Leigh Bielenberg

The last few days I’ve been getting a fair number of hits on my site for “Leigh Bielenberg”, which will have had to do with her death, most landing on the page I put up to do with Leigh’s talk before the Atlanta City Council in August of 2008.

On Monday, Leigh died after another very long battle, one in which she never ceased to display her indomitable courage and near ferocious love of life. Marty, my husband, was a close friend, and while I was not close with her, she was a friend and I greatly admired Leigh. She had a huge spirit.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

8 thoughts on “Leigh Bielenberg”

  1. I have known Leigh since I was 19 years old. I am 52. She was my friend, and we were also room mates. She was undeniably just the best and most faithful friend you could ever have. She and Tab have been going through a difficult time. I hate to miss her but I am glad she is not suffering any more. We love you and miss you Leigh!

    Mike O.

  2. Leigh was such a powerhouse: she never rested, and she never compromised. Her smile was always infectious and it made me want to smile along with her and try to keep up with whatever her next adventure was, whether it was with her dogs, dancing to Tom Petty, or just being Leigh. She was as loyal of a friend as one could ever hope for and I will miss her sorely. She made Georgia Tech fun, and Atlanta has truly lost one of its best. Her karma will continue to raise hell through the lives of all she has touched. Thanks for being a part of my life too, Leigh.

    George Latta

  3. When I first met Leigh in 1977, I thought her zany hyperactivity was an act. I soon found out she was truly genuine, honest and straight forward and just plain fun to be with. She had a lot more “on” time during any given day than I could muster, although after living with her I realized some of that energy was fueled by continuous consumption of coffee and Little Debbie’s! I believe her dad worked for a coffee company and sent her care packages including boxes of those single-pot-coffee pouches. It always amazed me that she would drink a
    cup of coffee right before bed and sleep soundly.
    Living with her at Ethel Street I also saw her introspective, quiet side. That is when I started to really love Leigh. She was a deep thinker and cared tremendously about issues that in my youthful self-absorbed quest for joy, I was not even aware of. She had a totally different view of the world than I did, and we enjoyed discussing where these differences might have originated. She made me really think about some of the perceptions I had. Thankfully, her exuberance for life and caring for the underdog rubbed off on me and she made me a better person. I am crying as I write this, she was uniquely wonderful, and I am thankful she was part of my life. I wonder if she is finally resting, more likely she is organizing a block party in heaven….

  4. I’ve had so many laughs with Leigh I don’t even know where to start.

    One day Leigh asked me how many products I used every morning. Three, I said, deodorant, toothpaste and saline solution. Leigh had counted her products that same morning. Twenty-three, she said. The most important of which, she felt, was concealer.

    But she had so many other sides to her—and so much depth. She had the side that had great tricks for making camping more comfortable—stuff about making good coffee and peeing in the woods—that she would share while Chaos herded us as we hiked.

    Leigh appreciated so many fine things. She appreciated good make-up, old family jewelry, a superb selection of friends, fantastic dogs, inaugural balls, Sunday talking heads and a damn fine husband.

    It was always a relief to hang out with Leigh because she proved that she could be more crazy and passionate about certain subjects than I was. I guess, in her crazy passionate way, she made me feel more sane. And it’s good to have a friend who makes you feel sane and zany at the same time.

    It was also a relief when she met Tab. Who could have been a better balance for Leigh? With his mellow, caring ways, his easy going attitude and his love for the dogs, he was the perfect fit.

    I’m so glad that she had it in her to extend her time well beyond what her doctors predicted. It gave us a chance to have a few more visits. Now that she’s back to the earth (as she liked to put it) I know that there is passion in the soil on which we all walk. Love, hugs and kisses to you all.

  5. I met Leigh in 1981. She was perhaps the most intimidating of the many Ga Tech women I met when I began dating Tony Venezia. I imagine she saw me as an empty headed art student that could party hard but not think too deep, because I don’t think I was able to get past that feeling of inferiority. Many years later, I found my self, and her, just in time to connect. To be counted as one of her friends is an honor because she took her relationships seriously. In my last visit with her in Nov. she called me wise. Its a great compliment and since she said it I believe it. She was a brilliant person. The most we can all do in her memory is support Tab. I have never seen or felt such devotion between 2 people. Love to all.

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