In Memoriam: Leeba Lessin

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our beloved board member Leeba Lessin, who passed last month. Leeba joined our board of directors in 2017 and served as treasurer until 2019. Aside from being an enthusiastic advocate for choral music and sage advisor to our organization, Leeba was also a highly successful health-management executive and restaurateur, owner of both Auntie’s Bakery and Café and Lift Coffee Roasters in her native Whittier. In recognition of her accomplishments, Westmont College named her Alumna of the Year in 2019.  

Testimonials in honor of Leeba speak not just to Leeba’s professional acumen but also to her personal integrity and warmth. Her friend Stephanie Tilenius, in a touching essay, writes, “In her fierceness, she exhibited incredible grace and celebrated the joys that were left for her. Her strength is to be admired and a valuable lesson for all of us who knew her.”  

Toward the end of her time with us, Leeba left her family with these sage words, which encapsulate her noble outlook, an inspiration to us all: "Life is a hard battle anyway.  If we laugh and sing as we fight the good fight, it makes it all go easier.”    

In lieu of flowers or gifts, Leeba’s family asks that donations be made to the Los Angeles Master Chorale, ArtForms Whittier, or City of Hope.


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