Mary L. Leach
March 15, 1941 – January 24, 2019
Mary Scigliane Leach, 77, of Lilburn, Georgia passed away on January 24, 2019. She is survived by her husband of fifty-four years, Maj. Willie C. Leach, Jr. (Air Force – ret); son Jonathan and wife Marlo; son Gregory, wife Jennifer and daughter Carolyn; son Andrew; sister, Louise Bauman; and ten beloved nieces and nephews.
Mary, the oldest daughter of Luis & Mary Scigliane, was born in March, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. The family moved to the Panama Canal Zone in her youth. Mary spent her high school years back in Brooklyn with her maternal grandparents and graduated in 1962 from the State University of New York – New Paltz, receiving a degree in Education.
Mary returned to the Canal Zone to begin her teaching career. It was while she was teaching in the Military Dependent School System that Mary met her husband, an Air Force pilot, at Howard Air Force Base. They were married in November 1964. They left Panama in 1967, with one son, and eventually settled in New York. Their second son was born there while her husband served in Vietnam. Upon his return, they lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where their third son was born. Upon Maj. Leach’s retirement from the Air Force in 1972, they moved to Atlanta. After living in Decatur for seven years, Mary and her family moved to Lilburn, where she resided since 1979.
Mary returned as a full-time teacher for Gwinnett County in the early 1980’s, teaching first at Dacula, then Snellville, Middle Schools until she retired in 2003.
In the 1970’s, Mary was a tireless advocate for POW-MIA organizations. Also, in the 1970’s, Mary, with her family’s support, sponsored a family who had escaped from Laos. They have since thrived. Outside of her direct family, she would consider this her greatest accomplishment and legacy.
Mary was an avid pet lover, having numerous wonderful dogs and cats over the years while saving many others. Upon her retirement, Mary focused much of her time on one of her true passions, becoming a Master Gardener. Additionally, she and her husband spent considerable time working as volunteers at the Lilburn location of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul store.
Mary was an active Zonian, and maintained ties and lifelong friendships with so many she knew from her youth in the Canal Zone.
Visitation will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 2-6 p.m. at Eternal Hills Funeral Home and Memory Garden, 3594 Stone Mountain Highway, Snellville, Georgia. Funeral services will be on April 4, 2019 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Lilburn, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, Mary’s family asks that you consider donations to World Vision, www.worldvision.org, her favorite charity.
- Visitation Saturday, February 2, 2019
Mary L. Leach
February 4, 2019
My condolences to the Leach Family. Mary was an excellent teacher and a wonderful person. She will truly be missed.
With sincerest sympathy, Lynda Ashby, SMS colleague and friend
Bob & Gail Williams
February 2, 2019
Bob and I want to express our deepest sympathy for your families loss and will keep you in our prayers.