George D. McLeod
October 16, 1938 – July 3, 2019
George Darrell Emery McLeod lived a full life. He was born in Reno, Nevada in 1938, to George Franklin McLeod and Clara Lavera Kast. He was the apple of their eyes. Darrell had a strong work ethic. As a youth, he was employed at a prune cannery in the Valley of Heart’s Delight. He graduated from Campbell High School.
Like his father, Darrell became an educator. He graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Education. Darrell was a member of Phi Delta Kappa. His first position was at Blackford Elementary in 1959. This was the beginning of a fifty-year teaching career.
Darrell met Sally Rae Busch while attending SJSU to earn his second bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. On their first date, they went to a friend’s wedding and then watched the sunset at Natural Bridges State Park. During their courtship, they often wrote love letters to one another. Darrell and Sally married in 1963. They celebrated 49 years together before she passed.
Darrell began teaching at Andrew P. Hill High School while Sally was a school nurse. During the early years of their marriage, Darrell earned his Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Santa Clara. Darrell also served in the National Guard and taught evening classes at the College of San Mateo. Darrell and Sally welcomed their daughters, Mollie, in 1965 and, Diana, in 1966. This family of four embarked on an adventure leaving North America. The Andrew Hill HS newspaper announced: “Mr. McLeod Goes to Africa.” Darrell was a Mathematics Instructor at Marangu Teachers Training College in Tanzania from 1968-70. The McLeod family joined an international community and made lifelong friendships.
Upon their return to the states, Darrell and Sally planted roots in San Jose, CA. Darrell resumed teaching at Andrew Hill HS. The McLeod family enjoyed cheering on the Falcons at sporting and musical events. One of the traditions Darrell continued from his parents was playing cards and games as a family. Darrell and Sally were a loving couple who communicated well, supported one another, and raised their daughters to be outspoken. The McLeod home was open to travelers and those who needed a safe place to stay for days, weeks, or months at a time.
Darrell and Sally pursued their interests. She was a potter and he assisted at art sales. Darrell became a broker and started McLeod Realty. Sally got her license and the kids helped with the home office. Darrell was active in professional organizations for education and real estate. Both joined Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). They were leaders in many community organizations, including the Parkinson’s Support Group in their later years.
Darrell loved being Grandpa to Diana’s son, Christopher, and Mollie’s sons, Jeremiah and Keyshaun. His grandchildren were blessed by a Grandpa who liked to get down on the ground and play when they were little. He showed up to cheer on their endeavors in school and sports. Darrell taught his grandkids how to play cribbage. He tutored them in math. An ardent SF Giants fan, Darrell took his kids and grandkids to many games. Darrell was thrilled to become a great-grandfather to Jacqueline, daughter of Christopher and Staci McLeod.
By the time Darrell passed in July 2019, Alzheimer’s had taken much from him. Nevertheless, Darrell’s love of numbers remained. During his last year of life, he enjoyed people watching and counting. Most importantly, Darrell was someone family, friends, strangers, and neighbors could always count upon. May his memory be a blessing.