Tribute from SUN Publisher Catherine Hicks
Leah Fletcher was the backbone of The SUN family, and she will be sorely missed by us all.
She was the one I counted on to make sure all the “i’s” were dotted and “t’s” were crossed. After the loss of our founder, J. Whyatt Mondesire, Leah was extremely helpful to me by taking on the role of office manager, in addition to her position of advertising executive. She enjoyed the work she did for the SUN, and it showed in her commitment.
Leah was the face of the SUN, always there to meet and greet those coming to our office, or by representing us at an event, conference, or meeting that I was not able to attend.
Before the pandemic, Leah enjoyed coordinating our staff meetings, birthday and holiday celebrations, ensuring everything was perfectly decorated and set up. I will miss our long talks in the office about life, relationships, children, vacations and food — which was one of Leah’s favorite topics. I will especially miss our Thursday hoagie or meatball grinder cheat days.
Leah was a beautiful person inside and out, always looking out for the best interests of others. Her love of children showed as she mentored many who worked as interns for the SUN, including my grands, who loved working with her over the past few summers, learning the business of distributing the paper.
The SUN staff is a family, and Leah was loved as such. We are grieving her loss, but cherishing our memories, especially of how Leah always gave us her very best, unselfishly. Gone too soon, but not forgotten!
Tribute from SUN Managing Editor Teresa Emerson
It’s hard to say all the things I want to say about Leah in relatively few words — but I’ll try.
What stood out most to me about Leah was her grace, professionalism and kindness. Being able to deal with vendors and advertisers isn’t always an easy job, but she made it look easy. And you won’t find any of our advertisers who haven’t had a good word to say about her and her professionalism.
As far as the staff, she valued all of us and the hard work we put in at the SUN. She wasn’t afraid to support us but could be honest and tough when she needed to be to get the job done.
But she was also my friend, one I had many conversations and laughs with. Who visited me in the hospital at the worst times of my life. Who bought me clothes and toiletries and helped me stay positive when I was ready to give up…even getting together with another co-worker to make a Christmas tree for my hospital room when I had to stay there through the holidays.
That’s who Leah was…she always thought about others. She was my supervisor and co-worker, but she was also my friend who I’ll miss terribly — our talks, her stories about the jobs she used to have and experiences as a young working woman, and her support. She was on my side and appreciated my hard work, but she was also fun to work with. It doesn’t get much better than that. God bless you, Leah.
“Tribute from SUN Social Media Editor Monica Peters
Leah included me into her circle of friends outside of The SUN. Spending Thanksgiving day with Leah, Beth and her family eventually became a tradition for us. We spent our most recent Thanksgiving day together in 2021.
Over the years, Leah became one of my closest and best friends in life. Leah, I will miss our conversations, your guidance, our legendary trips to Oregon Diner, and that winter camping trip we were planning at the time God decided to call you home.
You are an angel now and I know you are watching over us.”
Tribute from Leah’s Best Friend Beth Johnson
Leah was a great friend, life coach and advisor who willingly shared her wisdom with others.
Leah was a fun person with a youthful energy and zest for life. Whether vacationing at the Jersey shore or Martha’s Vineyard, going on a cruise, or traveling abroad, Leah was always ready for the next adventure. She loved reading and traveling.
Leah was well versed in many areas and often advised friends and colleagues in many areas, whether business or personal.
Leah was a guiding light who will be greatly missed
Tribute from SUN Operations Associate Terrence Cooper:
“I admired so many things about Miss Leah. Competence, passion, strength, wit, fearlessness, were only a few of her admirable characteristics. She cared about people, like really. She cared about the community and wanted us all to be our best selves- living out our dreams. I can not recall a problem she didn’t have a solution for and I can not recall a person she didn’t greet with love. She will forever be missed.”
Tribute from Leah’s neighbor former co-op board member Madeline Haggans:
“I learned this morning that on Friday, January 14, 2022, the Lord saw fit to call Leah Fletcher home.
