Cover photo for Michael Ross Leech's Obituary
Michael Ross Leech Profile Photo
1949 Michael 2024

Michael Ross Leech

May 21, 1949 — April 24, 2024



 With deep sadness, we announce the passing of Michael “Mike” Leech on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Born on May 21, 1949, in Toole, Utah, to Jay and Maxine Leech. Mike was the second son among seven siblings. Raised in the rugged landscapes of Fry Canyon, Lisbon Valley, and beyond. Mike's childhood was marked by tales of adventure and resilience.

In 1968, Mike found love with Elizabeth Clayton, and they were married on the 29th of June, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Their union was blessed with three children: Christopher, Randy, and Michelle. Mike's devotion to family was unwavering, shaping his decisions both personally and professionally.

A proud construction worker, Mike embarked on a lifelong career in the industry starting at the Ruedi Dam above Basalt, Colorado, in 1968. His expertise ranged from concrete work to the intricate details of custom-built homes. 

In March of 1969, Mike was drafted into the army, undergoing basic training at Fort Ord, California. He served with distinction during his one-year deployment in Vietnam, exhibiting courage and valor in the face of adversity. His military honors included the Army Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Campaign Medal, all a testament to his exemplary service and dedication.

Following his military service, Mike transitioned into civilian life bringing his dedication and skill to the construction industry. From Aspen to Cortez, Colorado, his craftsmanship left an indelible mark on numerous custom homes. In 1978, he co-founded ClayLee Custom Builders with his brother-in-law, Joseph Clayton, solidifying his legacy as a pillar of the Cortez community. His involvement in significant projects, such as the McPhee Dam, further underscored his commitment to excellence.

Beyond his professional achievements, Mike was a man of diverse interests and talents. Whether hunting, fishing, crafting models, or creating art, he found joy in all his pursuit. His generosity knew no bounds, and he was always ready to lend a helping hand to family and community alike.

Mike is survived by his former spouse, Elizabeth Leech and their children: Christopher (Janet) Leech, Randy (Christine) Leech, and Michelle (Jimmie) Johnson. He leaves behind a legacy of love and memories cherished by grandchildren: Amanda (Devon) Watson, Shelby (Michael) Ninos, Dawn (John) Patterson,   Tyler (Laticia) Turner, Matthew Seckman, Avery (Ryan) Johnson, and Jimmie (Christina) Johnson Jr. and great-grandchildren: Eli Watson, Everett Watson, Colton Thomas, Maddox Ninos, Adleigh Ninos, Kagen McVay, Cheyenne White, Landyn Patterson, Camille Patterson, Kaniko Turner, Tayden Turner, Kessah Turner, Xena Johnson, Zoey Johnson, and Urijah Johnson; sister, Betty Baldwin; brother-in-law Michael Been.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jay and Maxine Leech; his siblings: Ronald, Brent, Barbara, Susan, and Karen.

A celebration of Mike's life will be held on May 18, 2024, at 12:00 pm at the Lewis-Arriola Community Center. In honoring his memory, let us carry forward his spirit of resilience, love and generosity by making donations to either Tunnel to Towers Foundation ( or Pinon Project Family Center (210 East Main Street, Cortez, CO 81321).


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