Basketball 04

Rex W. Leach

January 14, 1937 ~ November 6, 2021 (age 84)


Canfield- Rex W. Leach of Canfield passed away on November 6, 2021 at age 84.

He was born January 14, 1937 in Waterloo, Indiana, a son of Blair and Maxine Voss Leach. In 1955, he graduated from Vienna (Mathews) High School and attended Bowling Green State University on a basketball scholarship. After four years of Army ROTC, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Health & Physical Education in 1960. Despite receiving contract offers from the New York Knicks and St. Louis Hawks to play professional basketball, he was commissioned in the United States Army and served until being honorably discharged in 1967 as a First Lieutenant. A proud veteran, Rex was a member of the American Legion in Lake Milton.

After his military service, Rex returned to Ohio to begin his teaching and head coaching career at North Royalton High School. During his summers, he furthered his education at Bowling Green State University, receiving his Master's of Education Degree. His successful 38-year coaching campaign included stops at Richmond Heights, North Lima (South Range), and Mathews High Schools, all while taking over his father’s long-standing massotherapy practice in Vienna.

On the court, Rex “The Hex” Leach was nothing short of legendary. Inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, Rex set Ohio prep records for career points (2,581, a stand-alone record set prior to the establishment of the 3-point line), single season points (1,266, #1 in Ohio) and season scoring average (43.3). In his junior season, the Bowling Green Falcons won the 1958-59 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship. As a college senior, Rex was named Captain of the Falcons and was the team’s leading rebounder his freshman, junior, and senior years. He was inducted into the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000, and Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. In memory of his outstanding athletic achievements, Mathews High School honored him by naming the basketball court “Rex Leach Court" in 2014.

The outdoors were an integral part of Rex’s childhood. Yearly hunting and fishing trips with his father to the backcountry of Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada, instilled in him a love for hunting that he would pursue the rest of his life. Despite his hunting prowess, Rex cherished many animals over the years, especially his dogs and cats. He spent countless hours on various woodworking and furniture-building projects and took pride in tending to his garden and sharing his harvest with neighbors and friends.

Rex was an exceptional man and was always the life of the party. His giant frame was dwarfed only by his giant personality. In his travels around the country and the world, it was common to find people who had heard of his exploits both on and off the basketball court. The consummate prankster, he loved to make people laugh. An absolutely loyal man, Rex would drop anything to help a friend or a stranger in need. He truly had a heart of gold.

Rex met “Ms. Detroit Piston” and the love of his life, Carol Hall, in 1956 on a blind date at Bowling Green, and they were married on September 6, 1958. He is the father of the late Tod Leach and is survived by his son, Sean (Maureen) Leach and his daughter, Darbie (Chris) Cohoes; his grandchildren, Courtnie, Josh, Ariel, Cavan, Crew; and his great-grandchildren Braxton, Mallorie, and Adam.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market St., Boardman. A private church service will be held for the family at Saint James Episcopal Church in Boardman. A public military burial ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 2:15 p.m. at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, 10175 Rawiga Rd., Seville, Ohio 44273.

Rex will be deeply missed by his family and by those who knew this tremendous man. There is no doubt he is enjoying his reunion with his beloved parents, Maxine and Blair, brother, Gary, and son, Tod.

The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Angels for Animals, 4750 W. South Range Rd., Canfield, Ohio 44406.

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December 1, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Davis-Becker Funeral Home Boardman
8536 Market Street
Boardman, OH 44512
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Military Honors
December 2, 2021

2:15 PM
Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery (Rittman, Ohio)
Guaranteed delivery before the Military Honors begins

Private Services

St. James Episcopal Church (Glenwood Avenue)

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