Frances “Fran” Blanchard Leighton, 87, of Blacksburg, died on Sunday at Lewis Gale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg, VA. She was surrounded by her loving family as she was lifted by Angels to meet the Lord.
Fran was born in Portland, Maine on September 17, 1929, Daughter of Maurice and Helen Tyndall Blanchard. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Alvah “Al” Theodore Leighton Jr.; her son, William Scott Leighton of Roanoke; brothers, John, William and Thatcher Blanchard of Portland, Maine, and George Blanchard of Silver Springs, Maryland; sister Alida Thurlow Blanchard of Portland, Maine; Dorothy Blanchard Weeks of Brunswick, Maine; Fran is survived by sons, Alvah Theodore “Ted” Leighton III, Thomas “Tom” William Leighton of Blacksburg; daughter, Krista Lynn Leighton and her fiancé Christy White of Forest, VA; and grandson, Matthew Thomas Leighton and his fiancée Hollie Thomas of Greensboro, NC.
Fran met her husband Al Leighton while she was a dental assistant in Portland, Maine. She graduated from Deering High School and continued taking college classes throughout her life due to her love of learning. When her husband Al received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, they both moved to Blacksburg, Virginia where she worked as a preschool teacher and later retired from Virginia Tech.
While at Virginia Tech, she worked closely with the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad where she was named an Honorable Member. Fran had a love for life and enjoyed spending time laughing with family and friends, teaching, traveling and eating great food, especially Maine “Lobstah”. Her family cherished her kind heart, baby blue eyes, love of animals, and especially her sense of humor. Friends of the family say she always made everyone feel welcome. She was beloved by all who met her and was known as one person who never met a stranger.
A memorial service to celebrate Fran’s life will be held at the McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to your local Cancer Society. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive, SW, Blacksburg.