Leah was born Lynda Helene Green in Chicaco, Ill., and was adopted into a blue-collar Jewish family.
She never felt she fit in that family, and she grew up quickly. She began earning an income at age 12 and left home at age 16. Leah put herself through school, initially going to Arizona State, then attending a master’s program at UC Berkley and a Ph.D. program at University of Alberta. She left just before earning her doctorate in psychology but used her master’s in psychotherapy as her career backbone throughout life.
A few highlights of her 20s included doing social work in the ghettos of San Francisco in the late ‘60s, helping at-risk youth and addicts. She traveled the Orient Express and was an intrepid traveler and adventurer in many different ways throughout life. She managed to keep a pig (the normal-sized kind) as a pet in her apartment in downtown Edmonton, Alberta.
Leah remained dedicated to personal growth and development through life. She worked as a counselor for individuals and couples and did workshops and taught at Antioch University.
Leah met her third husband, Doug Allderdice, in 1976 in Spokane, and had her only son, David, shortly thereafter.
The family moved to Whidbey Island in 1978 to build a home on Baby Island Road. That marriage ended three years later, but Leah, Doug and David remained a part of the Whidbey community for many decades.
Leah moved to Orcas Island for a three-year stint, but moved back to Whidbey in ‘86. After spending a few years on Edgecliff, she helped to found the co-housing community, Talking Circle, at the end of Al Anderson Road, where she lived the majority of her years on Whidbey.
Leah’s dedication to community, as well as helping others grow personally and spiritually, are the main threads that wove her island fabric. She loved being involved in the arts, particularly community theater, and she generally loved to dance. Leah touched many lives in her 37 years on Whidbey and could always be counted on for a wise word or helping hand.
The last few years she spent in a co-housing community in Portland, Ore., which was a short drive from her two grandkids, now ages 5 and 8, where she got to be a regular part of their lives. Though grateful for this time with family, Leah missed Whidbey greatly. This was clear, as tears streamed down her face when she wrote her own simple plaque for Langley Cemetery: “Blessed Island, no finer place to make a home.”
Leah passed Aug. 14 from ovarian cancer. She was surrounded by family, her new Portland community and many dear friends from Whidbey. She died much the way she lived, by bringing people together and fostering love and joy in the world around her. She will be greatly missed.