Helen Jean Leightenheimer, 89, of Rosemount, died Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at the SOMC Hospice Center. Born on June 18, 1925 in Portsmouth, she was the daughter of the late Ora Howard Blair and Helen Crabtree Blair, was raised in Eden Park and attended both Clay and East school systems. Following high school, Jean attended Bob Jones University, earning a degree in voice and education.
Mrs. Leightenheimer was sought-after as a vocalist and was a frequent soloist at area churches, Temple B’Nai Abraham, and with the Portsmouth Male Chorus. Early in her career, she sang under the late Paul Thompson, whom she succeeded as choir director at Central Presbyterian Church from 1960 until 1972. After retiring from public singing, she served as organist first at Christ Community Church, and then Bigelow Church, from which she retired in 2006.
As a music educator, Jean first served the West Portsmouth system following graduation from college. After a hiatus to begin a family, she returned to public school teaching in 1966 at Wheelersburg Elementary. She joined the Clay system the following year, where she taught both elementary and high school vocal music for nineteen years, until her retirement in 1986.
Also preceding her in death were a son, David, Jr. in 1978 and a brother, Alden Blair.
A devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Leightenheimer is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, David; a son, Douglas of Tucson, AZ; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at Grace Community Church at Bigelow, 415 Washington Street, with Pastor Gary Chaffin and Pastor Kevin Hay officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Burial Park. The family will receive friends at the BRANT FUNERAL HOME IN SCIOTOVILLE from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday.
Memorial contributions may be made to SOMC Hospice.