed in Texas, California and England.
He later joined the Washington Air National Guard and retired as a Lt.
He and Jean lived in Alabama at Maxwell AFB in 1980-81, where he had an opportunity to go to the “Air War” College.
There, he was able to meet prestigious and influential people from all over the world.
Leigh started his career with the J.C. Penney Company, in Spokane.
He grew up in the “J. C. Penney Family,” living in different cities, when his father opened several “Penney” stores as a General Manager in the northwest.
After working at Penney’s he took a position with Spokane Community College teaching business and later at Spokane Falls Community College.
He retired many years later as an administrator at both colleges.
During his 30 some years with the colleges, he was instrumental in bringing new education programs such as “Schools without Walls” and many other continuing education programs.
These were his happiest years, being active and living in Spokane while raising a family.
He was so caring and interested in people’s lives and tried to show people that even strangers can make a difference in someone’s day.
He tried to touch them by visiting, sending a kind word or giving flowers to somebody feeling down.
He was very active in Spokane’s development over the years, volunteering wherever he could to make a difference.
He joined Toastmasters and then later Kiwanis, and also served on the board of Career Path Services.
He also supported bringing “EXPO ‘74” to Spokane.
During his retirement, he volunteered with Tax Aid, coordinating volunteers and providing free tax services.
Leigh and Jean enjoyed their retirement years living in the Rockwood area and then moved to Rockwood Retirement facility three years ago.
He most recently had served as board president for Rockwood in a voluntary capacity.
He is survived by his wife, Jean of 57 years, his daughters Nancy Graak and her husband Bill Graak of Auburn, WA and Elizabeth Warman of Seattle, WA; also his brother Paul Hales of Foster City, CA and his sister, Charlotte Hales of Kalama, WA.
A Celebration of his Life will happen sometime after the first of the year.
Contributions can be made to Career Path Services or the non-profit of your choice in his memory.
Please join us for a celebration of Leigh’s life at Rockwood Retirement Home at 2903 E. 25th, Spokane, WA 99223 on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Click here to comment on this story »