Obituaries » Leighton Brodelle Dodd

Leighton Brodelle Dodd

January 13, 1931 - May 16, 2021

Leighton Brodelle Dodd, 90, of Lynchburg, Virginia died on May 16, 2021.

Born January 13, 1931, in Charlotte Court House, Va, to the late Claude Swanson Dodd and Fannie Conner Dodd, Leighton was one of twelve children.

Leighton is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Ann Davis Dodd; and his children: Shelby D. Hollister-Share (Kevin) of Hilton Head Island, S.C., Leighton Stacey Dodd (Amy), of Lynchburg, Va., Jarrett Spencer Dodd (Claire), of Forest, Virginia, and Jason Evans Dodd (Catherine) of Norfolk, Va; and was predeceased by his youngest son, Addison Davis Dodd, (Jan-Huib Franssen). Leighton is also survived by his grandchildren: Morgan Hollister (David Peters); Macon Hollister (Kevin Clevette); Casey Hollister (Ben Whritenour); Jackson Dodd, Hampton Dodd, Stacey Dodd, Harrison Dodd, Stewart Dodd, Harper Dodd, Joseph Dodd, and Julia Dodd; and his great grandchildren: Leighton, Dylan and Rhys Peters; and Addison and Emory Clevette.

Leighton is also survived by his siblings: Jean D. Bigger, Hilda D. Smith and F. Parker Dodd. Leighton is predeceased by his siblings: Sadie D. Nelson, W. Hampton Dodd, Annie D. Morris, Mattie D. Bennett, Irene D. Clark; and J. Walker Dodd, Luther D. Dodd, and Hubbard L. Dodd.

As a boy, Leighton’s large and loving family grew up on a farm in Charlotte Court House, Virginia, where work came first, and recreation was rare. After graduating from Randolph Henry High School in 1948, Leighton knew that he was not cut out for farming, so he enlisted in the United States Army in September 1948.

During Leighton’s military service with the Army from 1948-1952, he was a Sergeant and a member of the 7th Calvary Regimen, First Calvary Division, where he served in Japan and Korea during the Korean War, where he was wounded twice in combat. As a result of his injuries, Leighton received two Purple Hearts.

Upon returning to Virginia, Leighton enrolled in Lynchburg College (now University of Lynchburg), on the G.I. Bill.  Lynchburg College would become a large part of Leighton’s life and he would establish a lifelong legacy to his alma mater with his service and generosity. Leighton graduated from Lynchburg College in 1956 with a B.A. in Business Administration. As a young alumni, Leighton was on the Lynchburg College Alumni Association, where he was a Board Member from 1963-1970; and was President of the Alumni Association Board from 1968-1970. Leighton was the recipient of the T. Gibson Hobbs Memorial Award in 1974 for service to his alma mater, church and community; and was a Member of the Lynchburg College Board of Trustees from 1985-2006, where he was Vice Chairman of the Board in the final years.  Leighton received the designation of Trustee Emeritus from the Lynchburg College Board of Directors in 2006.

Perhaps the most distinguished award given to Leighton from Lynchburg College was his receipt of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in May of 2007. On that day Lynchburg College also awarded Leighton Dodd with an endowment in his name for future generations of students: The Leighton B. Dodd Veterans Scholarship Fund.

Leighton had a long business career in Lynchburg, starting out as a bus driver while in college, to a career as a much loved local banker. Leighton drove a city bus around the seven hills of Lynchburg for a few years while a college student to earn money. His children can easily attest to this fact, as whenever Leighton was “driving” from the passenger seat, while one of his children was trying to park the car, Leighton would declare, “Come on! I could park a city bus in that spot!”

