James “Jim” Ormond Leitch
James “Jim” Ormond Leitch, of Lowell, Summers County, WV, died on April 9, 2023. He was born on August 14, 1928, in Martins Ferry, OH, to James Kensley Leitch and Helen Kyle Leitch. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Sally Leitch; and daughter, Rebecca Leitch-Hunt.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Marcia Brandt Leitch; children, Paula Leitch, Helen Saltzgiver, James Leitch, and Anne Weisensale; grandchildren, Kyle and Kensley McKercher, Eric Houskeeper, Izetta Britton, Mary and George Saltzgiver, Michaela Leitch, Hannah Boyd-Thomas, and Henry, Emmett, Otto, and Walter Pagel; great-grandchildren, Eleanor, Jack, Lucy, and Oliver Britton, and Elias and Madelyn Boyd-Thomas; sisters, Mary Martsolf and Helen (Pidge) Diehl; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families.
In 1933, Jim’s family moved from Martins Ferry to Steubenville, OH. They lived there until moving in 1942 to Indiana, PA, where he graduated high school in 1946. He then attended Muskingum College in Ohio, a Presbyterian school, where many of his ancestors were educated, and graduated in 1950, prepared for a career in medicine. However, he received the call from God to the ministry, and attended Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), from which he graduated in 1953. Jim died one week prior to attending his 70th reunion from the seminary.
In October 1952, the Big Spring United Presbyterian Church in Newville, PA, called Jim to be the student supply pastor until his graduation in May 1953. He was then ordained and installed as the pastor of the church. The congregation co-hosted the United Presbyterian Church of North America General Assembly meeting in June 1953, where Jim officiated at his first communion service.
Jim and Sally Lee Gilbert were married June 17, 1953.
The Leitchs answered a call to camp ministry at Camp Fairfield in Ligonier, PA, in 1955. When the camp closed in 1976, he accepted a call to the Clearwater Forest Presbyterian Camp in Deerwood, MN. During his camp ministry years, he also served as pastor on a regular basis in area congregations, and in 1981, Jim transitioned from camp ministry to pastoring the Crosby-Ironton Presbyterian Church in Crosby, MN. It was during this time Jim’s wife, Sally, passed away, and also where Jim met his second wife, Marcia Lee Brandt, as she was called to serve the church as Director of Christian Education. Jim and Marcia married in September 14, 1985. Jim also served the Troy Presbyterian Church in Troy, KY, from 1987 until his retirement in 1993.
Upon retirement, Jim and Marcia began their new life creating a wonderful home they call “Dayspring,” in Lowell, WV. Jim poured his love of the earth, creativity, skills, and energy into finishing the log home and developing the property into the gorgeous place it is today. His creativity never stopped coming up with new ideas, most recently a paved path from the driveway to the pond level, with a fire pit along the way, so he would have access to the pond level with his power chair. Dayspring is an illustration of the special bond that Jim and Marcia shared.
Jim’s memorial service is 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, WV. The Reverend Jeff Binder will be officiating. A reception will follow at the church.
Memorials preferred to Huntington’s Disease Foundation, www.hdsa.org; Old Stone Presbyterian Church; or Bluestone Camp and Conference Center, bluestonecamp.org.
Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.
Information submitted by Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg.