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John Earl LeachJune 8, 1934 ~ September 26, 2017 (age 83)
John Earl Leach, better known as Jack, was born June 8, 1934 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He attended St. Stephens in his early years, attended St. Joseph Seminary as a freshman and sophomore and then graduated from Grand Rapids Catholic Central in 1952. He then attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated with a Bachelors of Engineering in 1956 from the School of Civil Engineering. He pursued and received his Professional Engineering license after college. Jack also served 2 years in the Army after college. He was stationed at Ft. Belvoir.
Jack was very proud of all the construction projects he was part of. He often told stories about these projects and the challenges they had. He specialized in heavy, marine, foundations and underground construction. Jack owned his own construction company for many years. It was very important to him that his employees stayed busy because their families were depending on him.
Jack was a huge Notre Dame Football fan. He could tell stories for hours about listening to them on the radio as a kid and again about the many games he attended later on in life. He coached little league football and watched his grandsons play in their high school years. He also enjoyed watching one grandson play college football.
Other interests of Jack’s were Politics and History. Jack ran for US Congress in 1976. He would also often talk about / educate us about many historical events.
His Irish Heritage was very important to him. In 1981, Jack completed a book he worked on for several years. He spent many hours traveling, investigating and talking with people in Michigan and also in Ireland. The book is titled “The Genealogy and History of the Families of Jack Leach and Janet Quillan.” It is very in-depth and very well organized.
Jack also brought a group of children over to Grand Rapids in 1982 for a short time from Northern Ireland to help them be ‘kids’, allowing them to escape the violent conflict that was happening in their towns.
Jack just celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary to his beloved wife and best friend Janet this past September 7th.
Jack passed away September 26, 2017.
He leaves behind his wife Janet Marie (Quillan) of 60 years, 4 children (Michael, Maureen, Martin and Marianne). 2 daughter- in-laws Jana (Wiegerink) and Sandy (White), 1 son-in-law (Tom VanHarn), 8 grandchildren (Jessica (Corey Bordo), Casey, Zachary, Kevin, Kelly, Timothy (Erica Hoven), Michael, Kaylin) and 1 great grandchild (Remy). Additionally, Jack leaves his brother Lary (Shele), sister Maggie (O’Dwyer) and many nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death are Jack’s brother Richard (Dick) 1995, his wife Rosemary 2005 and parents Edwin Earl Leach 1975 and Margaret Leach (Doyle) 1993.