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Monday, June 26, 2017

Preston LEAKE Obituary

LEAKE, Preston Hildebrand, 83, of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed away Monday, December 10, 2012. He was born in Proffit, Va., on August 8, 1929, the youngest of five children, to parents, Lydia and Perry Leake. He attended Broadus Wood School and graduated from Lane High School in Charlottesville in 1946. Preston received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 1950 and earned masters and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from Duke University (1953 and 1954). He married Elizabeth Ann Kelly in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 5, 1954. They lived in Hopewell and Midlothian, Va., before retiring to Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville. Dr. Leake was a research chemist and R&D manager with Allied Chemical, Albemarle Paper, and retired as Vice President of Research at American Tobacco Company. He was chairman of the Chesterfield Library Board which built five libraries during his tenure. He was active in the Rotary Club in Hopewell and the Catfish Club, a speakers' group in Richmond. Dr. Leake was awarded Chemist of the Year for service to the Virginia Section of the American Chemical Society of which he was a 50-year member, and supported the Virginia Junior Academy of Science. He completed many major home improvement projects at the family farm, Pangunosies, on Swift Creek in Chesterfield County. Preston was an active computer enthusiast from the earliest days of home computing. During retirement, he did extensive research into family genealogy and wrote more than 10 books on the history of several branches of his family. Dr. Leake believed strongly in education, and he and his wife, Ann, sponsored several scholarships and teaching awards. Preston is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Ann Kelly Leake; his son, Luther and his wife, Cathy Jo, of Waterbury Vt., son, Lawrence, and his wife, Jett, from Ocean Springs Miss., foster son, Bruce Jones of Virginia Beach; and granddaughters, Leann, Laurel, Kelly, Logan, Katelynn and Julia. The family especially appreciates the support of niece, Judith Peatross and her husband, Mac, and are grateful for the concern of many other relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville in January at a time to be announced. Donations can be made to the Appomattox Regional Library (209 East Cawson St., Hopewell, Va. 23860) or the Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge Foundation (250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville, Va. 22911). Family and friends may sign the guest book at

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Published online on 12/14/2012 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.