Clarence C. Leach, a longtime resident of Montclair and a therapist and program director at an adolescent residential care center in New York City for more than two decades, died on April 25, 2022. He was 84.

Mr. Leach was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He began his formal schooling at the Avery Normal Institute until its closure in 1954.  His last two years were completed at Burke High School.  

He received his B.A. from South Carolina State College (now University) in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1960.  

The Vietnam War interrupted his career plans after graduation, and he was drafted into the Army.  He was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was honorably discharged in 1964.  

Mr. Leach moved to Harlem and was employed by the Department of Public Welfare.  Having earned his master’s in social work from Rutgers University in 1968, he accepted a position in New York City’s Office of Psychiatry, where he worked for 35 years.  

After retirement he continued his outreach as a therapist on Rikers Island.  

His final and most rewarding professional experience was as a therapist, unit chief and program director at the August Aichhorn Center for Adolescent Residential Care in Manhattan.  This commitment lasted 20-plus years, until he retired in 2018. 

Mr. Leach is survived by his wife, Carol Collins Leach; daughters, Kimberly and Jennifer Leach; grandson, Bryce Avery Rivers; siblings, Oscar Leach Jr. and Barbara Leach Johnson, and a host of nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.  

Visitation will be Wednesday, May 4, at 11 a.m., followed by a service celebrating his life at noon, at Caggiano Memorial Home for Funerals, 62 Grove St. Interment will be at Rosedale Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Avery Research Center (College of Charleston), 125 Bull St., Charleston, SC 29401.