In Loving Memory
May 6, 1924 – July 15, 2017
Elizabeth (Betty) Anne Leigh, 93, passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017, in Fairhope, Alabama. Betty was born Elizabeth Anne Sicher in Chicago, Illinois, to André and Lois (Ross) Sicher. She graduated from Glenbard High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and later from Northwestern University with a degree in political science with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.
Betty was a long time resident of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and was highly involved as a patron of the fine arts, music and architecture. She worked as a freelance journalist, interior designer and, later in life, became an award-winning photographer. Betty played piano, studied voice/opera, performed with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. With a never-ending passion for learning, she was very active in Northwestern University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement well into her 80s, discovering new passions and serving as an inspiration to all who knew her.
She greatly enjoyed travel and worked in the travel industry for several railroads, the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and American Hawaii Cruises. She also organized multi-state architecture tours while volunteering for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, and her published architecture reviews were instrumental in influencing the careers of other architects. She also volunteered at the Shedd Aquarium and at St. James Episcopal Church in Chicago.
Betty was of direct French descent and was very much a Francophile with a true joie de vivre. She studied French at L’Alliance Française throughout her life and in 1979, while studying British mass media in the United Kingdom, made a pilgrimage to Pau, France, to reconnect with her French family. She was a supporter of many causes including the Jacques Cousteau Society, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Geographic Society, Special Olympics, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, William Hunt Leigh, Sr. and her sister, Mary Sicher Flanagan. She is survived by her brother Frederic, her sister Jeanne, her four children Linda, Robert, Lawrence and Barbara, as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Alabama, to celebrate her long and wonderful life. The family wishes to thank the many professionals who lovingly cared for Betty in the last years of her life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Northwestern University or to L’Alliance Française Chicago. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home & Crematory, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL.