William Leamer loved coaching basketball.And for many of the athletes he mentored at Canyon Creek Middle School, it was their first real introduction to the sport.
“Coach Leamer did more than coach our athletes in basketball, he also coached them in life,” said Sandi Christensen, principal. “He always modeled polite and respectful behavior, and he expected his athletes to act the same on and off the court. He was very supportive of academics and helped school staff send the message about the importance of learning and school.”
Leamer, a Washougal resident, passed away unexpectedly on Christmas Day, at the age of 46.
“He was like Santa Claus,” recalled his wife, Suzanne. “He loved to give people gifts and just got the biggest kick out of it. I think he chose Christmas Day because he knows I’m terrible with dates and it would be the day I remember because of what it meant to him.”
The Leamers, married for 23 years, have lived in Washougal for the past nine years and have four children together, Kayla, William, Christopher and Austin. He also has another son, Geoffrey.
Mike, as everyone knew him, worked as an 18-wheeler truck driver, but coaching was his true passion.