JIM LEAHY

Obituary
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  • "Nancy and family, for some unknown reason I stumbled onto..."
    - Tish Mehaffie
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    - Nancy Cole
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    - Louise Adams
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JIM LEAHY Jim Leahy of Yakima passed away peacefully on March 7, 2017. He was 70. James Patrick Leahy was born January 12, 1947, in South Bend Ind., the fifth of eight children of Florence (Reilly) and Frank Leahy, the legendary football coach at Notre Dame. Jim grew up in South Bend and Michigan City, Ind., at the height of his father's coaching career. Notre Dame won national championships in 1943, 1946, 1947 and 1949 and was voted No. 2 in 1948, going undefeated the final four years. Frank served in the Navy in 1944 and 1945. Frank retired from his 13-year coaching career in 1954 with a record of 107-13-9, including 87-11-9 at Notre Dame and 20-2 at Boston College. His overall winning percentage of .864 is second in college football history only to Knute Rockne's .881. Jim was one of three successive generations of Leahys on Irish football teams. Frank was a tackle under Rockne (1928-30), Jim was an offensive lineman under Ara Parseghian (1965-68), and son Ryan was a guard and two-time captain under Lou Holtz (1992-95). Son Pat was also a scholarship athlete and monogram winner at Notre Dame, as a baseball pitcher, and daughter Regan received her monogram at the University of North Carolina on a track and field scholarship. Jim arrived in Lake Oswego, Ore., his senior year of high school and met his future wife Nancy Holden. They graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1965 and went on to college, Jim at Notre Dame and Nancy at the University of Oregon and then at Purdue University. Jim and Nancy married on August 2, 1969, at Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego, and moved to Walla Walla, where Jim began a 38-year career as a corrugated container salesman. His first 23 years were with Boise Cascade, a job that took them to the Tri-Cities and to Yakima in 1980. The three Leahy children were born in the Tri-Cities. Jim dedicated his volunteer life to kids' sports activities. He coached basketball and baseball and served as a director on football and community youth athletic boards for 35 years. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brother Frank II and sister Florence. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy of Yakima, sons Patrick of Yakima and Ryan (Becky) of Wilmette, Ill., daughter Regan (Sam) Boye of Morton Grove, Ill., grandchildren McKensie and JohnPatrick of Yakima, Reese and Reilly of Wilmette, and Sam III (Trey) and Declan of Morton Grove, sisters Suzanne (Deno) Moustakas of Illinois and Mary Leahy of Colorado, brothers Jerry Leahy of Hawaii, Fred (Patti) Leahy of Arizona and Christopher (Kathy) Leahy of Portland, Ore., and twenty-one nieces and nephews. A Prayer Vigil will take place at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 16, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Yakima. The memorial service will be held Friday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Family, with private burial to follow at a later date at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Portland, Ore. Keith and Keith Funeral Home in Yakima is in charge of arrangements. To celebrate the life of Jim and share a memory visit www. keithandkeith.com. Contributions in memory of Jim may be made to University of Notre Dame Early Childhood Development Center at Notre Dame, Ind., 46556, Sunnyside Community Hospital Foundation, and Parker Youth & Sports Foundation in Yakima.
Published in Tri-City Herald on Mar. 12, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Keith & Keith Funeral Home
902 West Yakima Ave | Yakima, WA 98902 | (509) 453-9155
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