Local Obituaries

Leatherby’s Family Creamery founder Dave Leatherby Sr. dies at 81, family says

Dave Leatherby Sr. stands in the Leatherby’s Family Creamery on Arden Way in 1999. Leatherby died March 3, 2019, family members said. In this picture, he holds the crucifix that hung above his office door at the store. His religious faith was an important part of his life that carried over to his business.
Dave Leatherby Sr. stands in the Leatherby’s Family Creamery on Arden Way in 1999. Leatherby died March 3, 2019, family members said. In this picture, he holds the crucifix that hung above his office door at the store. His religious faith was an important part of his life that carried over to his business. Sacramento Bee file

Leatherby’s Family Creamery co-founder and patriarch Dave Leatherby Sr. died Sunday night after a fight with pneumonia, family members said Monday via email. He was 81.

Alan Leatherby, now the general manager of the Sacramento creamery’s locations and Dave Leatherby’s son, said in an email sent to The Bee and other community members that his father passed away Sunday.

“Keep my fathers (sic) soul in your prayers. He passed last night at 10:00 pm surrounded by family,” Alan Leatherby wrote. “Thank you for all the prayers and support. He loved you all.”

In the same email chain, Marie Leatherby wrote that her father had been hospitalized with pneumonia and sepsis.

According to the Leatherby’s website, Dave Leatherby and his son, Dave Leatherby Jr., first opened Leatherby’s Family Creamery in 1982.

Dave Sr. and his wife, Sally, had 10 kids. He was known as “Daddy Dave,” for which a banana split on the creamery’s menu is named.

Leatherby’s Family Creamery is one of the Sacramento region’s most storied ice cream shops. Leatherby’s has locations on Arden Way in Sacramento, on Antelope Road in Citrus Heights and on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove.

Alan Leatherby did not immediately respond to a phone call by The Bee seeking further comment Monday.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.


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