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Welcome to the memorial page for

Joseph Hugh Leek

December 6, 1923 ~ January 7, 2017 (age 93)

Joseph Hugh Leek, 93 of Duluth, passed away peacefully, January 7, 2017. Joe was born in Denver, Colorado. December 6.1923 to parents Joseph Samuel and Gertrude Farmer Leek

Joe’s father was a traveling salesman during the great depression. They moved so many times over his youth that he couldn’t even remember every place that he had lived growing up. He briefly lived in England from 1937 until WWII was looming and the family returned to the US. The family eventually settled down permanently in Benton Harbor, MI. Joe attended undergrad school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and did his medical school and internship/apprenticeship at the University of Chicago where he met his wife and love of his life Frances Murphy Carlin. They met on a blind date over their mutual love of the card game Bridge. The love of Bridge followed them their whole marriage. Joe was also an avid Tennis player, on the courts hitting the ball up until last April! Joe was a life-long learner, getting an MBA prior to stopping surgery, getting a BFA in his 80’s because he loved art.

In 1952 Joe started his career with the Duluth Clinic system. The only break he had from the Clinic was July 1953 to August of 1955 while serving in the US Army during the Korean Conflict as a Captain and Doctor in Augusta Ga.

Through Rotary International he was involved in co-development and was co-leader to build a medical facility in the Amazon Forest of Peru.

Throughout his life, he exemplified generosity, grace, compassion and laughter to all who met him. 

Joe was very active in community organizations, Kiwanis, Rotary, and the City of Duluth.



U of M – AB 1945

U of MI – MD 1949

U of C Fellowship on Otolaryngology...1952

Clinician Duluth Clinic 1952 to 2000

Professor of Clinical Sciences UMD 1974

U of M – MBA 1999

Fellow American College of Phys. Executives – 1990

VP-Medical Affairs Miller-Dwan 1990 - 2002


Pilgrim Congregational Church

Rotary – president 1996-97

Mayors Commissions – Public Arts Parks and Recreation

Board of Directors of the following

Duluth Playhouse (chairman)


Human Development Center

United Way

St Louis County Heritage Center (Depot)

Kittchi Gammi Club

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra – (founder and chairman)

Duluth Boat Club

Duluth-Superior Are Community Foundation

Guthrie Theater


College of St. Scholastica

Duluth Hall of Fame 1997


Preceded in death by his wife, Frances Murphy Carlin; parents, Joseph Samuel and Gertrude Farmer Leek; and daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Leek

Survived by Children,Joseph Hugh (Terri) Leek Jr, Anne Carlin Leek, Katherine Carter (Angelo Tedeschi) Leek-Tedeschi, Jane Leek (John) Erjavec, Susan Frances Leek, John Thomas (Kathleen) Leek, Carolyn Patricia Leek-Hanson, 16 Grandchildren; 10 Great Grandchildren; and 2 nephews, and many friends.

The family would like to thank Brian DeRoche and his staff at Touching Hearts at Home for their devoted care of our father for the past 3 years. We would also like to thank Essentia Hospice for making this transition as comfortable and easy for our father as possible.

Donations in lieu of flowers to; Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation, Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation, or Pilgrim Congregational Church.

Visitation will be 4-7PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 in the Dougherty Funeral Home, Funeral Service will be 2PM Saturday, January 14, 2017 in Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2310 E 4th St, Duluth, MN 55812, where valet parking will be available.

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd Street, Duluth, MN,  218-727-3555


Charitable donations may be made to:

Pilgrim Congregational Church of Duluth
2310 East 4th Street, Duluth MN 55812
Tel: 1-218-724-8503

Rotary Club of Duluth Foundation
505 W Superior St, Duluth MN 55802
Tel: 1-218-722-0451

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
222 East Superior Street #302, Duluth MN 55802
Tel: 1-218-726-0232

 Service Information

January 13, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dougherty Funeral Home Duluth
600 East Second Street
Duluth, MN 55805

Funeral Service
January 14, 2017

2:00 PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church
2310 East 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812

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