Maddie and Uncle Jimmy Boston 2008
James Leck
  • 48 years old
  • Date of birth: Sep 7, 1962
  • Date of passing: Jul 4, 2011
The joyous presence, kindness and good humor of James will be with us forever.

The Leck family asks that donations in his memory be made to Heifer International
 

The Memorial Service was held on July 12th, 2011 at the Boston University Marsh Chapel. To read eulogies from Deidre Colby Sato and Amir Reza go to the Stories section.

 

For those of us who were blessed to have known James, we know that the intersection of our lives with his has brought us laughter, joy, friendship, knowledge, skills, and inspiration that will remain forever in our hearts and minds. James was that solid rock in the field of International Education and beyond, for so many years, often showing us the way by inspiring us. He was a kind soul whose deep passion for cross-cultural interaction touched the lives of thousands of international students, scholars, and colleagues from around the globe. He was often described as larger than life.

 We are grateful for the opportunity to have been enriched by that shining light. Though his time with us has passed too quickly and was much too short, all of us who were mentored by James know that he left in us the pursuit of excellence, the wealth of friendship, and the wisdom to have values to live by, as well as skills to live on.  There are so many of us who cared so deeply about James and thousands who have humorous, genuine, and lively stories about the man whose life embodied so much compassion. We lost an amazing light in this world; we invite you to keep his memory alive by sharing messages, pictures, stories, videos, and more so that we can be comforted by our common love for James. May he rest in peace. Amir Reza, July 2011


 

 

 

 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Amir Reza on 7th July 2014

"Almost every week I cross a path in my work that reminds me of you. As I strive to be the educator that you were to so many of us - helping young people from around the globe with your wisdom, humor, and kindness; you continue to be a guiding light as I think through the challenges of work and life - what would James do? That helps me gain perspective. I miss you at each and every gathering of international educators and know that your strong legacy is always there."

This tribute was added by Deirdre Sato on 9th July 2013

"Thought of you so many times over the holiday, my friend.  Your photo still looks down from above my computer, there as if to cajole and admonish me to be compassionate and thoughtful, but lighten up -  some of many things I learned from James Leck!  Missing you."

This tribute was added by Amir Reza on 5th July 2013

"Thinking of you today as always and all the way that you gracefully touched all of us who know you. Had a dream about you last night, even though I'm half-way around the world! There you were with the microphone at a conference giving us sage, humorous, and humane advice on those complex international education questions - classic James Leck! Miss you"

This tribute was added by Sylvia Cowan on 4th July 2013

""James' vitality, caring, wisdom and laughter are forever with us.  His sense of humor still brings a smile to my face.  His passion for international education and students remain in memory, and in the lives of those he touched.  We at Lesley are so grateful to have known him, and to have learned from him.""

This tribute was added by Charles Leck on 4th July 2013

"Hey pardner, you are missed indeed. So many events and places in my life remind me of you. I hope it is beautiful out there among the stars (it must be, musn't it?). Your ol' uncle misses you so much."

This tribute was added by Missy Gluckmann on 25th February 2013

"Thought about what we're doing to change the world today and missed you, friend.  Still is so hard to believe that you're not out there making people smile with your magic way.  I continue to have your energy inspire my work and my way.  You are deeply missed by so many."

This tribute was added by Judy Foester on 5th January 2013

"What a privilege to have been Jim's teacher.  So thoroughly good, with no guile at all.  What a sense of humor.  What an ability to sense and care for everyone around him.  I used to play the kazoo all the time at school.  One day, Jim knocked on the classroom door and came in with two kazoos, one in each nostril and proceeded to play "Dueling Banjos".  He was a miracle worker."

This tribute was added by Sylvia Cowan on 7th September 2012

""Your spirit of caring deeply, your effectiveness with international students and university staff at all levels, your humanness with all you met, your wonderful sense of humor--all these live on in the lives and work of Lesley University Intercultural students you influenced so skillfully.  We remember you with joy and gratitude for the wonderful gifts you gave us so freely.  Thank you!""

This tribute was added by Amir Reza on 19th July 2012

"Your spirit and wisdom is always present as I engage with colleagues, students, anf friends. Just returned from a visit to Iran and no surprise that you have fans all around the globe that sorely miss you. You remain in our hearts and minds and I am grateful for all that you shared with us. Your humor and insight are constantly with me. Thank you, James!"

