Emile Leighty
1936 - 2020
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Emile Leighty
January 27, 1936 - September 26, 2020
Palmetto, Florida - Emile Stingley Leighty, 84, went to be with the Lord on September 26, 2020. She was born on January 27, 1936, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the daughter of Emil Herman and Gladys Margaret Sonneman.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, H.D. (Ike) Leighty and her brother, Bill Sonneman. Survivors include a son, Chuck Pearce (Linda) of Little Rock, AR.; two daughters; Robin (Tom) Sedley and Susan Baldwin, both of Houston, Texas. Three grandchildren; Christopher Pearce and Adam Pearce (Amberlie) of Little Rock and Alexa Pearce of Fayetteville, AR. Two sisters; Mary Kate (Bob) Arrington of Little Rock and Sarah Agee of Fayetteville; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Emile was a graduate of Fayetteville High School and then initially attended Lindenwood College (now University) where she avidly pursued her passion of being an equestrian. In addition, she was an accomplished pianist and continued to play until her death.
In 1955, she married LeRoy Pearce, and they had three children together. The family moved frequently with LeRoy's advancement as a collegiate football coach, the last location of which was Miami, Florida where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. About that same time she became interested in and later impassioned with becoming an artist. She mastered multiple mediums, to include pottery, oil painting, textile collages, quilts and her favorite, and most challenging, water colors. She has won numerous art shows and has donated several pieces for charity auction.
After marrying Ike Leighty in 2004, they settled in Waterloo, Iowa, and traveled extensively throughout the world, oftentimes in association with DOCA, Defense Orientation Conference Association of which Ike was a member. Ike and Emile wintered in Florida where she became a benefactor of Van Wezel Performing Arts and enthusiastically attended as many of the shows as possible. Upon Ike's death, she moved permanently to Palmetto, Florida, continuing her relationship with Van Wezel, her art, and supporting many local charities.
She will be missed by many and was a friend to all, often described as "never having met a stranger". Memorials in her honor may be made to HOPE Chest, 1215 8th Ave W, Bradenton, FL, 34205

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Published in Bradenton Herald on Oct. 18, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
April 21, 2021
Emile was a sweet, sweet Lady. She and Ike were a wonderful couple and will both be greatly missed.
Steve Schmitt
April 19, 2021
There are no words to describe that woman , Im just a Serbian guy and a waiter on a ship. She was no guest she was a familly . My deepest condolences to the family❤
Igor Isailovic
October 30, 2020
Emile was an incredible human and did so much for the world during the time she had here. Her contributions will live on through the non-profits like Operation Rainbow that she supported and to all of us she impacted along the way. Sending love and gratitude to her wonderful family at this difficult time.
Michelle Lowenberg
October 29, 2020
It is with my regrets finding out about Emile's passing, such a beautiful Lady and artist. She will be missed tremendously. Condolences to the entire family. RIP Emile!
Gabrielle Panaite ( Van Wezel Box Office)
October 28, 2020
Such a sweet, lovely lady. So very kind and interested in everyone. She will be missed by everyone in the Van Wesel Box Office.
Cissy Shuler
October 15, 2020
I cleaned for Emile. She was the kindest, most compassionate woman. She loved to ask about my grandkids and always wanted to see pictures. When covid hit, I stayed away since she was having some medical issues. I kept in touch but she was still sick. I tried to reach her a few times in the past weeks, but I had a terrible feeling. I Googled her and read her obit. I am so sad.. she will be missed
Cindy Carter
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