Dr. Elmer Leigh,

Dr. Elmer Preston Leigh, Sr.

Tuesday, October 29th, 1929 - Thursday, December 19th, 2019
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Dr. Elmer Preston Leigh, Sr. D.D.S was born Oct 29, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan to Pauline L and James W. Leigh, Sr. The fourth of their six children. Elmer was an avid reader of history. His love of books continued throughout his life, and he developed a special interest in the history of World War II. Studious, serious and quiet, Elmer graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1948. During this time, he developed a love of classical music. This love of classical music developed to include the enjoyment of many genres of music throughout his life. He attended Wayne State University, was initiated into the first black Greek fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha in 1950 and completed a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies in 1953. After college, his love of aviation led him to enlist in the United States Air Force. At the end of his tour of duty, Elmer was rewarded by his superiors by being stationed in Brooklyn, NY. He enjoyed being in NYC and met his love, Alice Joyce Rodriguez. June 1956 marked Elmer and Alice’s wedding date. In 1957, Elmer was honorably discharged achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant. The newlyweds moved to the District of Columbia so that Elmer could attend Dental School. He graduated in 1961 from Howard University's Dental School earning a Doctor of Dental Science.
Upon completing his Dentistry Internship at Sydenham Hospital in NYC, Elmer and Alice moved their family to Poughkeepsie in 1964. Recognizing the need for dental education amongst his people, Elmer managed a Dental practice for 45 years in the City of Poughkeepsie. He promoted dental health in local school districts, served his community as a Clinical Staff member at Vassar Brothers Hospital and through his membership with the NYS 9th District Dental Society. Elmer received recognition in 1989 for these efforts from the Colgate Dental Health Education Advisory Board. He was a past President of the Dutchess County Dental Society Chapter. Elmer was a Founding Member of the Kappa Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Mid-Hudson Alphas). He is an Honored Pearl of the Chapter.
Elmer transitioned into Omega Chapter on December 19, 2019, at home surrounded by family.
Elmer is preceded in death by his parents, James, and Pauline Leigh; siblings Harriet Marie Leigh, Ellen Debose, and James Leigh, Jr.; nephew Marc C. Humphries. He is survived by his wife, Alice; four children; Jocelyn Marie Leigh, Elmer Preston, Leigh Jr, Jennifer Lumis Leigh(a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), Douglas Francis Leigh, D.D.S and daughter-in-law Linda J. Krebs; grandchildren, Charles E. Haywood, Jr, and Heather Donahue., Shequera V. Leigh, Mardis A. Leigh, and Nicholas J. Leigh; great-grandchild, Cherish H. Haywood; sisters, Mary Jane Humphries and Pauline R. Wright; many nieces, nephews, and close friends.
The viewing and funeral services will commence at 10am, January 3, 2020 at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 161 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. Repast at the church following interment at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, 242 South Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the Home-Based Medical Care Team at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Castle Point in Fishkill, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the following organizations:
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 161 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
Veterans organization of your choice
Kappa Upsilon Lambda Education Foundation, PO Box 1862, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, please indicate “In memory of Elmer Leigh” in the memo field of the check (Mid-Hudson Alphas). Arrangements are under the direction of the Wm. G. Miller & Son FH, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at
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  • Visitation

    Friday, January 3rd, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Friday, January 3rd, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    St. Paul's Episcopal Church
    161 Mansion St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, January 3rd, 2020 | 11:00am
    Friday, January 3rd, 2020 11:00am
    St. Paul's Episcopal Church
    161 Mansion St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery
    342 South Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Michael J Schwartz

Posted at 09:09am
I came to this area, back in 1965, and volunteered inn the Vassar Hospital Dental Clinic, along side Elmer. He was a kind, gentle, honest and very caring person, and I always enjoyed all the interactions with him. My sincere condolences to his wife, Alice and his family.
Michael J. Schwartz, DDS

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