September 12 2017: WIANT, Bliss “Leighton”

Wiant Photo


Oct. 31, 1927 – Sept. 2, 2017

Bliss “Leighton” Wiant was born in October of 1927 in Beijing (Peking) China, to Methodist missionary parents and professors, Rev. Dr. Bliss M. and Mildred A. Wiant (faculty at Yenching/Beijing University). Leighton was named after his Godfather, the U.S. Ambassador to China, John Leighton Stuart. Leighton was the second of four siblings, all of whom survive him: Allen, Cecilia, and Ben. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy Dean Wiant, a native of Marion, NY, now residing at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD, where they moved two years ago. Leighton is also survived by three children, Rebecca McGinnis (nie Wiant), Daniel Wiant, Matthew Wiant, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Leighton was educated at Yenching University (two undergrad yrs), Ohio State University (two yrs Agriculture), Ohio Wesleyan (BS Agriculture), and Cornell University (MS Rural Sociology). He participated in a non-combat role in WWII with the Brethren Service Unit in Shanghai, China. After completing his academic studies, Leighton served roles in teaching and mission work in the Philippines as a teacher/high school principal; in Sarawak, Malaysia, developing the local economy in a rural village for 14 years; as a lecturer on missions work across the U.S. for two years; and in Marion, NY, operating the Deanvale Farm for 17 years before retirement.

Leighton was active in community outreach in Wayne County, NY, an active member of the United Church in Marion, and a participant in countless programs to supply food and support to the needy. He is remembered for his love of family, love of music, dynamic Christian faith, and kindness and support for all. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 11:30 AM on October 8 at the United Church in Marion, NY, located at 3848 N. Main St.

Francis J. Collins Funeral Home, Inc.
500 University Blvd. West
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Phone: 301.593.9500