LEWISTON – Ronald Ellis Leighton Sr., 79, of Minot, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

He was born on May 13, 1939, in Auburn, the son of Clarence and Christine (Houston) Leighton. He attended local schools, graduating in 1957 from Edward Little High School. On June 14, 1958, he married Naomi Merrill.

A machinist by trade and heart, he worked his first job at Bliss Portland in Southern Maine with Herb Merrill and for other local facilities including Lewiston Shoe, Mountain Machine and Phillips Element. Other jobs included well drilling for and with Skip Hodgdon, who was a very close friend and confidant. As a young man he worked at Morris Auto Parts where he learned the mechanics and operations of vehicle which planted the seed for a lifetime of tinkering. Before retirement he was the mechanic many folks, young and old, counted on to get them rolling again.

He certainly had a love for racing! Oxford Plains was his playground and was good at what he did. He was associated with many numbers over the years and created bonds with the drivers and crews including the 94, P38, 35, 54, 65, 52, and the 25. A favorite expression that was always met with laughter was, “Leightonize it.”  However, when he said it, he meant it.

He also enjoyed the ocean, spending time at camps listening, relaxing and enjoying the good food. The company was always entertaining with Janey and Ann’s laughter heard across the bay because of Herb’s spirits.  He will also be remembered for his sense of humor and as a jokester.

He was fond of nature, reading, history, boxing, WWE, football, sharing old memories that would bring a smile on his face and tear in his eye, and especially “Mum’s” cooking. He favorites were her chili, spaghetti, and particularly her Twinkey cake.

What Ron gave back and passed on during his life was priceless. A man of great character, beliefs, and integrity.  If it was done by him you could count on that it was “done right” for the next guy.

He is survived by his children, Barbara Watkins, Ron Leighton Jr. and his wife, Kathleen, and Lisa Radcliffe; his siblings, Clarence Leighton Jr. and Christopher Leighton; grandchildren, Kevin, Becky, Christie, Nina; great-grandchildren, Keegan, Kaile, Karina, Kevin Jr., Hannah, Morgan, Bart, Lisa Ann, Reese and Brendan; great-great-grandchild, Riley; several nieces and nephews; close friends, Richard Martin, Don Bowie, Skip Hodgdon, Phil Mitchell Jr. and David Smith.

A special thank you to Kevin, Ed and Jesse for trying to keep that flame going that he loved and enjoyed so much.

A time of memorial visitation and celebration of Ron’s life will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sat., Feb. 2, 2019, at the Chandler Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 26 W. Dwinal St., Mechanic Falls. Interment will take place in the spring at Gracelawn Memorial Park in Auburn.

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