James R Leach '59 passed away on April 9, 2016. The following article is from Tulsa World.
James R. "Jim" Leach, gifted surgeon, a gentleman and a gentle man who experienced life's ups and downs with equanimity, left this world April 9, 2016 for his next great adventure after a spirited battle with Parkinson's disease.Jim lived life with passion and drive.
He was a devoted husband to Carol, his wife of over 52 years and a loving and attentive father and grandfather. He treasured his career as a Urologist, with an extra special place in his heart for his Pediatric Urology patients. With his free time, he seized every opportunity to enjoy life. Whether playing tennis, sailing, gardening, swimming in his pool, playing in his regular poker game, or traveling the world, Jim was always active. Playing golf at Shangri-La and Southern Hills was Jim's favorite way to spend a beautiful afternoon with friends and family. A hole in one at The Boulders was a highlight of his golfing days.
Born in West Frankfort, Illinois, to Mildred Center Leach and Randal Adrien Leach, Jim learned the value of education and hard work. He graduated as valedictorian of Frankfort High School in 1955, and went on to the University of Illinois, Champaign, and then the University of Illinois Medical School, interning at Illinois Central Railroad Hospital.
On July 6, 1963, Jim married Carol Seidenbach. They met while on a double date, when she was a junior at Northwestern and he was in his last year of medical school. Jim's date spent the evening comforting a friend and Jim spent the evening wooing Carol, who saw in Jim an astonishing resemblance to her father. They were a couple from that night forward.The pair traveled from Illinois to Michigan to Ohio to Texas as Jim completed residencies in general surgery, urology, pediatric urology and two years in the U.S. Air Force. During this time, their son, Christopher James Leach, and daughter, Leslie Carolyn Leach, were born.
In 1970, they returned to Tulsa, Carol's hometown, where Jim was the fourth partner to join Tulsa Urologic Clinic.These were joyous years for Jim and his family watching his children's musical and theatrical talents emerge, traveling with their close friends, hosting neighbors for an annual Fourth of July pool party, sailing at the lake, welcoming into the family Robert van Egmond, a Dutch foreign exchange student, even experiencing empty nest syndrome. Tragically, their happiness was shattered when Chris died of sudden heart failure at age 30.But Jim and Carol experienced joy once again. Daughter Leslie found true love, thanks to Jim's introduction of his college sweetheart's son, Scott Crawford. The couple brought new happiness to the family with three daughters, whom Jim watched grow into beautiful and talented young women.
Jim contributed to Tulsa's medical community beyond his medical practice. He served as Chief of Staff of St. John Medical Center and chaired the urology section and numerous medical committees. He was on the St. John board of directors from 1989-1995, a clinical professor of surgery/urology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine-Tulsa and chairman of the board, Valu-Med IPA. In 1996, with partners, he set up Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma, Inc., from which Jim retired in 2007. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and his son, Chris.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; daughter, Leslie Crawford and husband, Scott; granddaughters, Caroline, Susanna and Clare Crawford; sister, Kay Gholson and husband, Jerry; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Cynthia and Alvin Kruse.Service will be held 11 a.m., Wednesday April 13, at All Souls Unitarian Church. Moore Funeral Home Rosewood Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
To remember Jim, friends may contribute to Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma (parkinsonoklahoma.com) or the Michael J. Fox Foundation (michaeljfox.org/Donate_Now). Moore's Rosewood Chapel, Tulsa 918-744-1202. www.moorefuneral.com