Leigh Oscar Ufford, 77, passed away peacefully at Hospice of North Idaho on September 12, 2020 with his wife and daughter Pam by his side.
Leigh was born on September 9th, 1943 in Coeur d’ Alene, ID to Robert & Edith Ufford. Leigh attended school in the Silver Valley, St. Helens, OR, and Coeur d’ Alene where he graduated from Coeur d’ Alene High School in 1961. He also completed a 2-year forestry course at North Idaho College in 1968. Though completing his formal education, he said most of his schooling came from the School of Hard Knocks. Leigh was a lifetime member of Coeur d’ Alene Bowmen and in younger years, a member of Search & Rescue, Coeur d’ Alene Eagles, and the Loggers Association.
Leigh married his high school sweetheart, Janice Russell on September 17, 1961. In younger years they spent their time on the back of a motorcycle and dancing the night away. Together they made their home in Coeur d’ Alene where they raised two daughters, Jana Lee and Pamela Mae. In 1985 the Ufford's moved out to the country where Leigh enjoyed the rest of his life watching the wildlife roam and the tamarack trees change color in the fall. This year Leigh and Janice would have celebrated 59 years of marriage.
Leigh had a long list of hobbies he enjoyed including hunting, fishing, smoking blueback, playing cards, shooting pool, and making things for people he loves. He made over 100 custom knives for friends & family. Most of all he loved spending time with his family, friends, and pets, enjoying a meal of fried chicken, spuds & gravy, apple pie, and homemade ice cream.
Leigh worked hard throughout the years and always said he wished he would have worked less and played more. His first paying job as a boy was peddling the Coeur d’ Alene Press. He delivered the paper for 4 years and went through a lot of bicycles. He also mowed lawns, cut limbs, topped trees with an axe, and picked rocks out of farmers fields. In 1959 he went to work for Albertsons as a box boy making $3.50/hr. Leigh worked for the Forest Service from 1964-1968 clearing brush, planting trees, and fighting fires. During his time with the Forest Service, the Ufford’s lived at the Magee Ranger Station. In 1969 Leigh established Ufford Logging which came with 30+ years of hard work, sawing, driving trucks, skidding, and heartache. Leigh was very particular and took pride in a job well done. On October 10, 1983, Leigh’s younger brother Robby was killed while working for Leigh falling trees. Though Leigh never got over the loss of his brother, he finished the job and continued to log until he retired.
Leigh is preceded in death by his parents, Robert & Edith Ufford, and his brother, Robert Nicholas (Robby) Ufford. He is survived by his wife, Janice, daughter Jana (Brad) White of Sagle, daughter Pam (Steve) Schlepp of Hayden, grandson Justin (Megan) Schlepp of Hayden, sister Bonnie (Bob) Schaffner or Post Falls, nieces, nephews, and “Special Kids”, Julie (Rusty) Foster, Kevin (Desiree) Howard, and Warren (Melissa) Howard.
Services for Leigh will be held at English Funeral Chapels in Coeur d’ Alene on October, 1, 2020 at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the charity of your choice. Due to COVID-19 Restrictions & vulnerable loved ones, we ask that only family and close friends attend. Masks required. Services can also be viewed on English Funeral Chapel Facebook Page.