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Obituary: Reta Leithner Sabey

Reta Leithner Sabey obituary

Published on April 21, 2017 12:01AM

Reta Leithner Sabey

Reta Leithner Sabey


Jan. 7, 1942 — April 6, 2017

Reta Leithner Sabey died peacefully in her home on Wednesday, April 6, in Seaside, Oregon, at the age of 75 after a brief illness.

She is survived by her sister, Gerri Bowdish; her children, Richard (Angela) Leithner and Terri (Brent) Wooldridge; grandchildren, Coral Keith, Trevor (Ana) and Courtney Leithner and Ryan, Jack and Samantha Wooldridge; nine great-grandchildren; a niece, Stephanie (Mike) Millman; and nephews, Scott (Cara) Tuggle and Stuart Tuggle. Her parents, Arvin and Helen Sabey, preceded her in death, as did her beloved cat, Tas.

Reta was born on Jan. 7, 1942, in Astoria, Oregon, and graduated from Seaside High School (Go Gulls!) in 1960 as valedictorian. She married Lewis Leithner, and began traveling as a military wife in 1961; moving to South Carolina, and then settling in San Diego, California. She returned to Seaside, Oregon, in 1975, where she began a thriving real estate career that lasted for 41 years, until she retired in 2016.

During the mid-1980s Reta needed additional income to support her family and joined South County Fire and Police 911, where she dispatched for 20 years, until her retirement in 2004. She enjoyed helping to keep the community safe, and was a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie. She retired her scanner a few years later. She loved her many friends from the real estate and law enforcement communities, and those friendships ran deep.

Reta was a loving mother and friend. She was a woman of integrity, character and commitment. She always had time for her friends and family. Her sense of humor and wisdom helped ease any situation.

Reta loved the people of Seaside, and was dedicated to many organizations. She was actively involved with the Association of Realtors, Eastern Star, and ENCORE. She helped provide scholarships with the ENCORE group at Clatsop Community College, and was a fierce competitor playing pinochle. She was one of the founders of the Monday afternoon Seaside Pinochle Club at the senior center. She was committed to her Christian faith, and was an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church for more than 40 years.

When Reta discovered she had terminal cancer, she asked to have her celebration of life before she was gone, because she didn’t want to miss the party. Her request was to see as many of the people she loved as possible, and her celebration of life was a huge success. Thank you! Per her request, there will be no funeral.

Reta received excellent, loving care, and the family would like to thank her friend, Jean Wingate, numerous friends and volunteer caregivers who came to her aid, as well as the team from Providence Home Health Care, Lower Columbia Hospice and Caring for the Coast. Donations can be made in her memory to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Seaside, or the Humane Society.

Hughes-Ransom Mortuary and Crematory in Seaside is in charge of the arrangements. Please visit to share memories and sign the guest book.


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