Obituary Listings

Anita Gail Leach

January 4, 1955 September 7, 2020
Anita  Gail  Leach
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Obituary for Anita Gail Leach

Mill City- Anita Gail Leach was born on January 4, 1955 in San Luis Obispo, California to Charles and Doris (Manis) Swanson. She would go on to graduate from Peterson High School in Sunnyvale, California. After high school she attended Humboldt State University where she graduated with a  Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Management in 1978.  Anita worked as a seasonal employee on the Ochoco National Forest  in Hines, Oregon until accepting a professional forester job on the Detroit Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest. She worked there in several capacities including silviculture, fire and fuels management,  and wildlife. For most of her career she served as an Environmental Planner.  Anita left the Forest Service for 4 years to be a grant writer and teacher for North Santiam School District. She returned to the Forest Service and worked on the Sweet Home Ranger District until retirement in 2016 and a total career of 30 years. She continued to work as a member of a fire overhead team after retirement and would have been involved with the current fires in the Santiam Canyon had her health allowed. 

Anita met Dave Leach in 1977 while they both worked for the Forest Service in Hines, Oregon. They were married the next year in Reno, Nevada. Dave and Anita transferred to the Willamette National Forest and settled in Mill City in 1979. In 1983 they welcomed Andrew into the world and two years later, Alice.  

Anita was an avid volunteer and organizer. She was a 4H leader, T-ball coach, SYFA leader, Ford family Foundation trainer and elementary classroom volunteer. She participated in Outdoor school, the Save Our Bridge committee, Mill City Beautification committee, Santiam Canyon Youth Benefit Golf Tournament, Free Fishing Day, the Sweet Home Forestry Competition,  Fire School, and recently the successful school bond drive and truly too many other contributions to mention . Because of her work, she received many awards and accolades, including induction into the Santiam Canyon “Hall of Fame”, Mill City 1st Citizen and numerous U.S. Forest Service Superior Achievement Awards. 

In her spare, time Anita’s hobbies and activities, over the years, included tennis, volleyball, softball, camping, gardening, sewing/quilting and doting on her grandchildren. 

On September 7, 2020 Anita passed in Mill City, Oregon. She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Doris. She is survived by her husband, David Leach; Children Andrew (Jessica) Leach and Alice (Ben) Kintner; Grandchildren, Everett, Sloan, Owen; and brothers, Mike and John.  Anita was a 26 year survivor of cancer, 13 years of those after it returned. She endured surgery, radiation and nine different chemotherapy treatments. During that borrowed time, she saw her children grow to adults and three grandchildren come into the world.  She lived several lifetimes in those years. On the day she died we evacuated our home as Mill City was caught in the Santiam Fire. Our house was spared but many others were not.  If Anita was here, she would be working on the fire and afterwards she would undoubtedly have given her time selflessly to the recovery. Due to the COVID pandemic and ongoing fire situation, no memorial service is currently pending. When things are more sorted out, if anyone wishes to donate to fire recovery in the local area in Anita’s name, our family would be extremely grateful.

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