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Obituary: Sally Carter Townsend Lesh '44

Sally Carter Townsend Lesh died peacefully at home in Gustavus, AK, on October 10, 2011. Born on January 19, 1921 in Boston, she lived for over ninety very full and rich years. Her life was an inspiration to the many people whose lives she touched. She married Jack Lesh '44 on June 14, 1942 whom she met while both were attending Antioch College. The early years of marriage took them across the continent and back, finally settling in Cape Cod for several years. Wanderlust led them to Alaska in a school bus with their eight children in 1960. After six years in Juneau, where she opened the original wool shop in her basement, she and Jack bought the Gustavus Inn in Gustavus where they have made their home ever since. She was a woman of many talents and inexhaustible energy, running the Inn for ten years and setting the standard for hospitality in Gustavus; leading the way on many projects such as the Gustavus Library; cooking for Governors Jay Hammond and Bill Sheffield; she was a steward on the ferry, authored three books, traveled the world, took up weaving and spinning, raised goats, sheep, cows, gardens and children, and had a steady stream of friends and family in and out of her house. Friends describe her as a woman of wise and wonderful energy and an amazing force in her community. Her family will remember her as the kind, courageous and loving woman that raised eight children, 19 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, leaving her indelible mark on them all. She is survived by Jack, her wonderful husband of 69 years; her eight children, Mike (Marline) Lesh, Peter Lesh, Jon (Carolyn) Lesh, Jim (Melanie) Lesh, Dave (JoAnn) Lesh, Sally (Tom) McLaughlin, Betsy Lesh and Tom Lesh; grandchildren Melissa Swift, Ben Lesh, Sante and Serge Lesh, Indra Bloemers, John and Carter Lesh, Anna, Joey, Jeff and Dan Lesh, Kelly and Brenna McLaughlin, Nathan Jennings, Casey, Sean and Toby Hall, Scott and Hillery Lesh; great grandchildren Isaac Millman, Natalie, Claire and Ryan Lesh, Cahal Burnham, Theo Bloemers, Henry Lesh and Ewan McLaughlin. Her family buried her in the Gustavus Cemetery and asks that donations in her memory be made to the Gustavus Community Center or the Gustavus Cemetery.