I joined Leah as a board member in March of 2013. For the next six years, we served together as board leadership. Leah at all times believed in the Valley Greene community and always wanted the best for everyone. She served as Vice President of the board. She was part of the decision-making that oversaw the greatest renovation program in the history of the cooperative; including the installation of a new roof, new front elevator, new carpet throughout the building, and much more. At all times her leadership was quiet and thoughtful.
She worked tirelessly for a better future for Valley Greene. Her greatest gift to us was her belief that we could open new income streams that would hold down the carrying charge increases to shareholders and yet bring in enough income to cover our ever-increasing expenses. She interviewed shareholders at other cooperatives to learn how this could be done and shared what she learned at several shareholder meetings, inviting others to join her in figuring out how these ideas could work for Valley Greene. Her ideas were futuristic and creative and could have made life easier for shareholders in the years to come.
She was open to working with anyone that wanted to improve our quality of life here at Valley Greene. She practiced random acts of kindness. When she cooked something particularly flavorful, she would take a plate to those she thought of as friends just to be social and supportive. Her touch was personal. She always had a minute to listen to an issue and to help resolve a problem. She was also plain-speaking and would challenge those whom she thought were going in the wrong direction. She was revered by many in our community.
In addition to the board, Leah was the lead volunteer for the Greene View, our newsletter to the community, she supported the work of the Social Committee and countless other ad hoc groups. She led the work to renovate the Wright Room and the Lobby, again to make life better for all of us.
I considered her a friend and will miss her leadership, counsel, and support.
Madeline Haggans, E-6”
tribute to a dear friend, Ms. Leah
Fletcher By cj speaks – Cheryl Jones
Meeting someone is never accidental orby chance. I truly believe it is God’s inter-vention working in the collisions of people,
places, and things. It was a Friday late afternoon on April 14, 2017, and my sister, Ms. Catherine Hicks, was being honored
at a dinner gathering of family and close friends. I happened to be sitting next to an intriguing woman — someone I had not had
the pleasure of meeting previously one to one, maybe through passing, but not really taking notice. We were at a favorite eatery of mine, Iron Hill Brewery, where we were dining, chatting, laughing, and celebrating.
Little did I realize that this woman I had just met, Ms. Leah Fletcher, would become one of my dearest friends. Leah was a woman who did not take any stuff from anyone and who would share with you how to get the job done with such
poise and dignity. She knew how to build up people to a point where they would be touching the sky and not even realizing how they had gotten to that degree in their life. This was the encouragement and push of Ms. Leah Fletcher. She would ask you some questions, then she would come back with wisdom,
experiences, love, and her opinion of how you should
handle your current situation or business venture.
For me, Leah was a woman who would give me advice and guidance without any kind of judgment. Leah accepted me for
all of who I am, and never passed any kind of judgment on me for anything I shared, had done, or lived my life. Our relationship
was unconditional both ways, and without even knowing what was taking place, our acquaintance had developed into a strong
I recently remember Leah celebrating her
birthday and sharing with me that a friend of hers was coming
to the office to bring her lunch. We talkedabout getting together to celebrate her and share gifts of the holidays, as we hadn’t
seen one another in a few weeks. Leah would always — no matter what was going on — show me herself for who she was
with no apology. When I would stop by the office to pick up a few papers, we would talk for hours and one day we said, ‘let’s go chat and chew.’ That became our once a month
gathering towards the mid-year of 2021.
I will truly miss my dear friend, Ms. Leah Fletcher. God rest her soul! I love you, Leah, and you will always be remem-
bered by me — your younger girlfriend — as you taught me to have girlfriends in all decades so I would
never be alone.
Farewell to a great friend and
Ms. Leah was a woman of great character. For the year and a halfthat I’ve known her, she has always been engaging to me.
When you come into the office to pick up papers or a check, [and]
Ms. Leah’s there, [she’ll have you] sitting and talking — you just couldn’t leave right away. But after that conversation, it was always good to share those moments with her. I will miss
those conversations with her and Ms. Hicks.
God bless you, Ms. Leah Fletcher — I felt the
impact of your humanity. Your presence is
sorely missed at the Philadelphia SUN.
— Jim Brown, community photojournalist