▲ Howard Stuart Leach, Jr.
▲ Stanley Edward Munsey
Howard Stuart Leach, Jr.
The Honorable H. Stuart Leach, Jr. died June 1, 2017. He was born December 14,1930 in Fairfield, Alabama and was raised in Utah, Hawaii and Alabama. He was preceded in death by his father, Howard Leach, and his mother, Fan Marshall Leach. Survivors include his beloved wife of 53 years, Cile Shepherd Leach; a son, Shepherd Alexander Leach; a daughter, Nancy Marshall Dunning (Michael); a granddaughter, Brittnie Lucile Colvard; a sister-in-law, Nancy Shepherd Christie; a niece Catherine Christie Dellinger (Craig); and a nephew J.S. "Chris" Christie, Jr. (Donna).
Stuart attended Central Park Grammar School and graduated from Ensley High School in 1948. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1953. While at Auburn, he was a member of Spades and ODK honor societies and was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity.
Following graduation from Auburn, Stuart served as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Japan during the Korean conflict until 1955. He entered the University of Alabama School of Law in the fall of 1955, graduating in January 1958. He was employed as a legislative assistant to United States Senator John J. Sparkman in Washington, D.C. from 1958-1961. He left there to work as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Memphis. In 1962, he returned to Birmingham and entered the private practice of law. He continued practicing law until elected to the civil division of the Jefferson County Circuit Court in January 1983. He was re-elected for two terms and served 13 years, the last four as presiding judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit. Judge Leach retired from the bench in January 1996, then serving as a mediator with the Sirote Permutt firm for many years.
After Stuart returned to Birmingham, he met Cile Shepherd. They married in December 1964, the first wedding held at the former Highway 280 location of Briar-wood Presbyterian Church.