James Henry Leighton, 85, retired as a sergeant major in the U.S. Army Reserve

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james leightonJames H. Leighton, of Williamsburg, VA, passed away on January 10, 2016 at the age of 85.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earnest and Ruth Leighton, stepson, David B. Stevens and granddaughter, Hazel M. Stevens. He is survived by his loving wife of 35 years Janet Stevens Leighton; his daughter, Vicki Huffman of Roanoke, VA; his identical twin brother, Robert “Bob” Leighton of Virginia Beach, VA; two nephews, Robert Leighton (Carolyn); Perry Leighton (Denise) all of Virginia Beach; his stepsons, Gary Stevens (Susan) of Jacksonville Beach, FL; John O. Stevens of Newport News, VA; John R. Stevens (Bobbi Jo) of Williamsburg, VA and grandchildren, Seth Huffman (Lauren) of Richmond, VA; Luke Huffman of Roanoke, VA; Tracy Stevens of Newport News, VA; W. Massie Stevens of Williamsburg, VA; Trevor Stevens and Jared Stevens both of Jacksonville Beach, FL.

He was first a member of the Church of Christ in Salem, VA, and later was an active member of the Walnut Hills Baptist Church of Williamsburg, as long as he was able.

While serving in the U.S. Army, he was stationed in Germany after WWII. He came home to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve and join the Norfolk Western Railroad in Roanoke, VA. He devoted his time and career as a welding supervisor at the railroad, traveling seven states and continuing to serve the corporation through multiple labor strikes until he retired from Norfolk Southern Railroad in September of 1987. In April of 1990 he retired as a sergeant major from the U.S. Army Reserve. He was an avid hunter, he loved hunting deer, squirrel and turkeys and enjoyed fishing.

He was a Master Mason for which he received several awards; an avid member of Taylor Lodge #23 A.F. and A.M.; Williamsburg Lodge #6 A.F. and A.M. and Toano Lodge #286 A.F. and A.M.

He will be missed by all who knew him. A visitation will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, January 19, followed by a service at Walnut Hills Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice House of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Pkwy., Williamsburg, VA 23188, or Walnut Hills Mortgage Reduction Fund for Walnut Hills Baptist Church, 1014 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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