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1957 Leigh Ann 2023

Leigh Ann Collings Tift

February 27, 1957 — June 22, 2023

Leigh Ann Collings Tift, [65], passed away unexpectedly at her home on June 22, 2023, leaving behind many who mourn her passing, but celebrate her life.


Leigh Ann Tift (formerly Leigh Ann Collings), daughter of David and Genevive Collings, was born on Feb. 27, 1957 and raised in Deer Lodge, Montana, where her father was the county’s Sheriff. As a young girl in Montana, Leigh Ann enjoyed riding horses, skiing and causing mischief the way only the daughter of the Sheriff could doLA Tift. She later passed these passions (including the mischief) down to her children.


Leigh Ann had a brilliant mind and was a voracious reader of books of all genres. She was celebrated as Valedictorian of her graduating class at Powell County High School in 1975. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Utah State University, and later ventured to the Pacific Northwest to attend Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), where she earned her law degree in 1981. It came as no surprise to anyone that Leigh Ann excelled as a lawyer, becoming a well-known and successful employment law attorney, first for the City of Seattle and then at a large firm in Seattle, Washington. After years in private practice, Leigh Ann transitioned back to non-profit work, becoming Senior Staff Counsel at the Seattle Housing Authority, a practice she found rewarding. She retired in 2022 after an impressive 35-year legal career.


Leigh Ann Tift was the proud mother of Callie Collings Getty (age 35) and Benjamin Paul Tift (age 33), and mother-in-law to son-in-law, Kyle Getty, and daughter-in-law, Destalia Irawan. Leigh Ann adored her children and made sure they had a life full of love and adventure. She was a wonderful mother, mastering the art of knowing when to be a friend and when to drop the proverbial hammer.


Recently, Leigh Ann found her ultimate happiness when her first grandchild, Cooper David Getty (2), was born on New Year’s Day in 2021. Leigh Ann was frequently seen at Hazel Creek Montessori picking up her beloved “Coopie”, who would rush to greet her, holding out his hand for the treat she always brought. When Leigh Ann wasn’t with Cooper, she was talking about him to others, recounting all of the recent funny things he had said or done. She truly was the happiest in his presence.


In addition to her children and grandchild, Leigh Ann is survived by countless friends, her sister Diana, and her long-time partner in life, Wayne White. Leigh Ann and Wayne lived primarily on Bainbridge Island, Washington, but also loved to spend time at their residence in Chelan, Washington, spent many weeks in the summer boating, wine tasting, and hanging out with the many friends they had there. They loved to read, ski, cook and travel together and were excited to check off more bucket-list destinations in Leigh Ann’s retirement.


Leigh Ann will be remembered for her contagious smile and laugh, her vivacious personality, sense of humor and her signature no-nonsense approach to life. Leigh Ann embraced life on her own terms – her candor and willingness to speak her truth were part of her undeniable charm. She was an excellent gift-giver, dinner companion, conversationalist and storyteller. She was extremely kind, thoughtful, charismatic and, without a doubt, always the funniest person in the room. Leigh Ann made a lasting impact on every person who was fortunate to know her. To know her was to love her, and she will be missed tremendously.


In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions can be made to the Bainbridge Island Public Library in Leigh Ann’s name. It is our hope that the money will help to ensure that the youth on her beloved Bainbridge Island will appreciate the art of the written word as much as she did. Donations can be made to the following address: https://www.bainbridgepubliclibrary.org/make-a-donation.aspx


Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

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