Marion Donald “Don” Leeth, 1938–2019

Marion Donald “Don” Leeth

Marion Donald “Don” Leeth of Exeter, Calif. finished his race and met his Lord in Visalia, Calif. on Dec. 24, 2019.

He was born the eldest of four children to Claudie Sherman Leeth and Elsie Lou Dearman on May 3, 1938 in Okemah, Okla. He had one sister, Kathy (Bryan Wallace) of Visalia/Arroyo Grande, Calif. and two brothers, Jackie, deceased, and Sherman (Pam) of Okmulgee, Okla.

At an early age he joined the U.S. Air Force and served 9 years. After leaving the Air Force he joined the California Highway Patrol and retired 9 years later when he was injured on the job. He then taught school in Farmersville, Calif. while farming and pastoring the Southern Baptist Church in Cutler, Calif. In 1989 he moved his family to Oklahoma where he ranched, taught reading at Bearden School, and pastored the Skyview Baptist Church for many years. He later pastored churches in Porum, Okla., Hoffman, Okla. and Wilson, Okla.

In 1958 he was married to Mary Wandalou Thompson who preceded him in death. Together they had four children; Desiree Medin, Ladawna (John Adams), Alaris May, and Donald M. Leeth (Janel).

In 1998 he married Elaine Sanders who survives him. With this marriage, he gained three more children – Lauralee (Jerome Kleinhans), Joy (Harold Smith) and Geoffrey Sanders (Sara).

He was blessed with 20 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, and a host of loving relatives and friends.

Visitation for Don will be 9  a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2019 followed by services at 1 p.m. at Smith Family Chapel in Exeter. Burial will follow at Exeter District Cemetery in Exeter.

Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.  Online condolences may be made at

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