Kathleen Ann (Roche) Leach, 74, breathed her last in this life early Sunday Morning, July 25, 2021 at her home in Casco Township, Michigan after a frustrating struggle with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. She was born on March 25, 1947 near the community of Freeland, MI, during a significant spring snow storm. Her older brother, Art, remembers watching an old Galion road grader -with a Vplow on the front- working to open the road a day or so after Kathleen was born. While growing up, Kathleen, her brother, and her parents lived in an upstairs apartment of her paternal grandparent's home, and her maternal grandparents lived around the corner, about a mile away.
For her senior year of high school Kathleen attended Spring Vale Academy, a small boarding school near Owosso, MI affiliated with the Church of God (Seventh Day). After graduation from high school, she earned an associate’s degree from Delta college near Midland, MI. She worked for Dow Corning as a secretary in the days of shorthand and dictaphones. Through mutual church and family connections she met and married Jeff Leach, and moved to Allegan where she worked in the county treasurer’s office until the first of their two sons was born. From then on, she was happy to be a stay-at-home mom and homemaker.
Kathleen journeyed alongside Jeff as his partner in marriage and ministry for 52 years and their family has been blessed by the devotion she put forth in many acts of service and adventurous outdoor activities including hiking, biking, canoeing, and sledding. In ever increasing sensitivity, wholeheartedness, and oneness, she was a devoted partner in life, prayer, and inner heart-level transformation. She valued things that turned attention toward God, including listening to Moody radio, and significant experiences with Jesus such as baptisms and weddings, and folks enjoying life. She spent much of her life standing in front of the kitchen sink and stove, but early morning quiet times of reading her Bible (before the others of us woke up), as well as prayer times around the kitchen table were two of her places to get refreshed. In recent years Mom experienced many sleepless nights, and related deeply to the words of the song “Blessings”, written by Laura Story.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, Jeffrey (Jeff), her brother, Arthur (Art) and his wife Marie of Monclova, Ohio, her two sons, Chester (Chet) Leach and his wife Jennifer of Mesa, AZ, and Philip (Phil) Leach of Casco, Michigan, as well as her two grandsons, Corbin and Zachary Leach of Mesa, AZ, and numerous other relatives, nieces, nephews, friends, and family in Christ.
Even as a young girl, Kathleen was a gracious host to her neighborhood playmates, but preferred the solitude that returned when they went home. Thus, according to her wishes, there will be a simple, private graveside service on Friday, July 30 at the Stephenson Cemetery in Casco Township. Her preference (found written down in her own handwriting and filed away in a manila folder titled, “Funerals”) was, “No flowery stories about my life –reality! Talk about my faults and need for a Saviour.”
Later on Friday, July 30 the family will be accepting visitors at the home of Kathleen and Jeff Leach, 6454 111th Avenue. Neighbors, family, and friends who feel prompted to join are welcome to stop by and share condolences from 2 to 4pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Feel free to give Kathleen a salute with a couple taps on your horn if you are going by and don't have time or feel like stopping in. With God's help, the visitation/open house might be followed by a time of quiet reflection, taking turns sharing our grief and thanksgivings while listening to each other.
Kathleen's family appreciated the many inspirational, uplifting, and compassionate words, prayers, cards, and delicious and helpful acts of kindness that have been delivered by family and friends.
In leu of ordering flowers at this present time perhaps you'd like to consider picking a future date (sometime in the next several months) and putting a note on your calendar to send a little remembrance of Kathleen (a card, a small bouquet, a package of cashews or chocolate..) to one or more of her surviving family members.
Our aching hearts find hope and comfort in the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
"Who gives this woman to this man?"
The pastor asked that day.
"Her mother and I" was the answer
Dad heard her father say.
And now fifty-two years later
the question comes again.
It's being asked by Jesus
as we give her hand to Him.
It's not because we love her less
or want to see her go.
We trust there's something better
that Jesus has in store.
A celebration's coming soon
when Christ will claim His bride.
It gives us peace to know that Mom
will be there at His side.
It isn't easy letting go
and loosening our grip.
Helpless feelings flood our hearts;
we speak with quivering lips.
We release her to the Master,
our Maker, Lord, and King --
the One Who can calm oceans
and causes stars to sing!
We give Mom to be married now
in a far more glorious way
than any earthly wedding;
more grand than words can say.
Being known and knowing Jesus
surpasses other pleasure.
In mysterious sweet communion
Mom is Christ's priceless treasure.
And He in turn is her reward,
and will be on that day
when He awakes her from this sleep,
"Well done" she'll hear Him say.
Soon we each will follow her,
and we still have the choice
of esteeming Jesus solely
as "The Pearl of Great Price".
He's like a treasure in a field
worth more than comprehension
but he's no longer buried there
due to His ascension!
Mom wanted "no flowery stories",
just "tell it like it is."
"Tell my faults and need of a Savior"
was her simple request.
The blood of Jesus is her hope --
His sweet, amazing grace
Given freely to us sinners
He died to take our place.
God gave Mom to her parents
and they gave her hand to Jeff.
Now we release her back to God,
and lay her shell to rest.
To send flowers to Kathleen's family, please visit our floral store.