Robert E. Leigh passed away at home, under Hospice Care in Delta, Colorado after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
He was born to Millie (Stratbucker) and Edward E. Leigh in Omaha, NE. At a very early age, Bob and his brother Richard (Dick), began working for "Uncle Herm" on the Stratbucker Farm. They learned the value of hard work and sacrifice. No complaining and no stopping till the job was done. Bob attended Miller Park School and North High. A scholarship helped him go on to Northwestern University in Chicago, IL where he earned a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering.
In 1955, he married Elaine Nicholson and joined the Navy. He was stationed at NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines (Civil Engineering Corps). Their first son, Tom, was born during this time. In later years, Bob, Tom and 2 granddaughters made a sentimental return visit to Subic Bay.
Following his Honorable Discharge, Lt. Commander Leigh, returned to Chicago where he resumed his Civil Engineering career. He remained in Naval Reserve for many years. Work took him to CT, Mass and CO. Two more sons, Jeff and Craig were born during this time.
In 1970, work brought Bob back to Denver, CO where the family settled. Soon Bob established his own Civil Engineering firm, specializing in traffic engineering and consulting. His business prospered and grew as he took on new partners to become Leigh, Scott and Cleary with offices in Denver, Colorado Springs and Tahoe, CA. Bob received many awards from ACEC and a lifetime membership in ITE.
In 1988, Bob formed another partnership when he married Hazel Elaine Channon. He gained another son, Steven, a daughter, Lorraine and a new family in Canada and the UK.
In 1994, Bob and Elaine bought a lovely acreage in Hotchkiss, Western Colorado. Bob's lifelong dream of being an apple orchardist came true. For several years, they juggled orcharding and Denver careers, while building a beautiful home on Rogers Mesa.
Finally in 2000, Bob and Elaine moved permanently to the "Western Slope". Bob became very active in Kiwanis and Colorado Apple Administrative Committee and served on Memorial Hall Board.
Bob gathered life-long friends from all walks of life. A true adventurer and explorer, he enjoyed anything done "outdoors", whether on land or water. Hiking was a passion and mountains were a special joy. At age 63, he summited Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro. In his early 80's, he was trekking across Ireland.
He was a voracious reader-especially interested in history and the Civil War era.
Bob was a devoted family man. His family was the most treasured thing in life, they brought him so much joy and he loved them dearly. He was especially proud of his 6 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elaine Nicholson and his brother, Richard Warren Leigh.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Hazel Elaine; three sons: Tom (Anna) of Estes Park, Jeff (Sherri) of Silverthorne and Craig of Centennial; step-son, Steven (Naomi) of Cody, WY; step-daughter, Lorraine (Joe) of Estes Park; 6 grandchildren: Jessica, Whitney, Allison, Stephanie, Kyle and Thomas Robert "Tom Jr." and his extraordinary cat, Jackson.
The family suggests memorial donations be made in Bob's memory to HopeWest Hospice, PO Box 24, Delta, Colorado 81416.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but he will be forever in our hearts.
Immediately following the service there will be a gathering of friends and family at Redlands Community Center, 2463 Broadway, Grand Junction Colorado from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.