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Memorial service
Saturday, May 18, 2019
2:00 PM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
220 Erbes Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA
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Joseph Gerard Leggett Sr.


1921 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Joseph Gerard Leggett Sr. Obituary
Joseph Gerard Leggett Sr.

Thousand Oaks - Joseph Gerard Leggett Sr. died at the age of 98 on April 6, 2019, at his home in Thousand Oaks, California. He was born on March 09, 1921, in New York, New York, to Francis Hunt Leggett and Elsie Leonard. His family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1923, eventually moving into the second floor of the family's dress shop, Leggett's, on the corner of Beverly and Sweetzer. He is a graduate of Fairfax High School (Class of '39) where he excelled at the mile run. While living in the Fairfax District he attended the grand opening of Farmer's Market, took the Red Car downtown to Wrigley Field to watch the Los Angeles Angels, and worked at his family's dress shop as a delivery boy. He received an M.B.A. at Loyola Marymount University, graduating early to enlist in the United States Navy during World War II. He trained in Chicago, Illinois, and became one of many "90-day wonders." He was stationed on Peleliu, where he reconnected with an old college classmate, John Hanna. The two became lifelong friends. As the war ended, the Navy put his business degree to use, assigning him the role of explaining benefits to sailors leaving the service. Joe started his own accounting business pushing aside his natural talent as a comic. This was noted on the liner notes of a Bob Newhart album where producer Roland Kibbee wrote that Newhart was the funniest CPA who became a comedian, while "Mr. Leggett is the funniest comedian who ever became a Certified Public Accountant." His accounting services led to him meeting his future wife, Carmen Affeldt. The two were married in 1953, eventually raising a family of five. In 1963 the family moved to Thousand Oaks, California, where Joe was hired by the Janss Corporation. The stay in Thousand Oaks was short as Joe, despite never being on a pair of skis, was selected by the Janss Corporation to manage Sun Valley, Idaho, a world-renowned ski resort. After getting the resort running smoothly, Joe, Carmen, and the kids moved back to Thousand Oaks buying a home in 1965 that Joe occupied until his death. He ran for city council in the first official election of the recently christened city. He lost, but spent the next several decades speaking at council meetings fighting for various causes such as affordable housing. Joe's dedicated service to the Janss Corporation led to him being named president of the firm in 1974. Due, in large part, to his honest business dealings he was selected to lead the dissolution of the Janss Corporation's assets after it closed its doors. Among his many duties in that role was overseeing the art collection of Ed Janss, including the record-breaking auction at Sotheby's New York. In 1994, Joe was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. He was a regular at the Kingdom Hall until his death. Joe enjoyed attending Dodgers and Rams games, watching USC football, playing practical jokes, jogging, researching a variety of topics including the Holocaust, playing chess and bridge, and conducting choirs. He is survived by his five children, Sam (Teresa), Adrienne, Rachel, Joe Jr. (Patsy), and Ben (Catrina); grandchildren Sephton (Ana), Kailie (Brett), Penelope, Sofia, Mimi, Jayke, Karina (Mike), and Tina (Peter); great-granddaughter, Carmen Olivia; many nieces and nephews including his brother's children Michael and Theresa. Preceded in death by wife, Carmen, daughter, Allison, and brothers, Jack, Donald, and Jerry. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in his name to jw.org (or simply don't shop at Sit 'n' Sleep). Memorial will be held May 18, 2019, 2:00 PM, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 220 Erbes Rd., Thousand Oaks, California.
Published in Ventura County Star on May 15, 2019
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