LEROY JAMES SOUTHAM ~ Class of 1956
December 21, 1937 - September 29, 2010
Leroy Southam died Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at his home near Benton City, age 72, less than 2 months after diagnosis of cancer.
He leaves behind his wife Nancy, his sons Rick (Karen) and Randal ('82)(Lin) Southam, grandsons Erik and Josh Southam, sisters Louise ('58) Peters (Jerry) and Linda ('67) Dahlin (Rick), step-daughter Jane Whitmire (Tim), one nephew and many nieces.
His Parents and sister Lillian Southam Rogers ('61) preceded him in death.
Leroy grew up in Richland, arriving there at age 8 with sisters and parents, Lewis and Layell Southam. He remembered fondly his young life riding his bicycle around his neighborhood filled with young families and lots of kids, exploring the banks of the Yakima River, teasing his sisters and hunting with his father.
He worked as a technician for 33 years. Many will remember him from the 308 Building. A third-generation Hanford worker, he followed his father and maternal grandfather Roy Sylvester, the later who had come to work at Hanford during the WWII era.
Leroy was known for his love of guns, fine wine, his wife Nancy, his animals and American history. He read the Lewis & Clark Journals in their entirety. As a reader with excellent memory, he knew many things most people don't know. He was an interesting man who loved to tell stories.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, October 17, to begin at 4pm. The service will be held in the chapel where he and Nancy married, now Lionsgate, 619 W. Albany in Kennewick. Please come prepared to share and listen to stories about Leroy.
Also please stay to share a potluck meal after the service. Bring a dish to share, and call sisters and food coordinators Louise and Linda, so they know in advance how much food is coming and to plan seating in the social hall. (509) 942-0991. Wine from Leroy's cache will be served; we will miss his description and story with the opening of each bottle.
In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Leroy Southam Medical Fund that is being established in Voices of Hope, an organization that gives educational opportunities to young Maasai women in Kenya. VOH, P.O. Box 6563, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or Hospice, who gave Nancy and Leroy such good support, allowing him to spend his last days at home: The Chaplaincy, 2108 W. Entiat, Kennewick, WA 99336.
Nancy would like to thank a multitude of medical professionals and associated helpers for the good care Leroy received. Especially she thanks Dr. Vong, the Visiting Angels, Hospice nurses and Theresa Hammer at the Energy Employees Resource Center.