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William Charles Leatherby

William (Willy) Charles Leatherby, 83, of Johnston, Iowa passed away on Friday, January 27, 2023. He died peacefully at home surrounded by family and his faithful dog, Rufus. Willy was born in Des Moines, Iowa to Melvin and Margaret Leatherby. In his early adulthood, he studied aviation, served in the national guard, and built award-winning custom motorcycles. In his 40’s he met Mary. They fell in love and their love story never ended. Together they raised 4 children. Willy could always be found attending his children’s events with Mary by his side. He was a loving, kind, and dependable father and husband. His smile was infectious and frequent. Willy was a builder, fixer, inventor, gardener and protector. To have known Willy was to know happiness because he always knew how to have a good time! He would do a little dance and exclaim “happy feet!” when he felt good. His smile was infectious and he laughed a lot, even on his last day. His family will always remember his hardworking spirit and everlasting love.

He is survived by his wife Mary and his children Shannon Dorrian, James (Panna) Leatherby, Tracy (Brian) Tarlton, Joseph Leatherby, Jennifer Leatherby, 13 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and his sister Vonel. He was preceded in death by his daughter Sheilah, great-grandson Jameson, and his parents Melvin and Margaret Leatherby.

A Celebration of Life will be held on June 10th.

In lieu of flowers please send memorial donations to the family. A gofund me account has been set up at



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