Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dr. Walter C. Leedy, Jr., CSU Architectural Historian, dies

Walter Leedy in his CSU office
We were all shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Walter Leedy, long-time Professor of Art at Cleveland State and authority on the history and architecture of greater Cleveland. Walter died Tuesday morning, November 8th, after a stroke suffered over the weekend. He was my thesis advisor, a great supporter of Special Collections at CSU, a member of the Schweinfurth Trust at the Cleveland Public Library and a personal friend whose passing we all will lament.

Our condolences go out to his family.

He's well known for his huge postcard collection, which he has generously allowed us to digitize for the Cleveland Memory Project and was the midwife of many collections coming to CSU, including the Wilbur J. & Sarah Ruth Watson Bridge Book Collection and the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection. He recently established a local history endowment fund to benefit Special Collections, which he designed especially to allow contributions from people who didn't have the funds to reach the minimum amounts for such funds.

NEW: Arrangements for Walter Leedy’s funeral and memorial service have been announced. (plus CSU's announcement...) (Plain Dealer obituary...)

  • Viewing will be Saturday, November 11th, 3:00 to 9:00, and Sunday, November 12th, 2:00 to 8:00 at the Santeiu & Sons Funeral Home, 1139 Inkster Road, Garden City , MI 48135. (734-247-3800). His funeral mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, November 13th (viewing at 9:00), at the Divine Child Church, 25001 Herbert Weier Drive, Dearborn, MI, 48128.

  • The Cleveland State University memorial will be: Friday, November 17th, starting at 3:30 p.m. with a display of some exhibits, followed by brief remarks by President Schwartz, Steven Litt and a few others from 4:00 to 5:00, in the Fenn Tower Panel Room. Parking will be available in the new Recreation Center garage, off Chester Avenue (eastbound entrance only).

  • Contributions should go to the “Cleveland Historical Materials Library Endowment” he set up, at the CSU Development Office, 2121 Euclid, MM 209, Cleveland, OH, 44115. There is also a memorial fund at the Cleveland Clinic in his name.


At 8:44 AM, Blogger Rebecca B. said...

This news is very sad indeed. I only had the privilege of meeting Dr. Leedy once but I know how much he contributed to the effort of preserving different facets of the life of this city. He will definitely be missed.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter may not have been the best teacher I've ever had, but probably the most dedicated, focused, and understanding. It is a rare quality to be as wise as Walter, yet to be so soft-spoken. The confidence he showed towards students and their ideas was tremendous and seemed to me rediculous at times. His championing of pop culture, through his postcards or otherwise, taught me priceless lessons on the value of art as commodity, art as culture and community, and art as commercial. He led classes in a way that benefitted his students and the rich heritage of Cleveland--not for his own research, reputation, or agenda.

I pray that future generations of Clevelnders can begin to understand the importance of Art and History as Walter understood it. And I pray that the heritage of Cleveland will continue to play the central role in the city's slow resurgence. Considering the massive amount of students that Waler inspired throughout his 20 years at CSU, I don't doubt that it will.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this news.

I first met Walter after we had gone head-to-head in a bidding war over some real-photo Cleveland postcard lots on ebay several years ago. It was a funny way to start a friendship, but it worked for us.

His sense of humor and his cheerful yet realistic approach to life, coupled with our shared appreciation for Cleveland and its architecture, made him someone I always enjoyed talking to or being with.

I will miss him.

My sincere condolences to his family, colleagues, and many friends.

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met Walter Leedy when I taught in the Art Department at Cleveland State in the 1970s. He was my friend for over 30 years. Walter as a dedicated teacher and researcher who was committed to his students and the university. But, more than that, he was a wonderful, funny man with a wicked sense of humor, a deep love for antiquing, cooking, and travel. I will miss him very much.

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Walter through another friend, William Lipscomb. Walter and Bill shared a deep knowledge and interest in Cleveland art and architectural history. For all of his accomplishments, Dr. Leedy was a wonderfully modest person and welcoming friend. My wife and I will miss him, too.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was shocked and saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Walter Leedy. There have been few people whose friendship I valued more than his. He was a teacher, a mentor and a friend all rolled into one wonderful person. I only wish I had more opportunity to share our passion about Cleveland history. I know the community and the University will miss him.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Mary Lou Stokrocki said...

Dr. Mary Stokrocki, Professor of Art, Arizona State University;

I taught with Walter Leedy for 10 years in the 1970’s and I was indebted to his advice when he was Chair of the Art Department. He was extremely informative on architecture, art history, and antiques. Both my husband Bill Vallicella and I enjoyed his home cooked meals in East Cleveland. He was a delightful colleague and a good person. We will miss him. God Bless.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Walter was a good egg.

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is The Caldron's report on Walter's memorial service


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