Van E. Leigh, Sr.
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Funeral services for Coach Van E. Leigh, Sr., 87, of Monroe, will be held at 2:00 P.M. Friday, May 17, 2013, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church with Dr. Tim Neustifter and Dr. Warren Blakeman officiating. Interment will follow at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, Sterlington Road, Monroe.
Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. Thursday at Mulhearn Funeral Home.
Coach Leigh passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at his residence after a brief illness.
Coach Leigh was born December 3, 1925 in Grosse Tete, LA, the youngest child of Eugene Roy and Betty Bankston Leigh. He was educated in the Iberville Parish Schools and graduated from Shady Grove High School in 1942, where he received the outstanding Boy Athlete Award. He received his B.S. degree in physical education from Louisiana State University in 1950 and his Master's Degree in Education from Northeast Louisiana University in 1965. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was stationed in France.
Coach Leigh was preceded in death by parents; Brother, Eugene Roy Leigh, Jr. and wife, Birdie; two sisters, Helen Leigh Keller and husband, Jim and Betty Leigh Davis and husband, Wallace; and niece, Diane Leigh Ford.
Survivors: his wife of sixty-four years, Syble Watson Leigh of Monroe; Daughters, Nancy Leigh Smith and husband, Carl of Tallulah and Peggy Leigh of Monroe; Son, Van E. Leigh, Jr. and wife, Laura of Las Vegas, NV; two grandchildren, Jason Smith and Ashley Smith of Tallulah; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Coach Leigh was instrumental in bringing track an field to Northeast Louisiana. Track was one of his passions in life. He was also a huge fan of LSU, Neville High School, and the New Orleans Saints. He was a coach at Neville High School and Lee Junior High School from 1950 until 1973. Upon his retirement, he dedicated many hours of his time to the youth of Ouachita Parish serving as the Clerk of Course for many area high schools and college track meets. The relays at Neville have been named in his honor, as well as the gym and field house at Lee Junior High. He has been a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church since 1953. He was a member of Dr. Clifton Flynn Memorial Sunday School Class and was honored as a Lifetime Member in the National United Methodist Men. He was dedicated to his church and his family.
Pallbearers will be Thomas Eddleman, Joey Bayles, Steve Jefferson, Dr. Mike Davis, and Bob Brown.
Honorary Pallbearers will be James Gross, Billy Pee, Chick Childress, Sonny Smith, George Davis, Dr. Steen Trawick, Mickey McCarty, Bill Johnson and Joe Caskey.
Memorials may be made to the St. Paul's United Methodist Church, the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter or
Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
Mulhearn Funeral Home
Mulhearn Funeral Home Inc
2308 Sterlington Rd
Monroe, LA 71203
Published in The News Star on May 16, 2013