John Michael (Mike) Leach went home to be with the Lord on June 10th, 2020 while riding his motorcycle, one of his many passions. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jane Fiebach Leach; his children Kristen Newton (Bill), Portia Zimmerman (Mark) and Derek Leach; his sister Suzanne Earnest (Rob); and his five grandchildren. He has been a resident of Bend, Oregon since he retired in 2002.
Mike was born August 28th, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan to parents John Francis (Frank) Leach from New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland and Lee Marie Serre Leach from Ontario, Canada. He has one sibling, Suzanne (Leach) Earnest of Reno, Nevada. He graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1970 with a BS in Political Science, and also obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from JFK University in 1983.
His career spanned across multiple industries. After graduating from college, he worked as an Industrial Engineer for Ryerson Steel in Chicago, Illinois; was Plant Manager for Corite Reynolds Manufacturing in Chicago, Illinois; owned two retail clothing stores in Evergreen, Colorado; and was Plant Superintendent of Fiberboard Corporation in Fruita, Colorado. He was also a volunteer fireman and certified EMT. In 1977, his interest in law enforcement led him to become a full-time Police Officer in Aspen, Colorado where he served from 1977–1979. He then moved to California and served as a Detective, Corporal, and Patrolman for the Pleasant Hill Police Department from 1979–1984. In 1984, he purchased Acme Fixture & Casework in Oakland, California which he successfully ran until selling the business in 2000.
Mike was a strong man of God and his most important role was one of loving son, husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend. He took great pride in his family and his most joyous moments were around the dinner table on Thanksgiving, where he could see his entire family gathered together in a celebration of thanks. Mike was also an amazing friend to many, and was always there to help, listen and support.
Mike loved life and lived it to the fullest. He spent his retirement traveling the world with Jane; taking motorcycle trips through the Alps, New Zealand, and Norway; fly-fishing numerous rivers throughout the lower 48, Alaska, and Argentina; and exploring all the beauty of the NW in their RV. They were members of Broken Top Club and enjoyed golfing, hiking and all that Central Oregon has to offer. He was an accomplished pilot and his great love for flying led him on many exciting adventures.
He will be remembered for his huge heart, overflowing generosity, dynamic sense of humor and lively storytelling. He was truly one-of-a-kind and will be missed by many. Due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions on gatherings, we will be having a celebration of his life at a later date. Details to follow when available. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Samaritan’s Purse, www.samaritanspurse.org or Mission Aviation Fellowship at www.mafint.org. The family is asking that IN LIEU OF FLOWERS all donations be made to these charities in his name.
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