American Patriotic 10

Leigh R Sewell

April 4, 1940 ~ December 13, 2021 (age 81)

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Obituary

Leigh R. Sewell, Jr. of San Antonio, Texas, died December 13, 2021.  He was born April 4, 1940 in Long Beach, New York, son of the late Leigh and Elizabeth Sewell.  The family moved to Martinsville in 1943 and Leigh grew up there.  For years he delivered the Wilmington News Journal in Martinsville accompanied by his faithful dog, Spot.  He graduated from Martinsville High School in 1958 and participated in the Randall work-study program at Wilmington College, graduating in 1962.

Leigh then enlisted in the US Army and spent three years in the service, two of them in Japan.  He returned to the U.S. and settled in California.  He worked for the U.S. Postal Service in San Francisco and earned a master’s degree in English Linguistics from San Francisco State University.

Leigh helped set up the "English as a Second Language" (ESL) program at the University of Houston, TX.  He also taught ESL in Humacao Puerto Rico, Bogotá Columbia, Dhahran Riyadh, and Jeddah Saudi Arabia.  In later years, he was with the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, teaching English to students from all over the world.  While at Lackland, Leigh went twice to Afghanistan to work near Kabul.  He retired in 2014.

He had studied the Russian language and was able to spend several summers in Russia and the Ukraine on his own.  He loved reading, journaling, playing tennis, hiking at least five miles a day wherever he was, and most of all, traveling in his minivan across the country to be with his family.  Leigh was a quiet, loving, unassuming man who liked to listen rather than talk.  He had a wide range of interests and a strong sense of adventure, and we will miss him forever.

Surviving are his children, Jennifer (Jim) Cowan of Columbus, Ohio, Holly Sewell of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Patrick (Gina) Sewell of Ithaca, New York; grandchildren, Drew, Ashley, and Ryan; the mother of his children, Karen Wollam of Phoenix, Arizona; sisters, Fran (Harold) Oberlin of Wilmington, Ohio and Marilee (Bill) Baird of Centerville, Ohio; several nieces, nephews and cousins including one special cousin, Patricia Reed of Gaithersburg, Maryland; a special childhood friend, Tom Custis of Martinsville, Ohio.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM, Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Smith Funeral Home, 327 N. South Street, Wilmington, Ohio.  The funeral service will follow at 1:00 PM, Saturday, January 15.  Burial will be in Martinsville I.O.O.F. Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leigh R Sewell, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
January 15, 2022

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Smith Funeral Homes
327 N. South Street
Wilmington, OH 45177

Funeral Service
Saturday
January 15, 2022

1:00 PM
Smith Funeral Homes
327 N. South Street
Wilmington, OH 45177

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