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Wendell Leroy Leach M.D.

1929 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Wendell Leroy Leach M.D. Obituary
Wendell Leroy Leach, MD

Detroit - Wendell Leroy Leach was born, November 23, 1929 to the union of the late Ralph Emerson Leach and Lillian Leontyne Henderson, in Detroit, MI. He was the second of four sons. All his brothers preceded him in death. Wendell and his family lived on the West side of Detroit for decades. He attended Sampson Elementary and graduated from Northwestern High School in 1947.

Education was important to the Leach family. Both his parents were graduates of historically black colleges. Wendell attended Howard University for one year prior to gaining admission to Wayne University in 1950. He was initiated into the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in December 1950. While at Wayne, he majored in Chemistry, and graduated in 1953. Soon thereafter, he married Arthuree Jeter, whom he dated while attending Wayne University. To this union two daughters were born, Leslie and Carolyn.

In 1953 Wendell Leach entered the Wayne University, College of Medicine. At that time, this class had the largest enrollment of African American medical students. Wendell graduated from Wayne State University, School of Medicine in June 1957. He was one of four graduating African American students in the class. During medical school and thereafter, he was a devoted member of the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical fraternity.

After medical school, in 1957 Wendell interned at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He completed his surgical residency at Pontiac General Hospital in 1963. In 1964 Wendell opened his first medical office located at 10811 E. Warren in Detroit, where he practiced as a physician and surgeon for many years. He also worked as a City physician, taking house calls throughout Detroit. While pursuing his own practice, he also acquired the practice of Ralston S. Mitchell, MD. He consolidated the East Warren offices into his office at the Professional Plaza, near the Detroit Medical Center. Wendell practiced medicine for 36 years having privileges at numerous Detroit Area hospitals and held medical staff director status at selected hospitals as well. He retired from private practice in October, 1999.

While medicine was at the center of his life, he also enjoyed sports; most of all, tennis, any day and anytime. He traveled to numerous countries with family, friends and Wayne State Alumni. He loved music, but especially, jazz. It was not uncommon to find him at Bakers Keyboard Lounge any given weekend. His love for music stayed with him until his last days. Even though his movement waned, his toes continued to dance to each and every beat of the music, as long as it played on.

Wendell Leach passed from this life, quietly and peacefully, early the morning of May 8, 2019. Wendell leaves to cherish his memory: his two daughters, Attorney Leslie R. Leach and Dr. Carolyn S. Leach.; nieces, Michele Leach, Sharon Leach, Robin Leach; nephews, Ralph Leach, Robert Leach, Guy Leach; cherished friend Sharon Ferrigan, and other beloved family members, friends, caregivers, and colleagues.

Services at James H. Cole Funeral Home, 2624 West Grand Blvd, Detroit. Family hour: Thursday May 16, 6 to 8pm. Funeral service: Friday May 17 at 9am.

Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News on May 15, 2019
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