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.