First Posted: 1/15/2009
William Leach, 70, of York County for the past year and a half, passed away peacefully on Nov. 2, 2O07.
The funeral celebrating the life he lived will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Rowland, N.C., the Rev. Samuel McCormick officiating. Interment will follow in Beauty Spot United Methodist Church Cemetery with full military honors .
Leach was born June 5, 1937, in Rowland. He was the son of William Ernest and Martha Leach.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Ernest and Martha M. Leach; a brother, Wilbur Leach, an older brother, Ralph D. Leach; and an older sister, Ernestine Leach Miles.
Leach graduated from Southside High School on May 1, 1954, and on June 1, 1954, he joined the United States Army.
Leach enjoyed a military career of 3O years and retired as command sergeant major. During the early years of his career, he received a collegiate degree in German and was able to fluently speak, write and interpret German. He rose from the ranks of a private to that of command sergeant major,
His military tenure began at Fort Jackson, S.C., and continued across the United States at such places as Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Eustis, Va., Fort Belvoir, Va., and Fort Ord, Calif. Sgt. Maj. Leach served two tours of duty in Germany. He experienced combat duty in Korea as well as Vietnam.
He was awarded the Air Medal for heroism, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart for his valiant response in saving several lives. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V device the first Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with V Device, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal with First Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnamese Campaign Medal and the Vietnamese Service Medal.
His military career concluded at Fort Belvoir, Va., with the Department of Defense. He began a second career with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, where he worked as an asset management coordinator. He retired in July 2002 after 20 years of service.
He leaves to cherish his memories a sister, Sarah L Johnson; his nieces, Lauren Wells of Washington, D.C., Aria K. Johnson of Williamsburg, Va., Yolanda Leach and Shaylita Leach, both of Charlotte, N.C., and Tasia Leach of Richmond, Va.; his nephews, Ralph Cedric Leach, Darryl D. Leach, and Desmond Leach, all of Charlotte, Darryl Leach and Arthur K. Johnson Jr. (Odie), both of Williamsburg, Ronald Miles and Gregory Miles, both of Washington, D.C.; a very dear friend, Bennie Rogers of Maryland; two very dear cousins, George and Barbara Baker, both of Rowland; as well as a host of other family members and caring friends.
The family wishes to extend its most sincere appreciation to the staff of Sentara Health Care Services inclusive of the Hospice House Staff. They extend a special thank you to nurses Ginette Stewart, Malenda Jordan, and Allan Willie for all the loving care they provided and for the many things they did that are too numerous to mention.
Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
The viewing will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday until one hour before the funeral.
Whiting's Funeral Home of Williamsburg, Va., and Jackson Funeral Home of Rowland are serving the family.