School 17

Leighanne Michelsen

January 1, 1978 ~ May 24, 2021 (age 43)


Leighanne Michelsen (formerly Grimes) passed away unexpectedly from an aneurysm Monday, May 24th.  She was 43 years young.  Leigh is survived by her beloved son Keenan Michelsen, brother Michael Grimes, sister-in-law Nanielle Grimes, father Robert Grimes (and partner Carole Wohlwend), uncle Kenneth Grimes, aunt Marilyn Grimes, aunt Janet Kinch, Ph. D., grandmother Hallie Grimes and her dog, Rocky.

Leigh held a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, a Master's Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University and would have completed her Master's in Business Administration at Xavier in Spring of 2022.  Though she passed away in September of 2003, just before Leigh's son Keenan was born, her mother Janet Grimes was a teacher and continued to be her role model.  Leigh was a business educator and golf coach at Madeira High School but had accepted a highly sought after role teaching at Mason High School the day of her injury.  She began her teaching career at Stebbins High School, but no matter where she taught in the Dayton and Cincinnati area, she repeatedly received recognition from her students on the impact she had on their lives, some even becoming entrepreneurs.

In her own words, Leigh was "an independent, hyperactive, adventurous woman who could be stubborn, but always put her own needs last to take care of others.  She was a perfectionist, which often made tasks take longer than she would deem necessary to complete."  Leigh was a lover of music, a violinist since elementary school, an outdoorswoman, avid backpacker and traveler, having been to Glacier National Park, Amsterdam, Netherlands and the Riviera Maya, Mexico, to name a few.  Leigh was a strong woman who would stop at nothing to support a person in need and seldom relied on anyone for a household or minor vehicle repair, never afraid to take something apart and see how it functioned, find the flaw and fix it herself.  A romantic, Leigh loved poetry and fine art.

In the last year, Leigh was proudly in the best shape of her life from working out at OrangeTheory, mentally determined and focused, and spiritually awakened within her "village" of powerful and whole friendships.  Her dreams were to explore all of France, to one day live closer and share more time with her brother and for her son to live uncompromised and free to pursue his creativity in music and be a kind, strong, compassionate and honest man.

Leigh's wishes were for a small, lively celebration of her life attended only by her closest friends and family, so there will not be services that may be widely attended.

In lieu of flowers, donations to her son Keenan's college fund may be made at

If you were close to Leigh and cannot attend her celebration of life, please light a candle, pour a cup of your favorite tea (or bourbon), put on a happy song and live to your fullest from this moment on, satisfying every aspiration in your heart and loving those who are dear to you as we loved her so dearly.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leighanne Michelsen, please visit our floral store.


Private Service


Keenan's College Fund

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