This tribute was added by Dan Pirbudagov on 5th July 2012

"We really love and miss you, James! Your spirit will always be present with me, thank you for everything you did!"

This tribute was added by Deirdre Sato on 5th July 2012

"Jim, dear one,
It has been a year without you, old friend.   I think of you so often and wish for your wise counsel and unfailing ability to make me laugh.  Missy and I exchanged messages about you yesterday - look in on us sometimes.  Gone but never, ever forgotten."

This tribute was added by Karen DeMonte on 4th July 2012

"I think you often and can't believe it's been a year since you left us.  I know we will see you again, that you are watching over us, and that you are fine. Time spent with you was always special, even if it was not enough.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss"

This tribute was added by Charles Leck on 4th July 2012

"Hey, kid. You're missed here m'boy. I leave you up on the list of those who follow my blog cause I have a sneaking suspicion you're still reading. I can't -- just can't -- take you off the list. As I write, your mom and dad are in Maine, thinking of you with wonderful, loving memories. Sleep sweetly. I miss you so. Uncle Charlie"

This tribute was added by Kimberly Willard on 7th September 2011

"Remembering Jimmy on his birthday--a friend who was always loyal, whose sense of humor diffused difficult situations with ease, a loving, warm person who loved people, whose many gifts blessed so many.  I miss you Jimmy.  Thank you for being a part of my life."

This tribute was added by Karen DeMonte on 15th July 2011

"Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."  By this measure, Jim achieved success tenfold. I am blessed to have grown up with Jimmy and had him in my life. I Thank God for sharing him with us."

This tribute was added by Sylvia Cowan on 14th July 2011

"We were so fortunate to know James, and have him teach at Lesley.  He generously shared his wonderful talents and guidance with the Intercultural Relations Master's students, who frequently commented on his engaging teaching and his remarkable sense of humor! Thank you, James."

This tribute was added by Maggie Shirland on 12th July 2011

"I feel so privileged to have worked with James. He was an amazing person with a magnetic personality, always making people laugh. He was a mentor, teacher, colleague and friend and I am so grateful for all he gave me. His passion and humor will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by June Sadowski-Devarez on 12th July 2011

"In Region X, we never really got over it when James left us for Region XI!  But, he had to move on and share his "larger than life personality" with others. I've never seen a heart that had so much room as his!
He was the true embodiment of the best of our profession"

This tribute was added by Michael Smithee on 12th July 2011

"James seemed to remember everything.  And, he was jovial and serious at the same time; a hard combination not to like.  I last saw him in January 2010 when I visited his office at BU.  He was so generous with his time.  Indeed, he will be missed."

This tribute was added by Dawn Wooten on 12th July 2011

"I was so fortunate to have James as a coach and trainer when I entered the IE field. His style of teaching and mentoring made me feel as if I could be as good an advisor as he was. I will be forever grateful for knowing him."

This tribute was added by Cindy Whittenbury on 11th July 2011

"Jimmy left an imprint on all of us.  He was JOY, He was Happiness, He was Laughter.  Always made you feel good when you were around him.  And will always be fondly remembered as the best Teddy Bear Hugger of the Universe.  May peace be with him, his wife, and his family."

This tribute was added by Andrea Popa on 11th July 2011

"James was such a force for good in the field of intl ed. Nurturer, mentor, teacher to young advisors, and an engaged, encouraging colleague to those more experienced. It seems unimaginable that his days with us have ended… I was so privileged to have walked with him for a time."

This tribute was added by Tracey Reza on 11th July 2011

"I feel so fortunate to have met James, and privileged to have called him my friend. He was so fun to be around, so funny so often, and I am so appreciative for all the laughter."

This tribute was added by Jamie Kendrioski on 9th July 2011

"While I will forever miss his signature bear hugs, calm voice and unrelenting support, James' outrageous humor and passion for mentorship are forever a part of my life story. I have always felt deeply blessed and humbled by your friendship and faith in me. Thank you, James."

This tribute was added by Dan Pirbudagov on 8th July 2011

"James has been an extraordinary individual. He has touched lives of many people. He has been a role model for me. I will never forget his contagious enthusiasm, great sense of humor, passion in international education field, kindness of his heart, and altruism. He will be missed."


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Parker Emerson

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