Clay Community Loses Hall of Fame Coach

A member of the Clay Local School District community passed away unexpectedly this weekend.  Mr. Dave Leightenheimer, a long-time teacher and coach in the Clay LSD, was a mentor for many of the coaches and athletes in the area.  He was a member of the Clay Coaches' Hall of Fame as well as the OHSAA Officials' Hall of Fame.   

Brant Funeral Home

David Lewis Leightenheimer, Sr., 87, of Rosemount, died unexpectedly on Saturday, October 3, 2015, in Columbus. 

Born on July 3, 1928, in Portsmouth, he was a son of the late Ernest Dewey Leightenheimer and Beatrice Holt Leightenheimer.  He graduated from Portsmouth High School and earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the Ohio University in Athens.

Following graduation from Ohio University, David served in the Army at Ft. Richie, MD, during the Korean Era and Viet Nam Era.  He retired as a Major.  After serving the United States, he began a 33-year teaching career, serving the Stockdale, Northwest, and lastly Clay Local School Systems.  He retired from classroom teaching in 1985 and teaching driver’s education in 1988.

A natural athlete, David played basketball for Portsmouth High School and Ohio University.  He coached basketball for the Northwest School System, and track and baseball for the Clay Local System.  He officiated high school football in the State of Ohio for over 20 years and was inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Officials Hall of Fame in 1997.

David was a long-time member of Grace Community Church at Bigelow, where he was active as a Deacon.

Also preceding him in death were his beloved wife, Jean; a son, David Jr.; two brothers, Harold and William; and a sister, Ann Shepherd.  He is survived by a son, Douglas, of Tucson, Arizona, and an extended family of several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday at Grace Community Church, 415 Washington Street, with Pastor Gary Chaffin and Pastor Kevin Hay officiating.  Interment will in the Memorial Burial Park with military honors by the James Dickey Post of the American Legion.  The family will receive guests at the BRANT FUNERAL HOME IN SCIOTOVILLE from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday and at the church one hour prior to the service.

Memorial gifts may be made to SOMC Hospice or the Clay Alumni Scholarship fund.

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