Obituary for David R Leigh

David  Leigh thumbnail

David R Leigh

July 18, 1933 - October 20, 2020

David (Dave) Robert Leigh, 87, passed away October 20, 2020, at home surrounded by his family who spent his last couple weeks by his side to share memories; play guitar; share jokes; drink apple cider; sing Frank Sinatra songs; and of course to say good-bye. The family felt very blessed to have the time with him, a loving and kind gentleman.

Dave most recently lived in Worthington, OH, but lived many years in San Diego, CA, after leaving the Dayton, OH, area in 1985, with his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Leigh, for a life of sun and warm air.  He started his human resources career at Dayton Power & Light and finished with Sony Electronics, San Diego. In his retirement, he spent 25+ years volunteering for the San Dieguito River Park ( and the SD Valley Conservancy raising money for land or building hiking trails for the Coast to Crest Trail with his fellow “Dust Devil” and close friend, Max Kiltz. Dave also had a passion for classic cars that he’d polish and enter into car shows all over southern California – why not, the weather there is perfect.

Dave had a love for travel.  He traveled the world and the U.S. with Betty. They must have visited 25+ countries over the years.  And for the trips by vehicle, he made large magnetic signs for the back of his VW camper van – one said, “North to Alaska – 9000 miles of scenic beauty and 10 million mosquitos – in 60 days.” He had a great sense of humor that he shared with the world he traveled and the people he met.

Born on July 18, 1933, in Dayton, OH, to Lovell and Mary Culbertson Leigh, Dave graduated from Purdue University and then attended Miami University (MBA) where he met Jane Gross Leigh, married and moved to Centerville, OH, to raise their children, Brad Leigh of South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Carey (Tom) Nash of Worthington, OH.  In addition to his parents and Betty, Dave was preceded in death by his brother, Jerry W. Leigh.

Dave is survived by his children and son-in-law, Tom; grandchildren Kevin, Sam, Katy Nash of Worthington, OH; Kyle (Amanda) Leigh of Wichita, KS; and great-grandchildren Holden and Harrison Leigh; and a number of nieces and nephews.

A private family celebration will occur in Dayton in the spring when it warms up.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the organization that strives to preserve this country’s beauty, educate and makes hiking trails available to everyone: (
San Dieguito River Park JPA

18372 Sycamore Creek Rd.

Escondido, CA 92025

Beth Corthell posted on October 29, 2020

Dears Carey, Tom, Kevin, Sam, Katy: We are privileged to have known Sweet David & to spend precious time with him & your family, with our mother, Carmella. We shall always remember last Christmas, so fondly. Thank you for sharing your journey with David, with us and our mother. Though our circumstances are never the same, we are always together and share a special understanding and bond that others may never comprehend. David was amazing, & we’ll remember him well whenever we’re on that next hike. Sending Love to you 5 & Peace for your hearts. Always, Beth Corthell & Felicia Sauder

Cathy Frank posted on October 28, 2020

Carey and Brad, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. He was also a special person to me and my family. We got to know him thru Betty, they both were special people. Cathy & Cal Frank

Mike leigh posted on October 28, 2020

Thank you for the opportunity to have a great uncle to share my life with. Dave was always funny caring and welcoming


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