Leight M. Johnson, 96, of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Leight Johnson, of Middlebury, Vt. and Maryland died on Feb. 24, 2022, at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Immediately before his passing at 96, he was surrounded by close family members. He died from complications, including pneumonia.

Over the years, Leight created a life of photography and writing, as well as skiing and sailing with his family. With his infectious personality, great humor and bright blue eyes, he raised a large family and built a strong community of friends, both in Maryland and Vermont.

Born in Milford, Conn., on March 22, 1925, he became the Salutatorian of his high school class. He attended Yale University, where he graduated in 1945. Leight was part of the U.S. Navy’s V-12 Program. He served in the Pacific theater and was in training to be a “frogman” as World War II drew to a close.

In 1947, Leight met his future wife, Shirley West, on the T-Bar at the Stowe ski resort in Vermont. They married and went on to have five children together: Sally, Leight Jr., Peter, and twins Tim and Chris.

Shirley and Leight loved skiing and volunteered with their children on the Ski Patrol. They also built a home in Middlebury, Vt., to ski and enjoy New England summers. Sailing was another of Leight’s favorite pastimes and he spent many days sailing the Chesapeake Bay on his sailboat, the Star of India, named after Sally’s adventures in India.

When he retired, Leight turned to his love of photography and started a summer photography school in Middlebury. Leight and Shirley also liked traveling, including trips to Australia, Singapore, the Canadian Rockies and many European countries, including a favorite trip down the Danube River.

Leight is predeceased by his wife, Shirley; his daughter, Sally; and his son, Leight Jr. His survivors include his sons Peter and Timothy, as well as Chris Johnson and his wife, Dr. Maureen Harmon of Shelburne, Vt. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Leight, Hannah, Sophie, Kristin, Maggie, Alec and Will.◊

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