Cover photo for Robert Joseph Leigh's Obituary
Robert Joseph Leigh Profile Photo
1930 Robert 2020

Robert Joseph Leigh

August 14, 1930 — July 13, 2020

Bob was born August 14, 1930 to Roy J. Leigh and Elizabeth M. Leigh in Chicago, Illinois.   He entered eternity on July 13, 2020 from complications of Parkinsons.  His grade school years were at St. Viator’s on Chicago’s Northwest side.   He entered the minor seminary at age 13 to pursue a vocation in the Roman Catholic priesthood.   During his theological studies in Italy, it became apparent that a priesthood was not for him.  He accepted this decision and came to appreciate it better in later years.  He returned to Chicago in 1956 and worked for four years in the equipment engineering division of the then Western Electric Co. (Bell System); he attended law school evenings at the John Marshall School of Law. After successful bar examination, he was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1960.  During his work/education period, he was a member and exercised a leadership role in the Catholic College Alumni Club headquartered at Loyola Towers, Chicago.  In 1961, he was hired by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC as a trial attorney.  In 1964, he left the FCC for private practice as an attorney and lobbyist for rural telephone and electric systems throughout the country.  For 31 years, he traveled extensively representing them before Congress, federal/state courts and commissions.  He also spent time in Europe and Asia promoting methods of rural coverage for telephone and electric systems.  He conducted a variety of legal and technical seminars/workshops for rural attorneys and managements here and abroad.  He loved his work mainly because he was involved in exciting rural development projects with great worldwide results being achieved between 1960 and 1995.  In 1995, he and Audrey retired to rural Idaho. 


In 1961, his future wife worked at the US State Department.  They were married within six months and together they had six children – Patrick J., Christopher J., Michael J., Anthony F., Clare Marie and Paul.   Bob had no notable hobbies because his free time was spent generally with his wife and children.  He frequently said “The greatest thing any father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Indeed, this marriage continued to deepened for 58 years. He also, shared a deep love for rural areas and the people living there, identifying closely with them.  He personally took special delight in working for his rural church, Sacred Heart, in Clark Fork, Idaho.  Bob was also a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus.   In February 2008, Bob received an award from the Inland Northwest Blood Center for his voluntary donation of blood exceeding the five-gallon level.  Subsequently, he continued on with his blood donations to win the respect of the people and the affection of children in times of their serious needs for blood for life.


Private family inurnment will be in Pinecrest Memorial Park.    

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