Industry veteran Jim Leider of Leider Greenhouses and his family suffered two losses this year, first with the death of his wife of 54 years, Peggy Leider, who passed away March 23, and more recently with the death of his and Peggy’s oldest son, Michael, who passed away May 24. Leider Greenhouses is a 117-year-old greenhouse operation based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., near Chicago.
Margaret Lynch “Peggy” Leider, age 76 of Lake Bluff, Ill. and Ocean Ridge, Fla., succumbed to a long battle with cancer in March. Peggy attended Westchester College and Penn State University, and met her husband Jim at Cornell University. She moved to Chicago when they married, and was an avid supporter of the family greenhouse business, Leider’s Greenhouses. Peggy dedicated many hours of her time as a member of several organizations, including the Chicago Botanic Garden Women’s Board, Ravinia Festival Women’s Board and The Northwestern University Women’s Board. She loved golf, gardening and playing bridge, as well as traveling with her family and friends.
The obituary in the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch said, “Despite an incredibly long and difficult battle with cancer, her strength and perseverance was an inspiration to those who were blessed to know her. Peggy loved her children and grandchildren dearly. She was very proud of all of them and their accomplishments, including carrying on the family business to the fourth generation. Spending time with her family was so important to her, and happily, she spent her final days with them.”
A memorial service for Peggy is planned for June.
Michael J. Leider, age 54, passed away over Memorial Day weekend, after a painful battle with cancer.
According to an obituary written by his son (Michael), “Michael graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in ornamental horticulture in 1982. After graduating, he studied and worked in the Netherlands, then returned home to further develop his skills and experience in the floral trade. Over the years, Michael developed many treasured friendships through his profession in the green industry. Through his work as a wholesale plant supplier, he was a great contributor to many special projects at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and most recently he sourced all of the plants for the Garden’s Orchid Show in February.
“A lover of the outdoors and animals, and a real nature aficionado, Michael was often found outside, working in his garden or building a great bonfire. Music, camping, hiking, skiing and canoeing were among some of his favorite activities, though he devoted his life and love to his children and his career. Michael’s vast circle of friends and family gathered around him in his final weeks to show their love and support for their dear friend.”
Visitations for Michael will be held Saturday, May 30, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Wenban Funeral Home, 320 Vine Ave., Lake Forest, Ill.
Peggy and Michael are survived by their family, including (husband/father) Jim and Michael’s former wife Caroline; (children/siblings) Mark (Kathryn), Mary (Mike) Barss and Meg (Mark) Kreuter; Michael’s children, Michael and Colleen, as well as (grandchildren/nieces and nephews): Elizabeth, Christine, Catherine, Liam, Lily and Peter. They also leave behind Peggy’s siblings, John, Judy and Kathryn, and numerous extended family.
Industry friends who would like to make contributions in memory of both Peggy and Michael can do so by making donations to your favorite charity, or to the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, Ill.
Cards to Jim and his family can be sent to 511 Cambridge Lane, Lake Bluff, IL 60044.