Belt Buckle #63


Walter McKee Leighton of Ojai, passed away Saturday, April 10, 2004 at his home in his favorite chair, with his wife, Claudia Leighton singing to him.

Walter was born in Houston, Texas in 1942, receiving his B..A. Degree from Hillsdale College in Michigan and a degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He came to California in 1965 where he lived in Cayucos and was well known there in the courthouse and coached the Cayucos Womenís Tennis Team and the Cayucos Womenís Softball Team.

He and Claudia met there and moved together to Southern California where he has practiced law since 1981, making his home in Ojai in 1986. Walter was a man with many passions. Among them was watching cartoons with his eleven year old son, Walter Judd Leighton (Judd), the wise little boy who stole his heart.

He spent his life enjoying fishing, taught to him by his father Walter Woods Leighton. He loved the Lakers and Chick Hearn, the colors purple and pink, great liver and onions, and stimulating talk with many wonderful friends.

Walter was an avoid horseman. He was a founding member of the Cowboy Lawyers Association, and served as its President in 1997. He also volunteered for the American Cancer Society for fourteen very fulfilling years. His mother, Mary Virginia Leighton and sister Nancy Buttermore are both living in Westlake, Ohio.

Many of Walterís accomplishments could be listed, but to those of us especially touched by him, it was his selflessness that meant so much. He was a truly compassionate man and a loving, caring husband, father and friend.