Obituary: Judith Jasper Leicht, formerly of public affairs, 77

Headshot of Judy Jasper Leicht

Judy Jasper Leicht, former associate vice chancellor for university communications and a member of the Washington University in St. Louis public affairs staff for 20 years, died Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital after a lengthy battle with multiple cancers. She was 77.

Leicht joined Washington University in 1989 as executive director of university communications and was named assistant vice chancellor for public affairs in 1994 and associate vice chancellor in 1997. She played an active role in media relations for several presidential debates and was media director for Steve Fossett’s round-the-world solo balloon flights.

She held numerous volunteer leadership positions at the local, regional and national level and served in many leadership positions with her professional association, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Leicht helped guide CASE’s development through her work as chair of CASE District 6, as a member of the CASE International Board of Trustees and then serving a two-year term as chair of that board.

While serving on the board, she oversaw the creation of a new international headquarters building for the organization in Washington, D.C., and the appointment of a new chief executive to lead CASE’s worldwide efforts.

In 2003, she received the prestigious Frank L. Ashmore Award for Service to CASE and the Advancement Profession; and in 2007, she received the Virginia Carter Smith Recognition Award for exceptional service to CASE.

Leicht served as associate vice chancellor for university communications until her retirement from the university in 2007. She and her husband, Fred Leicht Jr., had a second home in Vero Beach, Fla., and she became an active member of that community as well.

A native of Glens Falls, N.Y., Leicht graduated from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, N.Y., with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She moved to St. Louis with her family in 1963.

She began her career in public relations in 1969 as a community volunteer, editing Topics, the Junior League monthly magazine, working on publicity for the restoration of Soulard and answering crisis calls for suicide prevention.

Before joining Washington University, she worked in communications and public relations roles at American Investment Co., Webster University and the Saint Louis Science Center.

In addition to her husband, survivors include daughters Kathleen Jasper Cameron (Steve) of St. Louis and Elizabeth Jasper Stewart (Michael) of Houston; son David L. Jasper of New York; stepson Eric F. Leicht (Kathleen Kermian); stepdaughter Holly M. Leicht (Adam Weinstein) of New York; eight grandchildren and stepgrandchildren; brother Robert H. Morgan Jr. of Philadelphia; and stepsister Marsha Fagan of Queensbury, N.Y.

A funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Louis on Dec. 28. Those wishing to make a donation in her memory are encouraged to contribute to the backpack program at Operation Food Search (1644 Lotsie Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., 63132) or to a charity of their choice.

Read more about Leicht in the Bopp Chapel obituary.

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