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1931 - 2014

John E. Leigh, M.D. (S ’60)

Dr. John Edward of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Dr. Jack Leigh’s time of death was noted in his chart on August 14, 2014. He was 83. John (Jack) Edward Leigh was born on July 3rd, 1931 to Ralph and Bernice Leigh in Grand Forks, ND. The youngest of three sons, he attended Shattuck in Faribault, Minnesota, and was destined to follow the rest of the family into the medical field. Jack attended the University of North Dakota where he lettered in gymnastics and completed his biology degree in three years. Before heading to Harvard Medical School he asked Grace Ann Campbell, his art, his music, and his laughter, to marry him.

Jack interned at what is now Hennepin County Medical Center and was a surgical resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. During his twelve years in the U.S. Air Force Jack served at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and spent his final year stationed in Thule, Greenland where he was hospital commander. In 1965 the family moved from Alabama to Moorhead, MN to be closer to their families. Hired by St. Luke’s Hospital and the Fargo Clinic, Jack, Grace and family settled into the Fargo-Moorhead area for the next 25 years. During his time at the Fargo Clinic (MeritCare) he served as Chief of Surgery and was known for his outstanding surgical skill. The nurses enjoyed working with “Betadine Jack” known for his calm demeanor in the operating room, liberal use of Betadine, fondness for bowties, and walking faster than anyone else through the hallways.

Unable to pass up the opportunity to return to the Mayo Clinic, Jack and Grace moved to Scottsdale, AZ and Jack spent his last five years of practice at the Mayo Scottsdale. When not in the operating room, Jack continued to work with his hands building pieces of furniture or fashioning bowties out of exotic woods. Upon his retirement, Grace convinced Jack to travel and together they experienced countries in Europe and Africa, England, China, Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, when Grace died, the two had traveled together for 54 years. Jack spent his last few years in memory care at ClareBridge of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The beloved “Dr. Jack” continued to take histories and check on patients.

Jack was preceded in death by his wife Grace, and his brother, Dick. He is survived by his brother, Jim, four children, Cindy (Dave Maltry), Nate (Jacke), Jay (Cari), and Sara (Dean Sather), and ten grandchildren: Mandi, Amy, Adam, Katy, Hannah, Zia, Thomas, Duncan, Tehya, and Jonathan. A memorial service will be held at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Minnetonka, MN on Monday, August 25th at 2:00 p.m. Memorials can be given to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

Obituary courtesy of the Star Tribune.

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