September 20, 1940 - April 15, 2021
Michael J. Leymaster, 80, of Galena, died on April 15, 2021, following a brief illness. Mike is missed by his children, Jennifer (Sophie Dryer) and Michael (Ruth Friedman), grandchildren Cameron and Katelyn Leymaster, sisters Karen Frazier and Stephanie Raymond, and many extended family members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 55 years, Marilyn Alcott Leymaster. Mike was born in 1940 to Edna and Jack Leymaster, who were killed in a 1946 car crash that left Mike and his two sisters orphaned. The three were taken in by a maternal uncle and raised in Wauseon, Ohio. Mike graduated with the Wauseon High School Class of 1958, where he played the clarinet in the band and was the king of the J-Hop, president of the student council, and editor of the yearbook. After two years at Bowling Green State University, Mike transferred to Ohio State University, where he was active in the Delta chapter of Phi Kappa Psi and met his match in fellow OSU College of Education student Marilyn Alcott. The two graduated in June 1963, married that August, and eventually settled in Westerville, Ohio, where they raised their daughter and son. Mike's professional life reflected his commitment to public education, with positions as a high-school history teacher and counselor turning into leadership roles at what was then Columbus Technical Institute. Mike was an instrumental part of the team that helped CTI become a community college and was responsible for many significant initiatives - such as expanded counseling services and a nationally recognized disability services department - that helped Columbus State Community College become the impressive institution it is today. Mike was also an early and strong supporter of the I Know I Can program, which enabled economically disadvantaged Columbus Public School students to attend college. He represented Columbus State on numerous committees, task forces, and professional associations. In 1989, Mike received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Ohio University while serving as Columbus State's Vice President for Student Services, a position he held for nearly 20 years. In 1995 Mike received the Career Achievement Award from the Ohio State University College of Education Alumni Society, and, upon his retirement from Columbus State, was granted Emeritus status by the Columbus State Board of Trustees in 1996. At the time of his death, Mike's professional achievements had earned him recognition as a Distinguished Alumnus for the Wauseon High School Academic Hall of Fame; he had been looking forward to accepting this award in person, but the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. Mike played as hard as he worked. His hobbies were numerous: flying, travel, fishing, music, history, genealogy, reading, and his convertible T-Bird. He and Marilyn enjoyed their trips to Florida, Grand Cayman, France, and England and were thrilled to take their children and grandchildren to Alaska in 2016. Closer to home, Mike loved attending Blue Jackets games with his son and grandson, and the pleasure he received from listening to his granddaughter play cello rekindled his interest in the clarinet, prompting him to refurbish his high school instrument, take lessons, and join the Delaware Community Concert Band. Mike Leymaster belonged to many families. He remained active in his fraternity, chairing a capital campaign that raised $4 million for the historic Phi Kappa Psi chapter house at Ohio State, and his Phi Psi brothers remained some of his closest friends. He found camaraderie with the Quiet Birdmen, a group for men who like to talk about airplanes almost as much as they like flying them. After Mike and Marilyn built their dream home in the Harbor Pointe subdivision in Galena, they found yet another family in their new neighbors, many of them young families with kids who adopted Mike and Marilyn like another set of grandparents: Mike, in particular, was good for a popsicle for kids who knocked on the door. And in recent years, Mike located the biological family of his father, Jack, who had been adopted as an infant. Mike was gratified to learn about this previously-lost history and to connect with his Bolce cousins in Cincinnati. The Leymaster family thanks family physician Tim Buchanan, M.D., for many years of care and friendship and Ohio Health Hospice for their care in recent weeks. The family will receive visitors at Schoedinger Worthington on Wednesday, April 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Marilyn and Michael Leymaster Fund for Teacher Excellence () or the Columbus State Foundation (https://foundation.cscc.edu/). Please follow the following link to leave a special video memory. https://memorymaker.tv/Events/recorder.html?Axj6WXQaYfhbY62 The family plans to host a memorial event in the coming months as COVID restrictions allow.
Michael J. Leymaster, 80, of Galena, died on April 15, 2021, following a brief illness. Mike is missed by his children, Jennifer (Sophie Dryer) and Michael (Ruth Friedman), grandchildren Cameron and Katelyn Leymaster, sisters Karen Frazier and... View Obituary & Service Information
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