Victor “Vic” Frank Leanza passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the age of 90, in his home on Lake Erie in Euclid, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Fran J. Leanza, sister Norma Joseph (Ralph), brother Dr. Raymond Leanza, son David P. Leanza, daughter Laura Leanza Preston (Eugene), and granddaughters Arianna Sara and Gianna Caroline Preston. Vic is also survived by foster son Michael Rich, nephews Robin, Brett (Martha), Ted (Val), and James Joseph and Charles Dix (Beth).
Vic was born on January 4, 1933 to Caroline and Victor S. Leanza in Cleveland, Ohio. He was diagnosed with low vision at an early age and at Cleveland Public Schools was enrolled in classes for the visually impaired. As a child, he studied piano and developed a deep interest in music. He attended Shaker Heights High School where he participated in wrestling, band and thrived in academic success despite his disability. Vic graduated from Notre Dame University where he studied languages (French and Spanish) and played clarinet and saxophone in the marching band. While at Notre Dame, Vic was introduced to sailing. Vic earned a graduate degree in Special Education at Hunter College in NYC where he was part of the rowing team.
Vic was a Special Education teacher at Cleveland Heights High School for 12 years. As his sight continued to deteriorate, he transition to a new career as a psychologist. He earned a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and went on to operate his own private practice for over 30 years. Vic worked as a consultant for the Ohio Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired. He was a longtime member of the boards for The Cleveland Sight Center, Cleveland Psychological Association, and Cleveland Heights YMCA. Vic was a member of Forrest City Yacht club and enjoyed his love of sailing throughout his adult life. He inspired many others with visual impairment to get out on the waters of Lake Erie through a recreational sailing program through the Cleveland Sight Center.
After retiring, Vic enjoyed many days sailing and was beyond proud to join his son on several Tallship adventures. To his two granddaughters, he was known as “Papa” and will be missed for telling stories.
A service of music and memories will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44118 – reception to follow. Monetary gifts can be made in his honor to AMOS (A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope, Nicaragua). Donations can be made in Vic's honor to AMOS (A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope, Nicaragua) at www.amoshealth.org/support/give/
ARRANGEMENTS BY MAHER-MELBOURNE FUNERAL HOME OF NORTHEAST OHIO www.MaherMelbourne.com