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John L. Leighty

McHENRY – John L. Leighty, 85, of McHenry, died Friday, March 29, 2013, in Jacksonville.
He was born Dec. 30, 1927, in Pana, to Marion and Matilda (Kimlell) Leighty. On July 13, 1952, he married Eloise Stattner at Pana Presbyterian Church in Pana.
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps for two terms of service, John served during the Korean War, and also played in the USMC band.
He was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, receiving his degree in music.
A resident of McHenry since 1963, John was the band and choral director at McHenry East and West High Schools.
He was involved with musical productions at the schools, as well as the Marching Band. He retired in 1985 at the age of 58.
Following retirement, he was thrilled to be able to join the Guy Lombardo Band, touring throughout the U.S. with the band for ten years.
John was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church in McHenry, where he directed the church choir for approximately 25 years. He and his wife also enjoyed playing organ and piano duets for church services for many years.
A well-known musician in McHenry County, John was active with the McHenry Stage Band, the Crystal Lake Community Band and the Woodstock City Band, where he was looking forward to a performance this summer marking his 50th year with the band. He and his wife enjoyed wintering with their many friends in Sebring, Fla. Besides his love of music, John also enjoyed tending to his vegetable garden.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Eloise; two children, Amy (Tony) Clark of Jacksonville and Carol (Stefan) Bischoff of Tirschenreuth, Germany; three grandchildren, Sarah (Tom) Anderson of Santa Ana, Calif., Adam (Jenn) Berndt of Ripon, Wis., and Nora Lentner of Berlin, Germany; and three great-grandchildren, Addison and Isaac Berndt, and Nolan Anderson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Hilda and Ruth.
The visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 W. Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry. The funeral service will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home. The cremation rite will be accorded privately.
For information, call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an online condolence message for his family.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Mar. 31, 2013
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