From 1957 to 1962 Leighton operated a retail furniture store in Lynchburg where he developed many of his business relationships. In 1962, Leighton started his banking career as a commercial lender, seeing his bank change names from First National Bank to United Virginia Bank, to Crestar Bank to today’s SunTrust Bank. During his banking career he furthered his education to better serve his local community and became a Graduate of the American Bankers’ Association, National Mortgage School, at Ohio State University; Graduate of American Bankers’ Association National Commercial Lending School, University of Oklahoma; and a Graduate of the University of Virginia Business School Program “Commercial Lending Decisions.”  Leighton had a distinguished career as a commercial banker in Lynchburg where he helped many small businesses get started, all the while paving the way for local business to grow in his beloved Lynchburg. Leighton retired from SunTrust Bank after 33 years, on December 31, 1995, as a Senior Vice President.

Leighton had the desire to make a difference in the City of Lynchburg during the tumultuous time of the 1970s. Believing he could make a political difference he ran a “POSITIVELY” wonderful campaign for City Council in 1970 and won a seat on the City Council. After serving two years, Leighton was elected Mayor by City Council in 1972, and served as Mayor until July 1976. During his tenure he tackled many controversial issues such as annexation, busing, and race relations in the City. Never backing down from a tough situation, Leighton led the city with a steady, calm hand and ultimately won the respect of his peers and rivals alike. Leighton paved the way for an improved and inclusive Lynchburg.

Throughout his adult life, Leighton served in many organizations where he held leadership roles. He was a Member of the Lynchburg Jaycees, 1956-67, where he served as a Board Member, State Director and as President, and where he received the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award in 1960 for the Lynchburg Chapter. Leighton was a member of the Lynchburg Lions Club where he served as a member of The Board of Directors and Vice- President. Leighton served on the United Way of Central Virginia where he was a Member of the Board of Directors and the Treasurer. He was a member of the Lynchburg Chapter of the American Red Cross where he was a Member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer and Chairman. Leighton was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board of Central Virginia. He also served on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Presbyterian Home (now Human Kind). Leighton served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Central Virginia Community College. Leighton was a Life Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and former Chairman of the Board. He was also a former Member of the Board of Directors of the Lynchburg Chapter of the American Cancer Society. In 1977, Leighton was the Recipient of the Liberty Bell Award presented by the Lynchburg Bar Association. In 1991 Leighton was the recipient of the Pro-Opera Civica Award presented by the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, for his outstanding community service over the years. In 1992, Leighton was the recipient of the National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Award.

Socially, Leighton loved to play tennis with his “tennis group” at the Oakwood Country Club. A regular fixture on the tennis court, Leighton also wanted to participate in the governing body of Oakwood. Leighton was elected to the Board of Directors from 1980-85; and served as President of the Board from 1982-85. Despite his leadership role at Oakwood, Leighton, ever the budget-minded Dad, still only allotted to his children a very minimal amount of “chit books” during the summer feeding frenzy of hot dogs, and Reece’s cups.

Leighton could also be seen socializing and holding court with his “coffee buddies” at Moores’ Country Store, on Boonsboro Road, where he frequented up until his death.

Although Leighton’s true alma mater was Lynchburg College, he was an avid sports fan of the teams of the University of Virginia. His Scott Stadium tailgate parties from 1984-1992, during the complete tenure of three of his children who attended, were legendary.  From the Silver Pig Barbeque to the Old Milwaukee Beer out of the trunk of the white Chevy Caprice, these epic events will never be forgotten by his children and their numerous friends. Leighton also joined the University of Virginia Parents’ Committee from 1989-1993, where he served with his wife Mary Ann.

Many people will remember Leighton for many things. Perhaps the happiest memoires for his children, however, were the many trips to Hilton Head Island, S.C. for family vacations. Leighton and Mary Ann loved Hilton Head Island so much, their “first” retirement in 1995 was to Hilton Head Island, where they resided for 12 years, before retiring ultimately back to Lynchburg.  In Hilton Head, whether playing tennis at the South Beach Racquet Club, sitting on the beach eating peanuts declaring, tongue in cheek, “This is the smallest beach I own,” or drinking beers at the Salty Dog Café, Leighton was the most relaxed and free – while spending time with his family and friends on Hilton Head Island.

