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Leigh Johnstone Obituary (1941-2021)

Published on 2/24/2021


Paul "Leigh" Johnstone Jr. (1941-2021)

Leigh Johnstone


Delaware Online Obituary
Wilmington, DE - Paul LeGrand Johnstone, Jr., "Leigh", passed away peacefully at his home on February 18, 2021 at the age of 79. Leigh was born in Wilmington, Delaware in May of 1941. He was the son of Virginia and Paul Johnstone. He attended Tower Hill School and graduated from Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut. Following his graduation from the University of Delaware, Leigh entered the United States Army. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and served two tours in Vietnam where he was promoted to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal.

Returning from the service, Leigh began a long and rewarding career in Commercial Real Estate in Delaware, working with Patterson Schwartz, CB Richard Ellis, and Grubb and Ellis. At the time of his death he was Chairman and CEO of his own firm, Johnstone and Associates.

Leigh was the founder and first Chairman of the Commercial Industrial Realty Council of Delaware and was appointed Chairman of the Wilmington Economic Development Committee. He served on the State's Economic Advisory Council.

Leigh also served on the Board of Directors of the Addiction Coalition, Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the Delaware Academy of Medicine.

Leigh had many interests that he pursued with passion. Leigh volunteered as a tutor and mentor to young students and was recognized by the State of Delaware and Business Mentoring Council for his personal mentoring of boys at the Ferris School.

He was a member of the Wilmington Country Club for 74 years and the Wilmington Rotary Club for 28 years. As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 40 years, he provided counseling and support to help hundreds of people maintain sobriety.

Leigh, aka "Travis McDivot," loved to play golf, and continually amazed and impressed his friends with his skill. He won three Super Senior Championships and "shot his age" on numerous occasions. Playing what was to be his last round, undeterred by the 34 degree weather, Leigh teed it up with a friend on January 30th, the last day before the course was covered with snow, and shot a 77 - two shots below his age. Leigh was also renowned for his exceptional skill at backgammon and won many tournaments.

His love for nature, in particular his fascination with songbirds, led him to establish the Bluebird Committee at Wilmington Country Club, earning him the nickname "Birdman". With his leadership, the club installed forty bluebird houses and five purple martin houses and earned the prestigious designation of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

Leigh never retired. He was passionately engaged in his business, his volunteer pursuits, and his academic interests in Political Science and Contemporary Issues through the Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Leigh's upbeat attitude and positivity will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Leigh was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and brother-in-law. He was predeceased by his parents, his nephew Colt duPont, and his stepdaughter, Robin Carper. He is survived by his loving wife Kitty (Wheelock), his sisters Caroline Prickett and Diana Lopez (John), his daughter Lainie Giovale (Mike), his son David George (Wendy), his step - daughters Kim Ramsey (Jeff) and Jenny Sleeper (Mark), four nieces and nephews, and nine grandchildren.

Burial will be private at the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Cemetery. The family is hoping to hold a celebration of Leigh's life with his family and many friends when COVID restrictions ease.

To honor Leigh's memory, the family suggests contributions to the Nativity Preparatory School, 1515 Linden Street, Wilmington Delaware, 19805, or the Wilmington Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, Box 685, Wilmington, Delaware, 19801.

Leigh's family hopes you will remember the joy and laughter Leigh brought into so many people's lives with the quote he included at the end of every one of his e-mail messages: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass … it's about learning to dance in the rain!"

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