Longtime Nikiski resident Mae M. (Garner) Leighton, passed away Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna from natural causes. She was 70.
A viewing will be from 12-2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Memorial services will be 3 p.m. Thursday at Nikiski Fire Station #2, Mile 26.5 Kenai Spur Hwy. James Baisden and Tim Tolar will officiate. She will be buried in College Mound Cemetery near Terrell, Texas.
Mae was born Aug. 21, 1943 in Paragould, Ark. She graduated from Terrell High School in Terrell and she attended the University of Texas
She moved to Alaska in 1970 and lived in Anchorage, until moving to Nikiski in 1978.
She had received the Auxiliarist of the Year and was awarded AUXOP status in 2012. In her younger years, she was an amateur concert pianist. She was also an ardent reader, loved to sew and cross stitch.
"Mae was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister-in-law, and aunt. She lived a full life with her family in Alaska, Texas, and Florida," he family wrote.
Mae committed her life to service within the community as a volunteer with the USCGAUX for over 32 years and with the NFSA for over 25 years.
As a member of the USCGAUX, Mae was Flotilla Vice Commander, Commander, Division Vice Captain, Captain, and Rear Commodore. She held numerous appointed positions within the Flotilla, as well as the District Career Counselor through which she spearheaded the recruitment of high school students for the Coast Guard AIM Program, and appointments to the USCG Academy. She also served as an Instructor, Boat Crew Member for Search and Rescue operations in Seward, AK and participated in Marine Safety Programs to educate the general public.
Mae worked tirelessly on behalf of the Nikiski community for more than 25 years, as a board member, she helped oversee the Nikiski Fire Department. She was extremely proud of the members of the NFD and skill and courage that they brought to the job every day. Her caring spirit and knowledge will be greatly missed by all.
It's hard to put a number on it, but the lives she touched are countless, her dedication not only to the members of her USCGAUX, USCG and NFD, but also the entire State of Alaska was unprecedented and she will be greatly missed.
Her service, love, and care was first and foremost with her family in Alaska, Texas, and Florida. She is greatly loved and will be missed by us all."
Mae was preceded in death by her parents, A.H. and Louise Garner. She is survived by her husband, George Leighton of Nikiski; daughter, Michelle Leighton of Terrell, Texas; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Chrystal Leighton of Nikiski; grandchildren, Bryce and McKenna Leighton, both of Nikiski; in-laws, Patsy and Roger Osborne of Inverness, Fla.; and numerous other extended family members.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Nikiski Fire Department,
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.