Category Archives: bette leeward

Racing pilot Jimmy Leeward remembered

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Note: In 2005 I photographed Jimmy and Bette Leeward, standing in front of their 1947 Piper J-3 Cub plane in their hangar at Leeward Air Ranch, Feb. 2, 2005, in Ocala, FL. I was living and working in Florida, an employee of The New York Times Company. Leeward died when he crashed his World War II fighter P-51 Mustang during the Reno Air Races in Reno Nevada Friday September 16, 2011. (Jannet Walsh/Star-Banner)2005

Please see Friends of pilot remember a hero by By Marian Rizzo,

“Even before that fateful moment, Leeward has seemed a hero to many others. The Rev. Patrick Sheedy, pastor at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, said the Leewards attended services there. Jimmy was on the church building committee and also supported the construction of Trinity Catholic High School.” Read full story at

What I remember about the afternoon I spent with the Leewards was how humble, and accommodating the couple were during the photo shoot. Please see below more photos in a photo gallery, mainly by a the yellow J-Cub plane.
See related photo gallery

Jimmy Leeward performs almost a stunt-like action to get into the cockpit and join his wife Bette Leeward, in their 1947 Piper J-3 Club plane in their hangar at Leeward Air Ranch Feb. 2, 2005, Ocala, FL. (Photo by Jannet Walsh/Star-Banner, Ocala, Florida)

What’s Jannet doing?
She is not letting dust settle on her in Central Minnesota after a recent layoff, but does have a plan. Between applying for jobs, she is learning HTML, CSS and more. Oh, and why do you ask? She wants to be a web designer, but is willing to learn what is needed for the her next job. Books and online learning are just part of her steps to employment.

Attention Employers:
Employers: Are you interested in meeting your next employee? Learn more about blogger Jannet Walsh at her website, with a resume posted online. Email:

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at
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