A. Leon Arksey

A. Leon

October 28, 1926
-" March 25, 2011

Arthur Leon Arksey was born in Toronto, Ontario, and raised in Mozambique, East Africa, where his parents were missionaries. His early education was at home through the Calvert Correspondence Course.
He attended high school in Germiston, South Africa. After one year of college at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, he returned with his family to the United States in 1946, completing his undergraduate education at Greenville College in Illinois. He received his master's degree in English at the University of Illinois, where his uncle, Arthur Secord, was his major professor and mentor.
Leon began his teaching career at Whitworth University, where he met his future wife, Laura Morris. They were married in 1958 and moved to Seattle, where Leon taught at Seattle Pacific University until his retirement in 1992. The Arksey's three children were born and raised in Seattle. In 1971 and 1972, Leon was a visiting professor for Semester at Sea (then called World Campus Afloat), and was able to bring the family in 1972. Leon's avocational interests included music, travel, skiing, hiking and camping, which he enjoyed with his family. A 1978 sabbatical enabled them to spend the fall term in England.
Upon Leon's retirement and move to Spokane, he became active in historic preservation efforts, church work at Hamblen Park Presbyterian, and music, serving as a board member of the Spokane String Quartet. He and Laura enjoyed several trips to Europe as well as sharing a vacation home on the Columbia River with their son.
Leon Arksey is survived by his wife, Laura; daughters, Andrea Chandler and her husband, Robert, of Salem, OR, Meredith Arksey and her husband, Jim Hoar, of Pullman; son, Matthew Arksey and his wife, Susan, of Seattle; grandchildren, Colin and Antonia Chander; and step-grandchildren Tara, John, and Molly Conley. Leon is also survived by his sister, Alice Jarrett and her husband, Gene, of Jekyll Island, GA, and their four daughters.
A memorial service will be held Sunday evening, May 8, 2011, at 7:00 PM at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church.
Leon Arksey will be remembered as an inspiring teacher, introducing generations of students to the great works of English and American Literature. His family will cherish his memory as a devoted husband, father, and brother. His friends will miss his lively conversation and unfailing hospitality. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Spokane String Quartet or Hospice of Spokane.

Published in Spokesman-Review from May 1 to May 2, 2011