Captain Richard W. Leighton, 91: Navy Captain with a heart of gold

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BRUNSWICK — Captain Richard W. Leighton, 91, of Orr’s Island and Brunswick, died on June 29.

The son of William and Florence Leighton, he spent his childhood in Cape Elizabeth and Portland.

Leighton attended Wesleyan University, graduating in 1942. He served in the Navy during WWII and for 27 years, retiring to Brunswick in 1969. During his service, Leighton attended Stanford University and earned his masters degree in business administration in 1952.

After second and third careers at Bath Iron Works and the Maine Hospital Association, he and his wife, Christine, settled in Harpswell. There they enjoyed golf, bridge, travel, family and friends. Leighton was an avid reader. He loved spending time at the shore and, of course, his beloved Red Sox. 

Leighton’s volunteerism over the years was legendary. A partial list includes; Mid-Coast Red Cross (past president and recipient of the Clara Barton award), Navy League (past president), Retired Officers Association (past president), Pejepscot Historical Society (docent at Chamberlain House), Brunswick Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow), Bowdoin Town and Gown, and even as an ambulance driver for the Harpswell volunteer Fire Department. He was very involved with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where he served the congregation in just about every capacity imaginable. 

Following the death of his first wife of 60 years, Leighton married Eileen Fletcher in 2007.

Leighton was predeceased by first wife, Christine (Davis) Leighton, of New Hope, Va; and sister, Mimi Mayo of Falmouth.  

He is survived by wife, Eileen; sons Richard Leighton, of Portland, Tim and his wife, Diane Leighton, of Hampton, Va. and Brian and his wife, Kristen Leighton, of South Berwick; grandson, Zachery; and his brother, Adam.

A celebration of his life will be held at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 132 McKeen St, Brunswick, 10 a.m., July 6, 2012. A reception will immediately follow in the parish hall. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to be made in his name to the Mid-Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, 16 Community Way, Topsham, Maine 04086, Pejepscot Historical Society, 159 Park Row Brunswick, Maine 04011 or to a charity of choice.

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