Vernon Leach Obituary

Vernon E. Leach
Vern Leach
Vernon E. Leach

July 9, 1916 - March 17, 2014
Born in Iowa Falls, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Vernon E. Leach, 97, passed on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2014 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 24, 2014, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, followed by interment at Glendale Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm followed by a Vigil Service at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, 2014, also at Holy Trinity.

Vern was born in Ackley, IA on July 9, 1916 to Durward and Mary Ann (Keough) Leach. A graduate of Ackley High School and Drake University, he lived in Des Moines most of his adult life. He married Betty Gene (Davis) Leach on Oct. 2, 1939 at St. Ambrose Cathedral.

He served in the US Navy in the South Pacific in WWII. He made an Honor Flight to DC in 2010 and recently documented those WWII memories at the 5th annual Veterans History Project Nov 8, 2013 at AIB College of Business.

He was employed by his uncle's business, Alonzo Leach Musical Instruments, and later the local Internal Revenue Service office, from which he retired in 1978.

He was truly a man of faith, hope and charity, with "good works" a focus of his everyday life. One such example was his assistance with a number of refugee families who later showed their appreciation by staying in contact with him over the years.

Vern was an active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church where he served as a lector and member of the funeral choir. He also was active at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church. He participated in Journey of Faith and Renew faith groups. He was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Serra Club and VFW Post 9127.

Golf, his primary hobby, helped keep him young at heart and fit. At the age of 89 he shot an 88 at his country club, an accomplishment memorialized with a brick at the World Golf Hall of Fame. Listening to music with friends was a favorite pastime.

His loving wife Betty Gene preceded him in death in August 2008. He is survived by four children: Sister Maureen Leach, OSF of San Antonio, TX; Dennis V. Leach (Alice) of Jacksonville Beach, FL; Rev. Gregory Leach of Des Moines; and; Colleen Leach Theobald of Kenosha, WI; grandson, Blake Shepherd (Carol) and great-granddaughter, Elizabeth; granddaughter Amy Ashton (Edward) and great-grandsons, Hunter and Connor; grandson, Patrick Theobald; grandson, Michael Theobald (Traci) and great-granddaughter, Kaeden.

Vern's favorite places to donate were: Sisters of St. Francis – 3390 Windsor Ave., Dubuque, IA 52001; Holy Trinity Catholic Church -2926 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310; St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church-4600 Meredith Dr., Des Moines, IA 50310; or Mercy Hospice, 5820 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA 50131.

The family wishes to thank Mercy Hospice and the many volunteers for their care, compassion, support, and love.

"Click here to view memorial folder"






Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Sunday, March 23, 2014
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Monday, March 24, 2014
10:30 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Monday, March 24, 2014


St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church
4600 Meredith Dr.
Des Moines, IA 50310
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Mercy Hospice
5820 Winwood Drive
Johnston, IA US 50131