Amelia Freeman Leigh
March 10, 1918 – October 2, 2020
Amelia Leigh was born in Cameron, Texas, on the 10th of March 1918, and passed away in Houston on Friday, the 2nd of October 2020. She was 102 years of age.
Amelia was born to Virginia Kentucky Williams and Andrew Clifford Freeman, both from prominent Milam County families. She graduated from Yoe High School with honors and attended Brantley Draughn Business School in Ft. Worth.
After graduation from business school, Amelia was employed for ten years by the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas. Due to her excellent job performance, she was appointed the Deputy Collector of the IRS, the first woman to hold that position.
In 1946 Amelia married H. R. Leigh and they moved to Gonzales, Texas, where he operated a Ford Dealership. An award-winning Ford dealer for 34 years, he subsequently owned Ford dealerships in Alice and Round Rock.
Amelia returned with her husband to Austin in 1962 where she was active in many clubs, including the Austin Woman’s Club, the Highland Park Garden Club, the Magna Charta Dames, the Thankful Hubbard Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Colonial Dames of America, and the Huguenot Society.
Amelia was a loving daughter, wife, and mother, who devoted her life to taking care of others. From the time she was 18 years old she supported her mother and helped send her sister to college. After ten years in the workplace and with many marketable skills, Amelia devoted her life after her marriage to lovingly caring for her husband and three children. She made her home and garden a happy and welcoming place where her family could count on three delicious home cooked meals each day. After the death of her husband following a long illness, she managed her business affairs with skill and courage in an initially challenging economic environment. Ever adventurous, she began traveling to far away places, including Africa, Russia, and China. Eventually she traveled to almost every country in the world.
Preceded in death by her husband, she is survived by her daughters, Sandra Leigh Bryant and husband Randy, Linda Leigh Sylvan and husband Dick, and son Bill Leigh, all of Houston; grandchildren, Emily Bell Kramer and husband Doug of Summit, New Jersey, Amy Marie Lee and husband Jim of Houston, Leigh Sylvan Thoreen and husband Casey of Seattle, Washington; Carolyn Sylvan, Betsy Bryant and husband Allan Henslee, and Steven Bryant and wife Erica, all of Houston; and great-grandchildren, Hunter and Harrison Lee; Kaitlin, Austin, and William Kramer; Ellison and Johannes “Joe” Thoreen; Emelia and Mackayla Henslee; Eliza Byrant; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the loving care given to Amelia by Pearl Sam, Dee Shondee, Gazale Harris, and Shirley Thomas.
The family will gather for a private interment at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Services Are Private
Amelia Freeman Leigh
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October 9, 2020
Amelia Leigh was an amazing woman, role model and grandmother. She was sharp, energetic, caring and had a magnetic personality with a great sense of humor. Amelia truly loved people and she was always very social. People loved sitting next to her and visiting with her at social events, regardless of the age difference. She kept everyone laughing and engaged in conversation which many times revolved around the other person since she was always genuinley curious and interested in the people around her. As her life became more complicated in the nursing home when she faced many physical limitations from a broken back and stroke, my grandmother continued to participate in all social opportunitues in her care facility, including winning many Bingo championships. My grandmother was always socially active and took great pride in presenting herself in a bright, cheery and stylish manner crafted for each occasion. She loved jewelry, handbags and accessories to compliment the perfect outfit she chose for each event. While in college at University of Texas, I enjoyed weekly lunches, dinners and outings with my grandmother and shopping trips were among the best. She was like a mother to me when I moved to Austin and I will always have such wonderful memories spending time with her. My grandmother was always a joy to be with and I will miss her greatly. I know that she is in a happier place now, but I wish we could have said goodbye before she left us. I imagine my grandmother in heaven as her younger vivicaious self with her infectious laugh and love of life as she reunites with her beloved HR Leigh, my grandfather, who she always dearly missed. God bless you grandmother! I love you!
October 6, 2020
My relationship with the Leigh family began around 1974 with my helping Mr. H.R. Leigh lease his past office at 7575 Burnet Rd. (later re-addressed to 7545)in Austin. After Mr. Leigh's death Mrs. Leigh requested my assistance in leasing what had been their Round Rock Ford dealership. I truly enjoyed representing Mrs. Leigh for multiple reasons. She was only three months older then my own mother and she had an exceptional mind for business. She always had many questions about any situation which would evolve and her decision was quick once she had the facts, regardless of the complexity. Her son, Bill was ever present during our meetings with many questions about baseball and it became obvious Mrs. Leigh was a very loving, but stern mother, as was my own mother.
My life and the lives of my immediate family have been blessed by my past and continued relationship with Mrs. Leigh and her family, most recently her daughter, Sandra Leigh Bryant.