Cover photo for David L. Leatherby Sr.'s Obituary
David L. Leatherby Sr. Profile Photo
1937 David 2019

David L. Leatherby Sr.

April 29, 1937 — March 3, 2019

David L Leatherby, Sr., beloved husband, father and grandfather, founder of Leatherby's Family Creamery and patriarch of the Leatherby family, was born into eternal life Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 surrounded by his family in Sacramento California. Daddy Dave, as he was affectionately known, began life in Hedrick, Iowa, the middle of three children (Beverly Whaley and John Leatherby) of parents Albert L. Leatherby and Beverly "Orpha" Young. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 64 years, Sally Joan Hannum, nine of his ten children and spouses: Dave Jr. (Jennifer), Marie Leatherby, Shelly (Rich) Collins, Rita (Joe) Helfrick, Alan (Patty), Valerie (Paul) Willover, Theresa Leatherby (deceased), Laura Leatherby, Rachel (Ron) Thurman, Sarah Leatherby, their 30 grandchildren: Kimberly, Fr. Jeremy, Katherine, Matthew, Sally, Irene, Chrissie, John, Aaron, Melanie, Molly, Mary, Natalie, Joseph, Nicole, Phillip, Theresa, Jacob, Jamie, Joshua, Jessica, John Paul, Jiana, Chris, Leah, Hannah, Makayla, Jocelyn, Cassidy, Elijah, and 40 great-grandchildren and more on the way! Dave was a larger-than-life person, with ever a warm smile on his face, an encouraging word and a positive impact on everyone he met. He was known to be a man of great faith, integrity and courage, who loved all people and had a profound sense of responsibility to his fellow man. In 1982, Daddy Dave started Leatherby's with the desire to do something to contribute to the betterment of the community. A man of tremendous optimism and zeal for life, he put his entire self into everything he did. His personal and business philosophy was based on "generosity"; he believed that the more one gives, the more blessings one receives. He began every day by attending Mass at a local Catholic church to give thanks for all his blessings, and then rode his bike around town, past many of his children's homes, before work. His smile was contagious, and when anyone would ask him why he was so joyful, he would hold up his rosary. Dave met the love of his life, Sally, in the 6th grade, and they were married in 1955. She was his first and only girlfriend, whom he asked to "go steady" at 12 years old. A gifted athlete, he played college football at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Ranked 4th in the nation, he received an offer to try out for the Green Bay Packers, but declined on account of his young family. They moved to Orange County in Southern California where Dave began teaching 6th grade, but after welcoming five children in six years, he opted for a higher paying job with Safeway, where his business career started. Moving to Sacramento in 1970 with then eight children, Dave became an entrepreneur, starting a wholesale appliance dealership selling Speed Queen laundry and other appliances. He excelled and was the top in sales for the entire country every year. But with the arrival of his 10th child, he felt called to open a business where his family could work together and more directly contribute to the good of the community. Having worked at his parents "Main Street Caf‚" in Iowa, Dave desired to recreate that "community gathering place" experience. The idea of a giant ice cream parlor was conceived and became a reality in 1982 Leatherby's Family Creamery! In the midst of his business endeavors, Dave and Sally converted to Catholicism on December 22, 1965, which dramatically changed the focus and purpose of their lives. From that time onwards, each day began with daily Mass, a practice which continued for 54 years, and each year concluded with a banquet for his ever-growing family, to celebrate and to recount the anniversary of his conversion. His work thereafter became a vehicle to share his faith, and to love and to serve his fellow man. Many charitable organizations in the area were helped by his gifts and support. Indeed, he was generous to a fault; he would help anyone and everyone who asked. Daddy Dave spent his final years fighting for what is right and against corruption, especially in the Catholic Church. His parting words to his grandchildren were: "We will win!" The world is certainly a better place because of him. And fittingly, his last meal was a chocolate shake from Leatherby's Creamery. Daddy Dave, you will be missed by many people, but especially your family, who you loved so much. We believe you were greeted by our Good Lord, and your daughter Theresa, whom you remembered every day in your prayers.

A Rosary will be prayed for the blessed repose of Dave's soul at 4:00 pm Sunday, March 10th, 2019, and the Funeral Mass and services will be conducted by Fr. Francis Murin on Monday morning, 11:00 am March 11th, 2019. Both services will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 5057 Cottage Way, Carmichael, CA 95608.

Donations and remembrances can be made either to the Sacramento Life Center, 2316 Bell Executive Lane, Sacramento, CA 95825 or the Carmelite Sisters Monastery, 6981 Teresian Way, Georgetown, CA 95634.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David L. Leatherby Sr., please visit our flower store.


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