Donavon D. Leighton
Donavon D. Leighton, 78, of Winside, died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 at a Grand Island Hospital.
Services were held Sunday, Oct. 16 at the Winside High School Gymnasium in Winside. The Rev. Dale Topp officiated.
Burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery in Winside.
Memorials may be directed to Winside American Legion Post #252 and Winside United Methodist Church Building Fund.
Arrangements were with Hasemann Funeral Home in Wayne.
Donavon David Leighton was born April 12, 1938 in Bedford, Iowa to Glenn and Floris (Campbell) Leighton. He graduated from Bedford High School, received his B.A. at Tarkio, Mo. and Masters Degree at UN-L. Donavon married Marilyn Ross on Aug. 13, 1960 at Chartiers United Presbyterian Church in Canonsburg, Penn. 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, Nebraska and 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, among others. 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.
Survivors include his daughters, Kimberly Leighton of Bradenton, Fla., 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.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marilyn in 2012; siblings, Harry, Robert, Richard, and Kathryn.
Honorary pallbearers were Donavon and Marilyn’s grandchildren and great-granddaughter.
Active pallbearers were Richard Leighton, Don Ross, Al Schlueter, Paul Roberts, Ron Ross, Steve Jorgensen, Dan Jaeger, Joe Mundil and Bill Reeg.