Funeral services for Edward “Allen” Leath, 88 year old lifetime Johnson County Resident, who passed away surrounded by his family Sunday evening at the Johnson County Health Care Center will be held Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m. from the Summit Wesleyan Church in Buffalo with Pastor William Dunlap officiating. Visitation will be held at the Harness Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Interment will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the funeral. Donations in Allen’s memory may be made to the Summit Wesleyan Church in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Online condolences may be made at www.harnessfuneralhome.com
Allen Leath was born on February 7, 1930 in Midwest, Wyoming to James and Lena Leath. He was raised on the family homestead on Dead Horse Creek, along with his five siblings. He attended a one room school house prior to high school in Buffalo. As a young man he worked on various ranches around Buffalo and Clearmont. In 1950 he married Betty Gilbert and they had three children, which were his pride and joy. They owned a bar and café in Clearmont for a few years until it burned down and then they moved to Buffalo where Allen worked for the Wyoming Highway Department until he began Leath Feeds which he owned and operated well into his eighties. He was later married to Mary Enochs Leath for over twenty-five years, and although they divorced they maintained a special friendship. Throughout his life Allen enjoyed guiding hunters for elk, antelope and deer. He developed close relationships with many of his hunters.
Allen and his siblings grew up loving music, and at one time had a family band, which played at local dances. Up until his death he still enjoyed playing the mouth harp and sent text videos of himself playing the Happy Birthday song to his grandchildren on their birthdays. For years he was actively involved with rodeo in the Johnson County area, as a participant and as a rough livestock judge. Allen also carried on his mother’s tradition of having an extended family picnic at his house every year during Fair and Rodeo.
Later in his life Allen could be seen with his companion and best friend, Betty Rice, as they enjoyed garage sales, camped in the mountains, rode 4-wheelers and went on many trips and cruises together. Together they faithfully attended the Summit Wesleyan Church of Buffalo up until the last week of his life. When he began having strokes two years ago, he was determined to get better and they both could be seen exercising weekly at the Senior Center and going for walks each evening.
He is survived by his partner, Betty Rice, one son, Gary (Patti) Leath of Chandler, Arizona; two daughters, Jeanine (Eric) Peterson of Sheridan and Marsha (John) Christian of Buffalo; nine grandchildren, John Atter, Chasta Taylor, Mark Sweckard, Luke Sweckard, Brock Sweckard, Jac Christian, Melisa Fixter, April Harris, and Amy Irons. He also was blessed with twenty-one great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Allen was the last surviving member of his family and missed them terribly. He is now reunited with those who proceeded him in death, his parents, two brothers Bob and George Leath and three sisters, Betty Dabney, Helen Mader and Ann Cusick Smith, an infant brother, James, and a granddaughter Toni Colette Atter. May they be rejoicing in heaven and playing beautiful music together!