Don Leighton, age 78, of Winside

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Funeral services for Donavon D. Leighton, age 78, of Winside will be held at the Winside High School Gymnasium on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Visitation will be held at the United Methodist Church in Winside on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with family present. Interment will be at Pleasant View Cemetery in Winside. Memorials may be directed to the Winside American Legion Post #252 and the Winside United Methodist Church Building Fund. He passed away Wednesday at a Grand Island Hospital. Arrangements are with Hasemann Funeral Home Wayne.

Donavon David Leighton was born April 12, 1938, at Bedford, IA to Glenn and Floris (Campbell) Leighton.  He graduated from Bedford High School, received his B.A. at Tarkio, MO and Masters Degree at UNL. Donavon married Marilyn Ross August 13, 1960, at Chartiers United Presbyterian Church in Canonsburg, PA.  Donavon taught at Eagle and Guide Rock before becoming the Superintendent at Ruskin.  He served as the High School Principal in Emerson for four years and then as Superintendent at Winside Public School for 34 years before retiring.

He coached numerous sports teams over the years. He held many leadership positions for Nebraska and Wayne Rural Community Association, Wayne Area Retired School Personnel Association, Lewis and Clark Conference, District #3 of the Nebraska School Activity Association, Northeast Nebraska Phi Delta Kappa, and the Winside Community Club. He was currently a member of the United Methodist Church in Winside and formerly of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and served as Trustee and Chairman of the Congregation.  Don is best known as being the biggest fan of his children, grandchildren, their significant others and friends, and his newest joy great-granddaughter, Alexis. He rarely missed a sporting event, dance recital, award presentation, music concert, or social event. Regardless of outcome, he always had a supportive, kind word for the winners and those less successful. He enjoyed traveling, playing cards with his friends, watching Husker games, and counting his chips at the casino. As a role model, he has inspired and provided kind words, encouragement, and mentorship to many people over the years.

Donavon is survived by his daughters, Kimberly Leighton of Bradenton, FL, Kelly (Mark) Harris of Norfolk, Kerri (Jeff) Jones of Columbus and Kathy (Larry) Meyer of Winside; grandchildren, Erin (Landonn) Mackey, Taylor Wozny, Shelby (Colin) Brokaw, Blaine (Krista Hermsmeyer) Meyer, Regan (A.J.) Gordon, Rylee Jones, and Kennedy Jones; Great-granddaughter, Alexis; and nieces and nephews.

Donavon was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marilyn in 2012; siblings, Harry, Robert, Richard, and Kathryn.







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