John Henry Leach

John Henry Leach

O’FALLON, Ill. — John Henry Leach, 91, of O’Fallon, was born April 11, 1929, in Truman, Minn., to Dennis and Virginia (Clow) Leach.

He married Mary Meyer on Dec. 26, 1966, in Mankato, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mary Lou Hilleman; and brother, James Leach.

He is survived by his wife, Mary (Meyer) Leach; his daughter, Rachelle Leach; son-in-law, Tom Farnsworth; and brother, Dennis Leach.

John was a veteran of the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948. He was a teacher and coach in Minnesota senior high schools for 15 years. After one year at East Texas State University, he was a professor of health sciences from 1968 to 1985 and associate dean of the College of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from 1985 to 1993, when he retired from Western Illinois University.

John earned a B.S. Degree in Business Education in 1952 from Mankato State University, M.S. Degrees in Business in 1957 and Physical Education in 1962, and an Education Doctorate in 1966 from the University of Northern Colorado.

He was a varsity gymnast and an outstanding boxer, competing in and winning twice at the National Gold Gloves tournament. He coached two Minnesota state high school champion gymnastic teams and was president of the Minnesota State Gymnastic Coaches Association. He was a life-long advocate and participant in athletics and physical fitness.

While at Western Illinois University, he earned various teaching awards: Health Science Department Teacher of the Year three consecutive years; College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Teacher of the Year; and Professor of the Year, a university-wide award.

Once in retirement, he and Mary enjoyed many years of fun-filled traveling to Alaska, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean and throughout the USA. He spent his final years with Mary in O’Fallon, Ill., near Rachelle and Tom, and he passed peacefully into God’s hands on the night of Friday, July 24, 2020.

A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, July 31, 2020, at Oakwood Cemetery, Macomb, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Schildknecht Funeral Home in O’Fallon.