John W. "Jack" Leskera, of Collinsville, IL, passed away on July 26, 2013 at his home.
Jack was born on June 19, 1931. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Verna Leskera. Jack is survived by three children Karen Leskera (David Williams) of Belleville, Elizabeth Going (David) of St. Louis, and John H. Leskera (Jay) (Lillian) of Edwardsville, eight grandchildren, and his dog Merlot.
Jack graduated from Collinsville High School in 1949 and was a member of the Kahok basketball and tennis teams. He attended the University of Illinois graduating with honors and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953 and a law degree in 1955. Jack served as varsity manager of the Illini Basketball team in 1954. Jack remained loyal to Illinois by donating to the School of Law and the athletic department through the Varsity I Club. At Illinois he met his wife, Adele Haven, whom he married on February 5, 1955 in Lake Forest, IL.
Jack served as a JAG officer in the Air Force and he and Adele lived in Yuma, AZ from 1955 to
1958. Jack earned the rank of Captain. Jack proudly claimed he "commanded a LSD during the Korean War." Then, with a playful smile, charmingly clarified that a LSD was a "large steel desk." Jack and Adele moved back to Collinsville in 1958 and Jack began his practice of law.
Jack practiced law with the Dunham, Bowman, & Leskera firm in East St. Louis, Belleville, and
Collinsville from 1957 to 2013, a period of 56 years. Jack was a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Attorneys which is reserved for experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Jack served as the Collinsville School District attorney for 30 years. In 1978, Jack made national headlines when he obtained an order of contempt against striking teachers who defied the court's return to work order. Jack listed Adele, who was a teacher, as one of the selected teachers to be jailed for contempt!
One of Jack's many passions was golf. Jack won the Presidents Cup Tournament at Sunset
Hills Country Club where he was a member for 51 years. He also won the Club Senior Championship in 1995-1996, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2007. Jack enriched life in Collinsville with his charm and wit. He was a member of the Masquers Theatre Group and the Christ Episcopal Church. Jack told stories in a fascinating and entertaining way and was often master of ceremonies at various events. Jack was truly the life of the party.
Jack was a wonderful father, grandfather and friend who was loved and cherished. Jack was very proud of his grandchildren. Jack and Adele attended the Army Navy Football game in 2010 and at the time had one grandson at West Point and another grandson at the Naval Academy. To maintain neutrality they each wore a shirt with Army on one side and Navy on the other! Jack was a season ticket holder at the Muny where he was delighted to watch his granddaughter perform on stage. He also loved watching his grandchildren compete on the tennis court and in the pool.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jack's name to BJH Foundation, Melanoma Research
Fund, 1001 Highlands Plaza Drive West, Suite 140, St. Louis, MO 63110 which provides research for treatment of Melanoma at the Siteman Cancer Center or, in the alternative, to Hospice of Southern Illinois, 305 S. Illinois, Belleville, IL 62220.
An open house in Jack's honor will be held at the Leskera Law Firm, 120 East Church Street,
Collinsville, IL on August 31, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. All are invited to attend.
Published in Edwardsville Intelligencer from July 29 to July 30, 2013