Joan Elizabeth Leigh
July 14, 1937-January 7, 2019
Our loving and devoted wife, mother, sister, grandma, and friend left us on Jan. 7, 2019 after complications from lung cancer. She was surrounded by her daughters and able to say goodbye to her family.
Joan E. Leigh was the second daughter of Grace and John Atlee Mark of Tawas City, Mich. She graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Education. While at Michigan State, she met Jim Leigh and they married in 1958. In 1960, she and Jim moved to Portland and started their family of three daughters. Joan was a treasured teacher for 30 years, many of those at Oregon Episcopal School. When she wasn't teaching, Joan spent much of her time doting on her three daughters and running them around to different athletic and school activities. Jim and Joan loved going backpacking, hiking, kayaking, skiing, biking, playing tennis, and traveling, many times with their daughters in tow. Joan was active in many volunteer activities, including the Albina Child Care Center, Portland Junior League, PPS reading tutor, Ainsworth PTA, YWCA Camp Westwind, and working with the hearing impaired at the Oregon Zoo. She was an avid supporter of
Oregon Humane Society, Lincoln City Backpacks for Kids, Oregon Food Bank, Common Hope, and many other charitable organizations. In recent years she made many close friends through the Alzheimer's Association support groups while caring for Jim.
Her recent joys were walking along the Willamette River by her home and shopping, lunching, and traveling with her daughters. One of her favorite places was the beach. She was passionate about animals, especially cats and her granddoggies. She was always thinking of others and had an extremely generous heart and the gift of laughter. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents Grace and John Atlee and husband Jim. She is survived by her three daughters and their families: Jennifer Cahill (Walter), Amy Chappelle (Mike), Sarah Crisp (Mike); grandchildren Connor Cahill (Maddie), Emily Chappelle, Edwin Chappelle; sister Margaret Diener; and her 6 granddogs.
Donations in Joan's memory can be made to Lincoln City Backpacks for Kids, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Humane Society, or charities of your choice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at the Multnomah Athletic Club.