Peggy Leach

For Peggy Leach, the best way to express her love of music was to teach it to others.

“She enjoyed teaching music to her students,” said Mary Sue Gibson, principal of Mill Creek Elementary School. “She imparted her knowledge about music and music education onto her students. She was a very dedicated teacher.”

Her passion also lived on in her children.

“My two sisters and I are all musicians, largely owing to her passion for music,” said David Leach, Peggy Leach's son.

Peggy’s two daughters play piano and clarinet, and her son plays baritone and trombone. All three of her children also sing. Mrs. Leach was a violinist and a vocal musician.

Peggy Leach of Columbia died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, at University Hospital. She was 69.

She was born Nov. 9, 1941, to Oscar and Ruth (Youngblood) Bruce in Philadelphia She came to Columbia in 1955 with her parents and grandmother. Peggy attended Hickman High School, Stephens College and MU, where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. In 1963, she earned her bachelor's degree in education from MU.

On June 16, 1963, she married Alan Leach.

Mrs. Leach taught fifth grade and elementary vocal music for 38 years in Columbia public schools. She retired in June from Mill Creek Elementary School.

She was also a former member of the Columbia Mother Singers.

To her family, Mrs. Leach was a loving wife and a devoted mother and grandmother.

“Something that she passed on to us is keeping family important, as really one of the most important thing there is,” David Leach said.

Mrs. Leach also loved nature.

“She loved coming out to visit and getting out to the mountains and seeing the streams and the trees,” said David Leach, who lives in Colorado.

Even when Mrs. Leach was at home, she enjoyed sitting on her large porch in warmer months, having a nice time and enjoying the outdoor scenery, the sun and her flowers.

“She loved flowers," said Amy Leach, Mrs. Leach's daughter-in-law. "There are always six or seven different flowers blooming in her front porch and her front yard.”

In her later years, Mrs. Leach and her husband would drive around Missouri and neighboring states during the weekends.

“They must have covered the entire state of Missouri multiple times, probably, on road trips,” David Leach said.

Mrs. Leach is survived by her husband, Alan Leach of Columbia; two daughters, Amy of Columbia and Kelly and her husband, Kevin Wiggins, of Parrish, Fla.; a son, David and his wife, Amy Leach, of Denver; and four grandchildren, Madeleine and Addison Wiggins, and Nicholas and Haley Leach.

Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. 10th St. in Columbia. Services, conducted by John Yonker, will be at 11 a.m., Monday at First Christian Church, 101 N. 10th St. in Columbia. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. in Columbia.

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