Father Ted Leche died peacefully with his daughter, Mary by his side on Nov. 10, 2019 at the Washington State Veterans Home in Port Orchard, WA.
Ted was born on Jan. 26, 1926, in Longview, Washington, to Edward D. Leche, Jr. and Muriel Evelyn (Prescott) Leche. He spent most of his childhood in Seattle and with his mother’s family in Vancouver, British Columbia, He attended Queen Anne High School and joined the U.S. Navy in his senior year. He served for 2.5 years as Radioman 3rd class aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) in the Pacific theater and on an LST in the Hawaiian Islands. After his honorable discharge, he completed his high school education and then attended the University of Washington and Canterbury College in Danville, Indiana, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Art in history. Following his call to the priesthood, he studied for three years at General Theological Seminary in New York City and was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1954, a priest in 1955.
Throughout his ministry he served in churches in the Diocese of Olympia (W. Washington): Christ Church, Seattle; St. John’s, South Bend and St. Peter’s Mission, Ilwaco; St. Luke’s, Vancouver; and St. Paul’s, Port Gamble. He established St. Charles Episcopal Church in Poulsbo and in 1967, he became Vicar of the San Juan Islands Mission where he served for 21 years, travelling between his churches on his boat, the Seraph and later the Archangel. He also served as director and later chaplain at Camp Huston, Gold Bar and chaplain at Camp of the Holy Spirit on Spirit Lake near Mt. St. Helens. His ministry had a lasting impact on many of the campers he worked with. After he retired, he would help with services at Church of the Transfiguration in Darrington, a ministry he and Mary Jane loved.
While attending seminary, he met Mary Jane Major, a nurse working at St. Luke’s Hospital in NYC. They married on Feb. 19, 1955, in Lakewood, Washington, a loving union that lasted almost 55 years until her death in 2010. They had four children. He once said that the greatest thing that could happen to him on a single day was to see all four of his children all together.
Ted was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his sister Marilyn D. Wick, his half-sister, Joyce Schupp, and his half-brother, Douglas Leche, his son-in-law, David DeLong, and his brothers-in-law, Robert Major and Tennis Wick. He is survived by his half-brother, Kenneth Leche (Joanne), Battle Creek, Michigan; three daughters, Mary DeLong, Olympia, Washington; Jane Leche, Aurora, Colorado, and Martha Leche (Ellis Krauss), Encinitas, California.; his son, The Rev. Edward D. Leche IV (Susanna), Poulsbo, Washington; and sixgrandchildren: Elizabeth DeLong, Kathleen DeLong, Clare DeLong Tuminez, Isaac Leche, Lillian Leche, and Caleb Leche; step granddaughter Rachel Krauss; and several cousins, nephews, nieces and their families.
Ted will be remembered by his family, and the numerous others his life and ministry touched, for his love and devotion to his family, the unwavering commitment to his faith, his inspiring and creative spirit, and his contagious and sustaining wit and humor.
A funeral service and burial were held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Friday Harbor and the Valley Cemetery. A reception was held at The Brickworks, Friday Harbor. Memorial donations may be sent to St. David’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 2714, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 or Church of the Transfiguration, PO Box 55, Darrington, WA 98241.
To share memories of Fr. Ted, please sign the online guestbook at http://www.evanschapel.com/.