John Odle (Jack) Leatherman

Jack Leatherman, 89, died on May 2, 2023 at Neuvant House of Lawrence, Kansas.

Jack was born on April 28, 1934, in Junction City, Kansas to Homer Earl Leatherman and Veva Odle Leatherman. He was raised in Chapman, Kansas, and graduated from Dickinson County High School, now known as Chapman High School. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1959 where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He married Lois Hudson on June 11, 1961, in Ellsworth, Kansas.

Jack was a lifetime loyal Jayhawk fan and a season ticket holder in both football and basketball for over 60 years and seldom missed a game. He was a member of the KU Alumni Association, Williams Fund, Chancellor’s Club, the Limestone Society, past president of the KU Quarterback Club, and the Round Ball Club. He served on the board of several charitable organizations and served as Trustee, Treasurer, and on the Pastor Nominating Committee of First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, KS. He was also a long-time member of the Lawrence Country Club where he served on the Board and greatly enjoyed his golf group.

In his early adult life, Jack taught and coached at his hometown school and managed the Mercantile, his family’s grocery store. Jack and Lois moved to Lawrence in the fall of 1969. For 28 years he was in the retail grocery business, serving for 18 years as Store Director for Falley’s Food 4 Less in Lawrence and for 10 years as Vice President/Director of Operations for the group of 44 Falley/Food 4 Less Stores.

For everyone who knew Jack, they knew his daughter Tori, an only child, was the light of his life. Jack loved his daughter dearly. Throughout Tori’s school years, he rarely missed a rehearsal, performance, or athletic event. When Tori ran cross country and track in high school, Jack would coach and train Tori, frequently giving himself two-three mile head starts, and Tori would still catch him.

Jack also loved his grandchildren dearly. Though his grandchildren lived out of state in Tucson, Arizona for much of his life, he and Lois frequently attended their sporting events and made it a point to attend their graduations from junior high, high school, and college. Regrettably, “Poppy,” as he was so affectionately known by his grandchildren, did not live to see his “favorite” granddaughter graduate from Free State, nor the marriage of his engaged first
grandson, Connor.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by Lois, his wife of 61 years, his daughter Tori McCoy (Kelly) of Lawrence, four grandchildren, Connor (Emily) of Pittsburgh, PA, Carson of Tempe, AZ, Cooper and Alina of Lawrence, his sister, Suzanne, of Albuquerque, NM, and 8 nieces and nephews.

Celebration of Life will be at 2pm on Monday, May 8th at First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. Burial will be at Indian Hills Cemetery in Chapman, Kansas on Sunday, May 7th at 3pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the First Presbyterian Church, Lawrence Humane Society, or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Messages & Condolences

From Amy Easum...

Tori it was so fun to get to know you that first day of cross country practice all those years ago when we were sophomores at LHS, and to become friends. I loved getting to know your parents through you. We are thinking of your family at this time and wishing you peace through the wonderful memories you have with your dad.

From Suzanne Sherr...

Seeing Jack’s picture sent me down memory lane and our years as neighbors on Hill Ct. Our children were very young, not even in kindergarten yet. It was a good time being with friendly, helpful neighbors.
I send condolences and sympathy on the loss of such a fine man.

From Suzy Gorman...

Lois, Tori, Suzanne and all your family—What a wonderful picture of Jack! Thanks to you, Lois, I was hired and worked with Jack and Veva and got to know Suzanne when she would come back to visit. I have so many fond memories of working at the Mercantile during high school as well as when I came home on weekends and holidays from college. We had such a great time and of course, I had to cheer for the Wildcats whenever Jack was cheering for the Jayhawks just to be ornery. I enjoyed keeping in touch with you after you went to Lawrence and talking with you when you were in CO at Estes Park when I was in Denver. We exchanged Christmas greetings for so many years. It was wonderful having you at our last DCCHS Class of ’63 reunion five years ago. Was so great seeing you both again after so many years! I have so many special and fun memories from Chapman days at the Mercantile with the Leathermans! My deepest sympathy to all of your family in the loss of such a wonderful guy–son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. May the love of friends and family bring you peace and strength to carry you through this sad time! Suzy Gorman

From Kathy Cathey...

Lois & McCoy family our hearts our heavy with the passing of such a great gentleman. We have enjoyed sharing many a holiday dinners and grandkids’s events over the past 30 years. We will miss this dear man! Cheers to a life well lived.
Jim & Kathy

From Jack & Kay Fangman...

Lois & Tori
I called on Jack when he was store manager in Lawrence & looked forward to seeing him, we always had a cup of coffee together. We would keep in touch after retirement for several years at Bernie Swaders Super Bowl Party. May your memories comfort you & help to bring you Peace. Our Deepest Sympathy.
Jack & Kay Fangman

From Lynn and Karen Olson...

Lois and Tori . Seeing Jack’s picture in the obituary section brought back many fond memories of our friendship . May the gift of your cherished memories bring you comfort as you grieve. Our hearts are sad for you and our love and sympathy come with this note.

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