Cover photo for Kathleen A. Leighton's Obituary
Kathleen A. Leighton Profile Photo
1956 Kathleen 2024

Kathleen A. Leighton

January 27, 1956 — March 19, 2024

Kathleen A. Leighton, 68, passed away unexpectedly on March 19, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of laughter, quick wit, and generosity of spirit.

Kathy was born in Akron, Ohio to John and Jane (Guthrie) Auchter. As the oldest of seven children, Kathy often took on a parental role in helping raise her younger siblings, a task she shouldered with equal parts love and amused frustration. She attended DePauw University, earning her B.A. in Psychology in 1977, and post-graduate degrees from Syracuse University and Florida State University. During her time at DePauw, she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. She also spent a semester abroad in Freiburg, Germany during the Olympics, an experience that inspired her to attend numerous other Olympic events over the decades.  

Kathy enjoyed a lively career for over three decades as a School Psychologist in Pinellas and Leon counties in Florida. She rounded out her career in School Psychology at the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana. Kathy also held various roles in professional organizations including President of the Florida Association of School Psychologists, secretary of the National Association of School Psychologists, and as a board member of the Children’s Fund of School Psychologists. Her impact resonated not only through her professional endeavors but also through her role as a counselor and teacher at Culver Academy's Summer Session, which she enjoyed for approximately 15 summers at various points in her life. 
Kathy's most treasured accomplishment was raising her sons, John and Andy, with whom she maintained a close bond, talking to them nearly every day. Known for her vibrant personality and bottomless sense of humor, Kathy quickly formed an expansive circle of friends wherever she lived. It became a running family joke that no matter where Kathy traveled, she inevitably encountered someone she knew at the airport. Another source of pride was Kathy’s graduation from the Culver Girls Academy (CGA) Summer School in 1972. This kicked off her lifelong love of Culver and the friendships she cultivated there. 

After spending most of her adult life in Florida, Kathy pulled up stakes to make her permanent home in Culver, Indiana. She considered Culver to be her own, personal Camelot. Even after retiring from school psychology, she enjoyed working as a barista at Culver…partly for the chance to mentor the young entrepreneurs who started the coffee kiosk, but mostly for the chance to stay engaged with the Culver students, staff, and community. Countless individuals will forever remember Kathy for her keen intelligence and rollicking sense of humor. In her free time, Kathy loved traveling, volunteering for local charities, participating in Culver Club events, and staying connected with alumni activities.  

As we honor Kathleen A. Leighton's memory, we hold close the cherished recollections of family adventures at "the Lake House" on Wisconsin's Genesee Lake and the profound impact she had on everyone she encountered.
She will be dearly missed by her sons, John and Andrew Leighton, and their father, Bob Leighton; grandson, Noah Leighton, siblings, Sandy (Tim) Barber, Dorothy (Bill) Mays, Joe Auchter, Ron (Claire) Auchter, Ken (Linda) Auchter, David (Lee) Auchter; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and lifelong friends. Kathy is preceded in death by her parents, John and Jane Auchter. 

Though Kathy departed from this world far too soon, the memories she created and the lives she touched will forever remain illuminated by her spirit. May she rest in peace knowing that her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.
A Celebration of Life will be held in August in Culver Indiana. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen A. Leighton, please visit our flower store.


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