Donald Lee Leach, 78, entered into rest November 20, 2012, preceded in death by his wife, Mary. Don, a resident of Ventura, is survived by his children, Cindi-Jo Lehman and husband Robert, Kimberly K. Leach, Lisa L. McGowan and husband Nathan, Troy A. Leach and wife Lori, and Terrence K. Leach and wife Marisela; grandchildren, Amanda Garwood and husband Dewey, Christine Nicol and husband Adam, Laura Lehman, Jared, Ryan, and Eric McGowan, and Hillary Asbury; and great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Renee Garwood, and Zoe Nicol.
Don was born October 10, 1934 in Talmage, Nebraska. His mother, Geraldine Cleckner, later married Sam Leach who subsequently adopted Don giving him his surname. Don and his parents moved several times before settling in Eureka, CA. He attended Eureka High School, graduating in 1951. Don graduated from Humboldt State University in 1956. Don earned advanced degrees from USC, Northwestern Traffic Institute, and University of California Santa Barbara. In 1989, Don earned his Juris Doctorate from Ventura College of Law.,
On June 28, 1953, Don and Mary were married in Eureka, CA, beginning their 57 year marriage. As their family grew and Don's work assignments changed, Mary and Don lived in Eureka, Quantico, VA, Okinawa, Lomita, Arcata, Inglewood, Mount Prospect, IL, Orangevale, and have resided in Ventura since 1977.
Don had many careers during his life. He worked as a US Postal clerk, mail carrier, and sorter, and Radio and TV broadcaster in Eureka, CA. Don was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. Enlisting in 1957, he was discharged in 1962 only to be recalled to active service in 1965 and discharged again in 1967. During his time in the Corps, Don was stationed in Okinawa and served in Vietnam. Don was also an instructor at College of the Redwoods in Humboldt County, and Golden Gate University. Don joined the California Highway Patrol in 1962 serving in many areas in California as he progressed through the ranks. Starting as a Patrol Officer in Eureka, he worked as a Motorcycle Training Officer in South Central, returned to Eureka as a Sargent later transferring to Sacramento where he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1977, when he attained the rank of Captain, he was stationed briefly in Santa Barbara before being assigned to Ventura where he retired as Area Commander in 1991. During his tenure as Ventura Commander, he served as the Area Coordinator for athlete transportation and safety for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Don passed the Bar in 1989 and began his career as an attorney at law specializing in Estate, Probate, and Family Law, retiring in July 2012.
Don was an active member of numerous fraternal and service organizations. Initiated, passed, and raised in a Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge in 1957, Don was affiliated with Lodges throughout California, serving as Master of San Juan Lodge #732 in 1978. His membership in branches of the Masonic Family grew to include Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine, Red Cross of Constantine, and National Sojourners.
A 31 year member of Rotary International; Rotary Club of Ventura, Don had perfect attendance and held many positions including president, secretary, and attendance chair, as well as being a Paul Harris Fellow. Don's work with other service organizations encompassed serving on the board for the Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Estate Planning Board, and Ventura County Law Library. He was past president of the Ventura County Fair Board. Don served many years as the security chair for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Ventura, tirelessly recruiting and managing volunteers to work security for the events.
In lieu of flowers, our family requests that donations be made to one of the charities dear to Don's heart.
Visitation will take place Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura.
Services will be held Thursday, November 29, 7:00PM, also at Ted Mayr Funeral Home.
Interment will be December 3, 1:00 PM at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka, California
Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home.