Lucia Mary Timmons Leeds, 94, died Thursday, July 23, 2009, of natural causes at Waterford Skilled Nursing Facility in Spokane, Wash.
Funeral services are Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009, at 11 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Chinook, Mont., with burial at the Chinook Cemetery. Lucia was born in Havre, Mont., to Clara Mary and Roscoe Conklin Timmons on Dec. 19, 1914. She and her family lived west of Havre near Black Butte and in the sheriff’s residence at the Hill County Jail while she was growing up. She attended Havre schools, graduating from Havre High School in 1932. At the age of 7, she began piano lessons with Marie Yeon and continued her lifelong study of music at Northern Montana College; the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn.; and Fountainbleau Conservatory outside Paris. While in France she had the opportunity to study piano and voice with some of the pre-eminent music scholars of the time. Nadia Boulanger was her vocal professor. Aaron Copland and Maurice Ravel were on the school’s faculty. She taught music in Rock Island, Ill. Helen Vanni, whose career included roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Santa Fe Opera, was one of her students. Lucia married Robert Herweg Leeds on July 12, 1941, at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Havre, Mont. Robert preceded her in death on Jan. 26, 1995 in Havre, Mont. They lived in various places while Dr. Leeds was in the Navy and in 1947 they moved to Chinook where Lucia lived until she moved to Spokane in 2002 to be near her oldest son, Robert Jr. And his family. For many years, she was organist and choir director at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Chinook and taught piano and voice until she moved to Spokane. She is remembered as an accomplished music teacher. Several of her students went on to professional singing careers. She was a devoted wife and mother and always had a pleasant word for everyone she knew. Her interests ranged from bridge and needlepoint to gardening. She loved the outdoors and her friends and family remember going to the mountains with to her to pick chokecherries to make her wonderful syrup and jelly. Survivors include her sister, Pauline Timmons Saenger of Las Vegas, Nev.; sons, Robert Herweg (Joan) Leeds Jr. Of Spokane, Wash., and Patrick Joseph (Mary) Leeds of Carson City, Nev.; daughters, Joan Claire Leeds (Tom) Burns of Santa Fe, N.M., Linda Marie Leeds (John) VandeVen of Aurora, Iill., and Carol Ann Leeds (Steve) Harvey of Gladstone, Ore.; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Memorials may be sent to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Chinook, Mont. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home, Chinook, Mont.