Robert F. (Bob) Leighton (87) of The Villages, Florida and previously of Cumberland, Maine passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 8, 2021.
He was born in Portland, Maine on January 28, 1933, and raised on a farm in Cape Elizabeth, Maine by his parents Ralph and Alice (Cook) Leighton. Bob was married for 66 years to his loving wife and partner in life, Margaret (Bolduc). They were married in Yarmouth, Maine on September 4, 1954 and settled in Cumberland where they raised their children Susan, Dennie, and Greg.
In their later years, Bob and Margaret began spending more and more time in The Villages, Florida, finally moving there permanently in 2016. Bob attended schools in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, graduating in 1951. While at Cape, he played basketball and baseball, ran track and was the Maine State Long Jump Champion in his senior year. He then attended Boston University for a year before graduating from Gorham State Teacher’s College in 1955 with a degree in Education. That year, Bob began a long career of a teacher, principal, athletics director, and coach at Greely High and Junior High Schools in Cumberland, Maine, retiring in 1980. Bob was a member of the Maine High School Coaches Association, serving as President, and the Maine High School Athletic Directors’ Association, where he was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. He was best known as the AD and the Boy’s Basketball coach at Greely High School for many years, leading the Rangers to the Class M State Championship in 1963.
After leaving teaching, Bob worked at Elan School and was the General Manager at Scarborough Downs Raceway until 1987. Bob was very proud of his co-founding and the development of Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, Maine in 1964 along with five local friends. Bob was the last survivor of the “Original Six”, and brings the founding history of Val Halla to a close. Later, Bob was the General Manager of Val Halla from 1991 to 1997 and felt he had come full circle. He finally retired for good in 1997.
After retirement, Bob and Margaret enjoyed the mild weather and good friends at The Villages, playing golf and visiting the Square in the evenings for the music and dancing. They were especially skilled Jitter Buggers. As Bob’s health began to fail, Margaret tended to him faithfully until Bob finally required a skilled placement. Even then, Margaret visited him daily for meals and comfort.
Bob was pre-deceased by his parents Ralph and Alice, brothers Lawrence and Roger, and daughter-in-law Erin. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret, sister Lorraine (Peter) Webber, close family sister Bertha Gardiner, half-sisters Connie (Dennis) Hogan and Carol McCarthy, daughter Susan (Douglas) Brown, son Dennis, son Gregory (Vicki), grandchildren Robert Morrison, Matthew Brown, Jessica (JJ) Pettis, Brad (Kaleigh) Leighton, Amanda Leighton, Devon Leighton, and Brett Leighton, great grandson Aiden Pettis, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. Bob remained an avid fan for all of his grandchildren’s many activities, especially loud and vocal in the stands.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Val Halla Golf Association Scholarship Fund, at P.O. Box 506, Cumberland, Maine 04110, in Bob’s memory. A funeral will be held with close family members. Interment and a Celebration of Life will be scheduled for the summer in Maine when it’s safe to gather.