Carl E. Leight, 71, of New Castle, died peacefully Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Grove City Hospital with his son and daughter by his side following a brave, decade’s long battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Born May 2, 1950, in New Castle, Carl was the son of the late John and Isabelle (Ramsey) Leight. He graduated from Shenango High School in 1968, and, after briefly managing multiple Winky’s restaurants, began working for Sears, Roebuck and Co. on January 26, 1970. Carl would go on to provide 45 years of loyal service to Sears until his retirement on his 65th birthday in 2015.
If you lived in Lawrence County for any length of time in the past fifty or so years, you likely saw or encountered Carl thanks to his near constant presence at Sears. For the first ten years of his career, he managed the paint and hardware departments before moving on to appliances in 1980, where he’d remain until retirement. If there’s a Kenmore, GE, or Maytag appliance in your kitchen or laundry room purchased from Sears then there’s a high likelihood Carl either talked to you about it or sold it to you.
Carl was a Sears institution, and he took pride in the fact that he was trusted enough to sell appliances to multiple generations of families and lucky enough to make hundreds of friends along the way amongst the co-workers and customers who visited Sears over the years.
A follower of Jesus Christ, in his youth Carl was a member of the Savannah Methodist Church, and since 1989 was a member of the Independent Methodist Church, where he served as an usher, reader, and Board of Directors member.
His interests included history, classic cars, and begrudgingly spending his Tuesdays off meticulously maintaining his large yard, above which he proudly flew an American flag. He was a talented writer, as anyone who ever received a letter from him can attest, and he could work wonders repairing car bodies with Bondo body filler. His favorite show was Gunsmoke, and he cried when (spoiler alert) Spock died at the end of Star Trek II. He always put his family and friends first, but those who knew him best knew not to call between 8:00 and 9:00 PM on Tuesdays because NCIS was on. Following his divorce , Carl had to teach himself domestic skills. He learned how to cook and made a delicious chili. His baking skills were slower to develop, with much (oftentimes hilarious) trial and error along the way. One time, after baking and frosting a cake he was particularly pleased with, Carl decided to add a flourish with sprinkles. Proudly showing off the cake, he was crestfallen to learn that he had not, in fact, used sprinkles, but instead had covered the cake with craft glitter, which for some reason was stored in the same cabinet as baking supplies.
However, Carl’s greatest joy in life were his children, Todd and Carla, whom he had immeasurable, unconditional love for. The sacrifices and acts of kindness and love Carl made for his children were more numerous than can be recounted in this space, but let it be known for all of time that there has never been a father who loved his children more, nor a father who was loved more by his children, than Carl Leight.
Carl is survived by his loving and devoted children, son Todd and his wife Sarah (Sporrer), of Mercer, PA; and daughter Carla and her husband Daniel King, of Jacksonville, Florida. In 2019 Carl was elated to become a grandfather when Todd and Sarah gave him a granddaughter, his beloved Mary, whom he adored. Surviving siblings are Don Leight of New Castle, and Ron Leight of Knoxville, Tennessee. Also surviving Carl is his ex-wife and friend, Bernadette Cashier (née Evanoski) of New Castle, and best friend and chess opponent Albert Presnar of New Castle.
Carl was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Warren and Mary (Booher) Leight, maternal grandparents Frank and Helen (Patterson) Ramsey, parents John and Isabelle (Ramsey) Leight, paternal aunt Mae (Leight) Cunningham, his childhood dog, King, and cherished adult canine companions Yogi and Charlie.
In addition to being a friend to many and a funny, gentle man who enjoyed puns, Carl was also a man of generosity; he was there to lend an ear or a hand to those in need. His favorite charities to which he donated included the Paralyzed Veterans of America, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and the American Red Cross, to which he gave the gift of life countless times through decades of blood donations—leading to a regular call from the Red Cross every 56 days.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2022, from 5:00 o’clock p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 6:00 o’clock pm at the Marshall Funeral Home, 341 Main Street, Wampum, PA. A private interment will later take place at Savannah Cemetery in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
The family would like to take this opportunity to extend thanks to Allegheny Health Network’s Hospice program, most especially Carl’s nurse and friend, Billie, who brought joy, laughter, and comfort to him in his final months.
Online condolences may be viewed or offered to the family by visiting www.marshallsfh.com