Celebrating Leigh Bentonís Life

At her memorial service - May 2006

We have known Leigh for almost 30 years. They were good years. They were friendly years. They were years to remember. They were good, because we worked hard to make them that way. They were friendly, because we could build a friendship that lasted so well over the decades. And we shall remember them, because Leigh's friendship enhanced our lives in a way we just cannot measure.

Leigh was our role model. We had seen hardships in our own lives. We thought we knew ways of dealing with adversity. But it was Leigh who taught us what coping really means. The way Leigh stood up to adversity, looked at hardship and kept going was just unbelievable.

Leigh battled sickness with courage, with determination, and with a powerful dedication to overcome hardships that life kept bringing her way. She overcame problems of vision, mobility, and pain. She kept going when others might have given up a long time ago.

She was a highly dedicated wife, and Harry was an unusually dedicated husband. Harry's optimism and focus on sharing in Leigh's work and efforts to make it and overcome obstacles worked miracles. He transformed their homes, made them more accessible, and made life so much easier for Leigh. And Leslie was also there to help her mother in so many different ways.

Leigh was a dedicated teacher, a motivator, one who inspired her students for greater and greater accomplishments. She was a caring friend, one who was always there to help. We did not live in each others' back yards. We did not talk on the phone every day. Yet we felt her presence, knew that she was there but a phone call or email away, ready to do what was needed. We felt her presence, even when she was far away.

We can no longer call her on the phone, but she still lives in our hearts and in our thoughts, and her spirit and enthusiasm is still with us just as much as in the past. The many wonderful memories we shared shall continue to enrich our lives, continue to live with us as a blessing for all of us whose life she touched.

Iby and George Heller
Menlo Park, California

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