William Leggett Obituary (1935 – 2022) – Pasco, WA
William “Bill” Vern Leggett
June 9, 1935 – January 7, 2022
Pasco, Wash. – William “Bill” Leggett died on Friday, January 7, 2022 at the age of 86 from complications from Parkinson’s disease. Mr. Leggett was born in Gordon, Nebraska to Clifford and Evelyn Leggett on June 9, 1935. For the first ten years of his life, he lived on a ranch northeast of Merriman where his father was a rancher. In 1946, he and his family moved to Caldwell, Idaho, where he attended public schools until 1952, when he left high school at age 17 and joined the United States Air Force. While stationed in England, he completed his secondary education in the Air Force by attending night school, graduating from secondary school in 1956 in Teddington, England. During the day, he worked as a supply specialist and played sousaphone in an Air Force band. In 1957, Bill enrolled as a student at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho. There he met and married his first wife Ruth. They had three children: Deborah, Donald and Richard.
After graduating from college in 1960, Bill took his first teaching job in Boise, Idaho as a 5th grade teacher. After teaching for several years, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he earned a master’s degree in education with a major in school administration, graduating in 1969. After earning his master’s degree, he accepted his first administrative position as vice principal at high school in Siletz, Oregon. Two years later, he moved to Mabton, Washington as principal of Artz-Fox Elementary School. There he met and married his second wife Marjy Wessels. In 1975 he accepted a position as Principal of McLoughlin Junior High where he was instrumental in the planning and opening of the new McLoughlin now located on Route 88 in Pasco. In 1986, he transferred to Pasco Alternative High School, located near the east side of the airport. While there, the alternate high school building burned down during the 1988 spring break, and the school found temporary housing at the Steamfitters Union as work began on the new building, which would become known as New Horizons. Highschool. Mr. Leggett again helped build a new school, which was to be called New Horizons. After school, he applied for and was granted a transfer to Edwin Markham Primary School where he was headmaster for three years and then took a one-year assignment as headmaster of Robert Frost Primary School. where he retired in 1996.
A year after retiring, he ran for the Pasco school board and was elected to a four-year term in 1997. He was reelected in 2001 and served until November 2013. He served as vice president then Chairman of the Board of Directors for two one-year terms. During this time, he also joined the Pasco Kiwanis Club and served as secretary for three years, resigning in November 2004 to accept a committee position with the Washington State School Board Association. Mr. Leggett has also supervised student teachers for Eastern Washington University and student interns for WSU-Tri Cities. Bill’s experience as a high school dropout inspired him to encourage other young people to stay in school.
Mr. Leggett is survived by his wife Marjy, daughter Debbie Metheny, son Richard, two grandchildren, Aleshia Lenz (Blake), Billy Metheny (Megan) and three great-grandchildren, Quinn, Peyton and Hannah. He is predeceased by his brother Jerry Leggett, his father Clifford Leggett, his mother Evelyn Beneze and his son Donald. Bill was a very generous person who enjoyed helping people whenever he could. One of his favorite activities was recording and watching old movies. He particularly liked films made in the 30s, 40s and 50s. And a few 60s including Gunsmoke and Perry Mason. He liked movies with a good story and movies that weren’t filled with sex and violence like today’s movies. He always said he was glad he lived in a time when America didn’t have all the violence it has today. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on March 12, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Funerals and Cremation 9353 W. Clearwater Ave. Kennewick, WA 99336
Hillcrest Funerals and Cremation in Pasco is handling its arrangements.
Written by Bill Leggett 2016 – Edited by Marjy Leggett 2022
Published by Tri-City Herald on January 23, 2022.