Death of Robert Michael Leighty

Robert Michael Leighty, 74, resident of South Charleston, died at his home on Wednesday morning, August 14, 2013. A member of First Presbyterian Church of St. Albans, Bob was a retired music educator for Kanawha County Schools and a talented musician. He loved his church family, music, gardening, fishing and especially his family and three granddaughters.

A St. Albans native and graduate of St. Albans High School, Bob went on to obtain a bachelor of arts degree from Marshall University and a master of arts degree from West Virginia University.

After two years of military service in the Army, he started his 32-year teaching career with Kanawha County Schools. During his tenure he taught at all levels of public education, including band director at Herbert Hoover High School and itinerant music teacher in the South Charleston-area elementary schools.

A professional musician for 44 years, Bob played with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Accents, The River City Jazz Band and sang with the Kanawha Kordsmen. In 1998 Bob and three of his colleagues formed the Mountain State Brass Band, of which he served as its first director for five years. In May 2004 Bob became the director of the Kanawha Valley Community Band, where he strived to provide an opportunity for area musicians and young people to volunteer their services, experience the excitement of playing instruments and make music together.

In addition, Bob was a member of Charleston Lodge No. 153 of the Masonic Body, a York Rite Mason and served as past director of the Beni Kedem Shrine Gold Band of Charleston.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thelma E. and Harold B. Leighty, and brothers, Harold D. and Jon M. Leighty.

Bob leaves behind his loving wife of 30 years, Greta Carpenter Leighty; stepson, Robert Russo and wife, Jessica, and their daughters, Ellie, Annie and Lily; and brother-in-law, Bill Carpenter of Charleston and wife, Nancy. Nieces include Margaret Leighty of Harrison, Tenn.; Catherine Holstein of St. Albans, husband, Steve, and daughter, Katie; Gretchen Dillon of Ashland, Ky., husband, Gary, and children, Rachel, Jennifer and Matthew; Allison Clipp of Raleigh, N.C., husband, Mike; Beth Burtner, husband, Mark, and their son, Christopher; and Michelle Carpenter of Cross Lanes.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, August 16, at Bartlett-Burdette-Cox Funeral Home, Charleston.

Service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, August 17, at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Kanawha Terrace, St. Albans. A Masonic graveside service will follow with burial at Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231 or the Shriners Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 2589, Charleston, WV 25329.

The family wishes to thank you for your love and support during this difficult time.

Online tributes may be sent to the family by visiting

Bartlett-Burdette-Cox Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements