LEECE, KATHLEEN VICTORIA SAUNDERS of Ortonville, Michigan; she passed into the loving arms of the Lord on May 3, 2023. She was 104.
Kathleen was born on November 10, 1918 in Ortonville, Michigan to the late Leslie and Jennie (nee: Howell) Saunders. She married her beloved husband, John Elwyn Leece on July 12, 1941 and he preceded her in death on December 26, 1998 after 57 years of marriage. Also preceded in death by her siblings, Elva Jean (Ray) Long, Merlin (Phyllis) Saunders and Elwyn “Red” (Lucille) Saunders. Dear mother of two daughters, Cheryl (Larry) Purdy and Connie (James) Johnson; four grandchildren, Michelle (John) Blose, Sherri (Chris) Andrews, Amy (Ryan) Christianson and Robert (Gina) Johnson; fourteen grandchildren, Terry Swenson, Mitch, Luke, and Gavin Blose, Mackenzie, Brooke, Savannah and Corbin Andrews, Robert Matthew, Ryan, and Charlie Christianson, James and Robbie Johnson; one great granddaughter, Ivy Swenson; also survived by her much loved nieces and nephews from the Saunders and Leece families. As a fifth generation Howell family member to have lived in Ortonville, Kathleen was very proud of her heritage and to have been born and lived her entire life in Ortonville. Kathleen was given the middle name of Victora as she was born the day before the Armistice was signed ending World War I. On the cradle roll as an infant and dedicated her life to Jesus Christ while attending Ortonville Baptist Church, now known as Hillside Bible Church; and 81-year Life Member, Past Matron and Past Oakland County Organist of The Order of Eastern Stars, Ortonville Chapter No. 286. Ortonville Community Historical Society where she served as a greeter, historian and often played the vintage pump organ for visitors. A dedicated Girl Scout leader for many years and former secretary at H.T. Burt Elementary School for Brandon Public Schools. Pianist for Brandon School Choirs and accompanist for student musicians at solo and ensembles and countless music programs in the school and community beginning in 1932 when she was just a Freshman at Ortonville High School and throughout her life. Kathleen will long be remembered for her love and devotion to her family, friends and community; her love of music and her “Grandma Cookies”. Her enthusiasm for life played out when she celebrated her 100th birthday with a hot air balloon ride. She was a faithful prayer warrior and Christian woman, dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her family and community. Funeral service will be 11:00 a. m. Monday, May 8 at Hillside Baptist Church 173 Church Street, Ortonville. Pastors Ken Tison and Pastor Cliff Powell will co-officiate. Interment will follow at Ortonville Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Sunday from 2:00 – 8:00 at Village Funeral Home 135 South Street, Ortonville, Michigan and after 10:00 a.m. Monday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hillside Bible Church, Ortonville Community Historical Society, Order of Eastern Stars No. 286 for the support of Brandon Groveland Youth Assistance or the Brandon Twp. Fire Department. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. To send a condolence to the family go to www.villagefh.com.