Alice Mills (Mills) Leighner

January 13, 1940 ~ February 16, 2022 (age 82)


Alice Mills Leighner, 82, departed this life on February 16, 2020 at Midstate Medical Center in Meriden. She was the beloved wife of the late Leslie Leighner.

Alice Mills Leighner born Alice Elizabeth Mills on January 13, 1940 in Columbus, Ohio only daughter and child of George E. Mills and Elizabeth (Evans) Mills.  Lived in Athens, Ohio graduated from Athens High School in 1958. Graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1962 with a Journalism AB degree.  Received her Master of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University in 1967. Alice married Leslie H. Leighner on February 22, 1964 at Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio and lived in Columbus through September 1967 when they moved to Ossining, N.Y. when Les joined IBM.  Moved to Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. in 1969 and settled in Wallingford, C.T. in 11985. Leslie died February 7, 1998 and is buried in Rockford, Ohio.

Alice was a newspaper photographer for the Croton-Cortlandt News in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. and The North County News of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. for 16 years. 

She is the author of Reynard: The Story of a Fox Returned to the Wild published by Atheneum, NYC in 1986. Reynard was later re-issued as a paperback as part of a school curriculum package by Houghton-Miffin of Boston.  It was a Reading Rainbow Book Club listing and in the National Wildlife Federation Christmas catalogue for several years.

Although Les and Alice did not have any biological children, they were abundantly blessed with the following children through various means:

Eric Hough, Fresh Air Fund (NY Times program for inner-city children) of West Haven, CT (at age 9)

Juan Silva, Fresh Air Fund of Colts Neck, N.J. (at age 10)

Edwin Oquendo, Fresh Air Fund in Croton

Enrique (Kiko) Cavero, American Field Service foreign exchange student, Lima, Peru, 1984-85

Stig Eikedal Anderson, AFS foreign exchange student, Norway, 1987-88

Phetole Ramatapa of South Africa; Southern CT State U graduate; lived with Leighners 7 years.

Huidong Zhu, AFS English teacher from People's Republic of China. Hosted in 1988-1989. Teaches ESL and Mandarin Chinese.  Married to Aiqui (Amy) Wang.  Son, Minyan Zhu (grandson who came to US at age 9) and his wife, Kirti

Joachim Muenz, AFS Germany, 1989-1990

Stuart Brown (surrogate son), son of Rev. Gertrude Brown of Wallingford, lives with his wife, Carolyn and daughters in Bristol, CT.

Fredric Corbi, France, ESL teacher in Montreal Canada

Damien Keyeux, AFS Belgium,

Mele Manala, Samoa

Tamas Deak, Budapest, Hungary

Mario Francisco (Paco) Bazan, AFS Lima, Peru

Miroi Nicholson, AFS New Zealand; lives in Melbourne, Australia

Chuan Muangkaew, AFS Thailand

Also survived by two brothers-in-law and their spouses: David and Linda Leighner of Rockford, Ohio; Ed and Jo Leighner of Union City, Ohio and a sister-in-law, Mary Lou and David Fisher of Cecil, Ohio.  Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Alice is a direct descendant of Joshua and Elizabeth Shaw Wyatt, original settlers of Athens, Ohio.

Had 9 Schipperke dogs: Bear, Lexi, Fat Albert, Foxy Lady, Paddington Bear, Sherman, Mr.Bear, Ozzie, (we will forget Rambo) and Yogi Bear.

Alice will be laid to rest alongside her husband at Riverside Cemetery in Rockford, Ohio on June 25 at 11am. We invite you to reminisce about Alice after the burial service. Please join us to share memories and light lunch at Rockford United Methodist Church at 202 South Franklin Street, Rockford, Ohio.


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