William V. Leasure
June 22, 1942 - January 13, 2022
William V. "Bill" Leasure, 79, passed away peacefully on January 13, 2022.
Preceded in death by father Virgil, mother Geneva, sister Janice, brother Don, and grandson Jacob. Survived by siblings Joanne (Bruce), Randy, Wendy (Stan), and Kevin (Stephanie); children Derek (Julie), Kim (Ryan), and Carmel (Justin), and grandchildren Kyla, Maia, Dakota, Evan, and Elena.
Bill grew up in Lexington, MN, where his lifelong passion for aviation began. As a young boy, he would spend money earned from his paper route building and flying model airplanes, eventually landing himself on the local TV program sharing his extensive airplane knowledge. He attended Marshall High School in Minneapolis, MN, often splurging scarce lunch money on lemon bismarks. Following graduation from Marshall, he completed commercial art training and worked in the art/design field briefly before joining the United States Air Force in 1962.
Bill served his active duty in Minot, North Dakota on the “frozen flight lines” as an F-106 Interceptor crew chief. Extremely proud of his military service, he spoke often about NORAD, fighter jets, and the might of our nuclear sub fleet.
After the military, he returned to Minneapolis, MN to resume his art career but soon discovered it wasn’t as lucrative as he hoped. After securing his A & P license, he was hired at Northwest Orient (Airlines) as a mechanic, then an inspector, and finally a tech writer, where his art skills could be put to good use with tech illustrations..
Bill also achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a private pilot and thrilled his children (and other delighted guests!) with loops, wing-overs, and “anything else he could get away with” in his lovingly restored L3 aircraft, “Tilly.”
Working for a major airline had its perks and Bill enjoyed both international and domestic travel, exploring Holland, Germany, England, and Sweden, and family trips to San Diego, California. He retired from Northwest Airlines in 2004, after 36 years of service.
After retirement, Bill divided his time between Arizona and Minnesota in what he affectionately called “his endless summer,” loving every minute of it. He enjoyed off-roading, motorcycle rides, and family get-togethers, and was fascinated by space exploration and his belief that we are not alone.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward. For there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo DaVinci