Orlena J. Leese

September 9, 1935 - August 14, 2019
Born in Sidney, Ohio
Resided in Sidney, Ohio
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Orlena June (Burns) Leese, 83, of Sidney, Ohio, went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 4:18 p.m. at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering following a brief illness. A strong, courageous and loving Christian woman, Orlena was born in Sidney, Ohio to the late Charles Otis and Rebecca Jane (Rivers) Burns on September 9, 1935, and lived in Sidney all of her life.

On Sept. 14, 1956, she married the love of her life and her best friend, John Fields Leese, who passed away on February 24, 2019. Together they shared 62 years of marriage that was based on their shared faith in Jesus Christ. They were blessed with three children, Kathleen "Kathy" Leese, of Piqua, John F. Leese II, of Minster, and Kristina (Kris) Leese Pelphrey, who passed away in 2010. They have also have an "adoptive" daughter, Michelle Thomas Taylor, of Piqua. They have one granddaughter, Lindsay Pelphrey of Kentucky. They have three great-granddaughters, Cailin, Annason and Lennox, all of Kentucky, and a great-grandson due in October. Orlena is also survived by "adoptive" in-laws including Alberta (the late Frank) Campbell of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, John (Edna) Laws of Sidney and Marlin (the late Rev. Merle) Laws of Sidney. She is also survived by her special rescue dog, BJ, and her rescue granddog, Jackson, both of whom were a great comfort to her and provided her with a lot of love, which was returned to them. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews in Ohio, Kentucky and Washington State as well as by cousins and by many friends including special friends Karen (Dennis) Helman, Joe and Mary Ann DeWeese, Jack and Phyllis Lott, Ginger Boshears of Sidney and many other friends and special cousins including Ruth and Hershel Upchurch of Florida and Ken Hodge of Virginia. She was preceded in death by her brother, Clarence (the late Lucille) Roberts and a sister, Davidd (the late George) Vail of Bellingham, Washington.

Orlena was a high school graduate and attended Sidney High School. She retired from the former Star Bank (now US Bank) as a receptionist, but she considered her most important job being a loving wife and mother. Prior to her marriage, she worked for United Telephone Company, helping to support her family while her father battled cancer. She was a faithful Christian and her first priority was serving her Lord Jesus Christ. She made sure that others knew that the only way to Heaven was through accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. She lived a life that clearly spoke her Christian values. She and her husband were active members of the First Church of God (now Connection Point Church of God) since the 1960's, later attending the Snyder Road Church of God in Piqua for several years. She and John made sure their children grew up in church and were happy when each of their children accepted Christ.

She served in several positions in the church including on the Church Council and as the Chairman of the Benevolence Committee, helping those less fortunate and she served as editor of the church newsletter for many years and was in charge of the greeting card ministry at Snyder Road Church of God and was a Sunday School teacher and helped in other capacities in the church. She was known to her family and friends as a prayer warrior. She was a former Girl Scout leader, having been a Girl Scout herself, and was involved in her children's activities as they grew up. She served as the State Treasurer of Ohio DeMolay Mother's Club and as President of the Sidney DeMolay Mother's Club, an organization for young men of which her son was a part. She was known as "Mom Leese" to many young men through the years who still called her that when they saw her. She was a member of the Thursday Chatterers Club and the Pleiades Order of Eastern Star in Sidney.

John and Orlena and their children traveled to all 48 states and Canada and John and Orlena spent several winters in Florida, often visiting with friends (the late Dee) and Bea Clark of Sidney during those trips. They enjoyed traveling to the Smokies and to Cade's Cove, where they counted bear and wild turkey and her beloved deer. Orlena enjoyed southern gospel music, especially the Gaithers, and enjoyed going to flea markets and garage sales with John and their daughter, Kathy. She loved helping others and sending cards to people and enjoyed reading her Bible, especially the Book of James, and other books. She continued to read her Bible and send cards even when she had to use a magnifier to see. She journaled for much of her life, leaving her children a day-by-day story of her life in those pages.

A celebration of her life will begin on Tuesday, August 20, at 1:30 p.m. at Connection Point Church of God, 1510 Campbell Road, Sidney, with the Rev. Mark Kaufman, a longtime friend of the family, officiating. Graveside services will be held at Glen Cemetery, Port Jefferson, following the service. Visitation will be held on Monday, August 19, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Connection Point Church of God. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Upper Valley Career Center Student Assistance Fund (for needy students), 8811 Career Drive, Piqua, Ohio, 45356, or to the Kettering Medical Center Foundation, 3535 Southern Blvd., Kettering, Ohio, 45429 or online at kmcfoundation.org. Contributions can also be made to Connection Point Church of God, 1510 Campbell Road, Sidney, Ohio, 45365. Please earmark all donations to any of these charitable causes in memory of Orlena Leese. Envelopes will also be available at the visitation and at the service.

The family would like to thank everyone who prayed for Orlena and the family and would like to thank Kettering Medical Center for their compassionate care and they want to thank Jamieson and Yannucci Funeral Home for their kindness and compassion and all they have done to help them during this time and during the passing of their father five months ago.

Orlena would have wanted to share that the only way to Heaven is through accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. She would want to see you all there. Funeral arrangements are being provided to the family through Jamieson and Yannucci Funeral Home. Guestbook condolences and expressions of sympathy may be expressed through jamiesonandyannucci.com.





Connection Point Church of God
1510 Campbell Rd.
Sidney, OH US 45365
Monday, August 19, 2019
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Connection Point Church of God
1510 Campbell Rd.
Sidney, OH US 45365
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
1:30 PM


Upper Valley Career Center Student Assistance Fund
8811 Career Dr.
Piqua, Ohio 45356
Connection Point Church of God
1510 Campbell Rd.
Sidney, Ohio 45365
Kettering Medical Center Foundation
3535 Southern Blvd
Kettering, Ohio 45429
333 W. High Street   |   Piqua, Ohio 45356   |   Phone: 937-773-3161   |   Fax 937-778-0119   |   Email:
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February 19, 2020
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