Gerald 'Jerry' Ivan Leighton Jr.
Gerald "Jerry" Ivan Leighton Jr., a former Sonoma city police officer and resident of Sonoma for most of his life, died April 6, 2011, at home in Petaluma, surrounded by his daughters after a nine-month battle with cancer. He was 58.
Leighton served on the Sonoma police force for 13 years, working his way up from reserve officer to lieutenant. He left in 1985 to join the growing high tech world, selling software. In more recent years, he worked for Artisan Bakery in Sonoma and 3T Equipment Co. in Santa Rosa, selling heavy equipment.
A native of Oxnard, Leighton moved to Sonoma as a young boy when his father took a job with Nicholas Turkey. He attended Sonoma Valley High School, playing for the Dragons football team and performing in musicals.
He had six children and 11 grandchildren. They praised him as a man who modeled a strong work ethic and selfless family devotion.
He was a big San Francisco 49ers fan and his pride and joy was a Kawasaki Cruiser he took for long rides to the coast.
Leighton lived all of his adult life in Sonoma, moving to Petaluma only two years ago to provide a bigger, more stable home for his granddaughters, Taylor and Trinity.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, April 11, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 745 N. Webster, Petaluma. Burial will follow at Santa Rosa Memorial Park.
He is survived by his daughters, Veronica Watts of Florida, Tiffeney Leighton, of Petaluma, Sarah Davis, of Covelo and Mary Ann Leighton, of Austin, Texas; his sons, Brian Dunnery, of Paradise and Matthew Dunnery, of Missouri; his brother, Chuck Hall; and his sisters, Pat Gaston and Janet Street, all of Oregon; his sister, Anita Vaughn, of Michigan, and 11 grandchildren. Three siblings preceded him in death.
The family suggests contributions to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma.
Adobe Creek Funeral Home in Petaluma handled arrangements.