Remembering Sharon Leighty

Oregon Black Pioneers is saddened to learn of the passing of our longtime grant writer and friend, Sharon Leighty. Sharon passed away peacefully at her home in Bend last month.

Sharon began working with Oregon Black Pioneers shortly after Willie Richardson revived the organization from its dormant period in 2007. The organization would hire her as its contract grant writer for more than a decade. Through her unmatched organizational abilities, Sharon helped Oregon Black Pioneers secure the funds to produce its exhibitions and publications, and eventually hire its first Executive Director. Sharon remained a close advisor to the organization and provided critical guidance to support our growing nonprofit.

Sharon was born and raised in Salem. She received a BA from Oregon State University and an MBA from University of New Mexico. Her small business, Sharon Leighty Consulting LLC, provided fundraising services to many non profit organizations, particularly in the cultural sector. Sharon worked closely with the organizations whose mission she believed in, and her words helped activate projects around the state.

Sharon was an avid quilter and outdoor enthusiast, and a beloved friend to many. She will be missed.