Reverend Robert David Leas

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Reverend Robert David Leas of East Tawas entered the higher life on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Tawas St. Joseph Hospital in Tawas City, age 84.
Robert was born on Dec. 12, 1933 in Indianapolis, Ind. to Ralph and Ina (Abney) Leas. He graduated with the Class of 1952 from Noblesville High School in Indiana. Robert earned a bachelor's degree with honors in history from Indiana University in 1956. During his junior year at IU, he participated in a study abroad program at the American University of Beirut, where he developed a lifelong interest in and love of the Middle East.
In 1957, Robert studied at the Faculté de Théologie in Montpellier, France. He earned his Master's Degree of Divinity in 1961 from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill., and the same year was ordained in the Presbyterian Church. His first call as a Presbyterian minister was to Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa, with later pastorates at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Ind. and Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing.
His pastoral career also included over 30 years in clinical pastoral education (CPE) as an educator and CPE supervisor, training seminary and chaplaincy students in hospital settings in Park Ridge, Ill., South Bend, Ind., Saginaw and Ft. Wayne, Ind. until his retirement in 2002.
The Tawas area became a new home to Robert in 2015, where he enjoyed the rural beauty and small town life. His retirement activities included writing, genealogical research and serving on the board of the Swedenborg House of Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. Robert published a biography of Anton Boisen, who is credited as the founder of CPE.
As a Hoosier, Robert was passionate about basketball, and faithfully followed IU and the Golden State Warriors! He attended Tawas Area Presbyterian Church, where he enjoyed the community of faith. Robert will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marjory Leas of East Tawas, with whom he had recently celebrated 20 years of marriage. Robert is also survived by seven children, Michele Winegar of Grand Rapids, Annette (Tom) Jaenicke of Olympia, Wash., Nancy Leas of Carbondale, Colo., Karl (Emily) Leas of Madison, Wis., Rebecca (Marcus) Moore of Saginaw, Daniel Shelley of South Haven and Kathryn (Julius) Brown of Philadelphia, Pa.; seven grandchildren; and many special friends. Robert was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Kent Leas.
Per his wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held through a memorial service at Tawas Area Presbyterian Church on Friday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. with Reverend Kathleen Rowe officiating.
Those wishing to express their condolences through a memorial donation are encouraged to consider either Tawas Area Presbyterian Church, 2095 East US-23, East Tawas, MI 48730; Almont New Church Assembly, Attn: B.J. Neuenfeldt, 850 North US-23, East Tawas, MI 48730; or American University of Beirut at An online guest registry is available at
Published in Iosco County News-Herald and Oscoda Press from Sept. 19 to Oct. 2, 2018
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