Louise Ann Leech, 84, of Germantown, an artist whose prints, paintings and drawings have appeared in numerous shows in Philadelphia and New York, died Aug 19 of complications from Parkinson’s disease at Roxborough Memorial Hospital.
During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Mrs. Leech exhibited in Philadelphia with the Rittenhouse Square Annual and Artists Equity, including Equity’s bicentennial show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1976.
She has work in the permanent collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia and in numerous private collections in the United States. A solo exhibition of paintings from her garden is now on view on the Bridge at Stapeley in Germantown, 6300 Greene St., through the end of September.
Earlier she had worked in the art department at the N.W. Ayer advertising agency, as a textile designer for Rose Hill Mills and as a librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. In the 1950s she taught art for a brief period in the Philadelphia public school system and with her husband, the late Noyes E. Leech, a law professor, gave marionette shows.
Born Louise Ann Gallagher in Lansdowne, Mrs. Leech graduated from Upper Darby High School and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts on a full scholarship. During her first year, she suffered a near fatal case of spinal meningitis.
After making a full recovery, and out of a deep sense of gratitude for being alive, she encouraged and helped many others to pursue their ambitions and artistic passions.
She also earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a bachelor’s in art education from the Tyler School of Art.
Mrs. Leech was a committed and disciplined artist with an unquenchable curiosity about the natural world and about materials and process and, along with paintings, drawings and prints, made marionettes, ceramics and sculpture.
She is survived by daughters Katherine “Kitty” Leech and Gwyneth Leech, both of New York; a sister, Martha Wittman, of Silver Spring, Md., and two granddaughters. A brother, John A. Gallagher, preceded her in death. Her husband of 55 years died in 2010.
A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Old Rosemont Cemetery in Bloomsburg. Memorial donations may be made to the National Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org. – WF