Donald Lee Leach

October 10, 1934November 20, 2012

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.


  • Visitation Wednesday, November 28, 2012
  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 29, 2012

Donald Lee Leach

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Cheryl Heitmann

December 2, 2012

I so enjoyed getting to know Don through Rotary. I always looked forward to seeing his welcoming smile and chatting about city politics. He always made me feel special. I will miss him

Lela Henke-Dobroth

November 30, 2012

I knew Don for years throughout my career with the District Attorney's office. He was a compassionate and caring man. Always with a big smile and something kind to say. Our community has suffered a loss with Don's passing. My condolences to the family.

Mike Serrano

November 30, 2012

Don was the first Captain I worked for when I came on the Highway Patrol in 1983. He not only was a "boss", he was a kind caring soul who would always reach out and offer a helping hand when needed. He was never too busy to visit! Even in the years after leaving the Patrol when I ran into him, he still had the same caring approach. A genuine kind hearted man who will be missed by those lives that were touched by him.

Frank & Patti McNeely

November 30, 2012

I worked for your Father on the California Highway Patrol. I was a Sgt. and we enjoyed each other. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time. As time passes it will get easier knowing he is where he has wanted to be for a while.

karl eggertsen

November 29, 2012

Don was a neighbor and good friend of the Eggertsen family for many years. Loyalty, dedication, reliabiity, and good nature were some of his hallmarks. He was always willing to lead or support most any activity to help others and do good for the community. We will miss his big smile, friendly wave and kind words wherever we would run into him. He was as fine a man as I have ever known. We will miss but never forget him and all he accomplished and did for others.
I agree with Karl. I will miss seeing him and talking to him while he was out in front waiting for the mail. He always noticed our grandkids and always had a good word for them.. I remember when there were a couple of times he forgot to put the trash out and he would walk across the street, knock on our door, and ask if he could put some trash in our barrel. His usually went out first, and ours still needed to be picked up. He was such a gentleman about it;never surreptitiously sticking his trash in our barrel!

Our condolences to all his family and many friends in these difficult times.

Karl Eggertsen and Scharden Eggertsen

Kay Reckord Ames

November 29, 2012

To the family of Don Leach:
So very sorry for your loss, I worked with Don when I was in high school and upon returning from college while working for the Redwood Broadcasting Company in Eureka, CA at KIEM-KRED Radio and TV for Mr. Bill Smullin. He was a very friendly and well liked by his fellow workers, myself included. My condolences to you,and I know that you have many wonderful memories to help you through this very difficult time. Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

Amy McGaw

November 29, 2012

Don you will be greatly missed. Jenna and I have many wonderful memories of joking and laughing with you at meeting and Relay. Now we all have our own security looking over us from heaven.

Amy McGaw
Jenna Hogue

Hillary Asbury

November 29, 2012

A Jack on the rocks in your memory Grandpa Don; I love you, miss you, and will always carry your love with me.

Richard Tucker

November 28, 2012

I will miss you my dear friend. May the good lord hold you and your family close in his hands.

Deborah Shreffler

November 28, 2012

We enjoyed Don (and family) for many, many years at the Conejo Valley Days Fair Chili Cook-offs. He will be sorely missed. What an amazing life he lead! You are in our hearts and thoughts...