Dr. Robert Leighton Obituary

Dr. Robert E. Leighton
Dr. Robert E. Leighton
Dr. Robert E. Leighton

July 17, 1922 - August 4, 2011
Born in Manchester, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Dr. Robert E. Leighton, 89, of Des Moines died Thursday, August 4, 2011 at Wesley Acres Retirement Community. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, August 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with visitation one hour prior to the services. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery.

Robert Leighton was born in Manchester, IA and lived in Des Moines for over 60 years. He earned his doctorate in dentistry from the University Iowa. After serving as a dentist in the U.S. Navy during World War II he returned to the University of Iowa to earn his Masters in Dentistry and teach as an Assistant Professor of Dentistry for the dental college.

Dr. Leighton and his wife, Jo, were married in California in 1947 and, after completing his education in Iowa City, moved to Des Moines. Dr. Leighton practiced in Des Moines for 44 years, from 1951 to 1985. During this time he helped establish the Iowa Academy of Dentistry for Children, serving as its first president.

Dr. Leighton was active in the early organization of St. Theresa Catholic Church and enjoyed volunteering for its many activities including serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and helping to establish the Holy Name Society. After retirement, he expanded his volunteerism by joining the Golden Kiwanis, driving patients for the American Cancer Society, working at the DMARCC Food Pantry and serving as treasurer of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In his leisure time Dr. Leighton enjoyed golfing, fishing and walking, especially with the Volkssport Association.

Dr. Leighton was devoted to his family. His survivors include his wife of 64 years, Jo of Des Moines; five children, Mike (Mary) of Omaha, Peggy (Jim) McGillen of Naperville, IL, Paul (Jeanne) of Apple Valley, MN, Kathy (John) Campbell of West Des Moines and Chrissy (Gerard) Nikodem of St. Louis, MO; 16 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Irene Leighton and his sister, Kathleen Reed.

Memorials may be directed to St. Theresa Catholic Church, Dowling Catholic School or Sacred Heart Catholic Church.


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Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Saturday, August 6, 2011
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Saturday, August 6, 2011
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Saturday, August 6, 2011
11:00 AM


St. Theresa Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Dowling Catholic Foundation
1400 Buffalo Road
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50265