C. Samuel Leishure

Age 65 : Athletic coach and guidance counselor in Baltimore City and Howard County schools.

June 06, 2008|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun Reporter

C. Samuel Leishure, a retired Howard County guidance counselor and athletic coach, died of a heart attack Sunday at St. Joseph's Medical Center. The Reisterstown resident was 65.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Upmanor Road, he was a 1961 graduate of Edmondson High School, where he was a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams and worked closely with coaches Julian Dyke and Lefty Elliott.

On the advice of his Edmondson coaches, he went on to the old Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College. He earned a degree in physical education and played sports at the school from 1961 to 1965. He holds the college's fourth-place basketball record of 307 assists and was captain of the school team in his senior year.

"He was a heads-up basketball player who had a presence on the floor that you just don't teach," said Richard Clower, his former coach, a retired McDaniel professor who lives in Westminster. "He had a feel for the game and went on to a nice career as a coach."

While at the school, he met his future wife, Alice Weller, who was also a physical education major.

He earned a master's degree in education at Western Maryland College and was an assistant basketball coach for a year before he joined the faculty of Baltimore's newly opened Northwestern High School.

A physical education teacher, he was the school's head basketball and lacrosse coach and an assistant football coach.

From 1970 to 1981, he spent his summers with his family at Camp Airy in Thurmont as its assistant director. "He was a quiet and effective leader," said Stacy Karten, who is now the Baltimore Jewish Times' sports editor. "He got things done without a lot of fanfare. He was like a baseball manager who leaves the players alone who are doing well and helped motivate those who needed extra assistance."

After 11 years at Northwestern High, Mr. Leishure joined several other of its faculty members and administrators at the new Centennial High School in Ellicott City.

He was the school's head boys basketball coach for nearly five years and was a guidance counselor for 25 years - including time as head of the school's guidance department.

"He was just an excellent person who always looked on the positive side of things and always saw the good in people," said Jim Welsch, a friend and fellow Centennial faculty member.

"He was so good with his students because they knew he was on their side," said his wife, Alice Leishure. "He was thoughtful, caring and big-hearted."

After retiring from Centennial in 2002, he was an admissions counselor who worked in nursing and allied health at Howard County Community College.

He began gardening about five years ago. After attending a meeting of daylily enthusiasts at the Cylburn Arboretum, he joined the Free State Daylily Society and began hybridizing the perennials in his basement.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 705 Main St. in Reisterstown, where he was a member.

In addition to his wife of 42 years, survivors include two daughters, Aimee D. Leishure of Finksburg and Karen L. Leishure of Timonuim; two sisters, Barbara Kaelin of Perry Hall and Mary Lou Lee of Arbutus; and a granddaughter.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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