A 40-year resident of Claremont, Algird “Al” Leiga died August 2, 2013 at Pomona Valley Hospital following a brief hospitalization and a losing battle with cancer. Mr. Leiga was 80 years of age. Mr. Leiga’s service to the Claremont community began before his retirement when he was elected to the Claremont City Council in 1990 and served on that body until 2003, including his terms as mayor from 1994 to 1997.
Legendary football coach Leonard Cohn died on June 26, 2013 at the age of 93. Coach Cohn inspired hundreds of athletes and students during his 18 years at Claremont High School (CHS) in the 1950s and 1960s. Amassing a formidable football coaching record of 141 wins, 19 losses and one tie, Mr. Cohn led the Claremont Wolfpack to 10 league championships and 2 CIF championships in 1956 and 1958.
“Len Cohn leaves behind a football legend in Claremont,” wrote Fred Claire in the Progress-Bulletin, when Mr. Cohn resigned as head football coach at Claremont High in 1967.
John William Harrelson, a legendary fixture in Claremont’s music scene, died on June 26, 2013 in Upland, California. He was 62.
Mr. Harrelson was born on September 28, 1950 in Gadsden, Alabama to Doris Elizabeth Harrelson (Martin) and John Pershing Harrelson. He spent his first years in surroundings marked by his father’s pecan orchards, creeks perfect for fishing and the occasional passage of trains on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
Before long, Mr. Harrelson’s father found work in the Kaiser Steel mill in Fontana and the family packed up and moved to southern California.