Over the years, Leighton, without realizing we were all listening, espoused many pearls of wisdom. He wanted to leave this world better than he found it. Phrases like, “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time;” and “People are going to do what they want to do;” and “How would you feel if ….” all come to mind. We all learned to take responsibility for our own actions; to love, laugh and to care for others, when being around Leighton Dodd. He will be forever missed in person, but his legacy which has been built over years of community service, military service, political service and devotion to family and friends will live on forever. Leighton B. Dodd. Always paving the way. We love you and you will be missed.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Jack Macneil, and the nurses and staff at the Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center. They are an outstanding group of caring health professionals and provided excellent care to Leighton during his illness. They are responsible for giving Leighton several additional years of life, and for that, his family is forever grateful. Special thanks also goes to the staff of Gentle Shepherd Hospice, Home Instead, and the amazing caregivers Emma Smith and Mabel Smith.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leighton B. Dodd Veterans Scholarship Fund, at the University of Lynchburg,  https://www.connect.lynchburg.edu/give  – designation: Leighton B. Dodd Scholarship Fund; or by mail to: Development Office, University of Lynchburg, 1501 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, Va. 24501. Contributions may also be made to the Lynchburg Salvation Army, 2215 Park Avenue Lynchburg, Va., 24501.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm, on May 27th, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church, 1215 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, Va. 24503, by the Rev. Peter Thompson.  A live stream of the service can be found at www.fpcly.org.   A reception will follow immediately at the Oakwood Country Club.  At the request of Leighton, “wear your favorite color as long as it’s not black”.

 Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

Burial Date May 27, 2021

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm, on May 27th, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church, 1215 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, Va. 24503, by the Rev. Peter Thompson.  A live stream of the service can be found at www.fpcly.org.   A reception will follow immediately at the Oakwood Country Club.  At the request of Leighton, “wear your favorite color as long as it’s not black”.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Leighton Brodelle's life with a short message, photo or video!

So sorry to hear of the loss of your father.

Posted by Judy Markham Sconyers on May 23, 2021

So sorry to hear of the loss of your father.

Posted by Judy Markham Sconyers on May 23, 2021

The Lynchburg Alumni Association expresses our sincere condolences to the family.

Posted by Lynchburg Alumni Association on May 21, 2021

Leighton Dodd was an amazing man who gave back to his community is so many ways. I had the privelege of getting to know Leighton when I worked in the Advancement Office of Lynchburg College (now University of Lynchburg). Leighton was an active LC alumnus, a dedicated Trustee of the College, and a tireless fundraiser for scholarships, Schewel Hall, the Drysdale Student Center, and especially for veterans' scholarships. Leighton was fair and kind, and he always had time to meet with you and share his wisdom. He knew how much a college education meant to him, and he wanted to make that same education available to other students and especially veterans like himself. I also had the privelege of seeing Leighton every Sunday morning at First Presbyterian Church, Lynchburg, where he was a faithful member. My heart goes out to Mary Ann and all his family, whom he loved dearly. We will all miss him. Please accept my sincere condolences and know that I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Denise A. McDonald on May 20, 2021

Leighton Dodd was my best friend in Lynchburg. He was as fine a person as I ever knew. The loss to his family is something only they can truly experience. His wife Mary Ann and their children and grandchildren know how I feel -- and I extend my condolences to everyone in the large Dodd clan. The loss of Leighton to the Lynchburg community is incalculable. His obit speaks to that. I will just add that his accomplishments and honors were often skewed toward helping those less fortunate. That was his passion! Leighton Dodd was a great man, but more importantly, he was a GOOD man! Rest in peace, my friend.... Bill Blackwell Midlothian, VA

Posted by Bill Blackwell on May 19, 2021

How to Write a Sympathy Message



Register now for the live seminar





Click here to access Obituary Archives from 2014 and earlier.