LINCOLN – Edith J. Leighton, 80, innovative teacher at schools in Limestone, Barre City, Vt. and Nitra, Slovak Republic, died early Saturday morning, Aug. 12, 2006, in Lincoln. She was born Nov. 23, 1925, in Barre, Vt., daughter of William Scott and Leona Lillian (Lamb) Smith. She attended schools in Barre and North Montpelier, Vt. before moving to Stoneham, Mass., where she graduated from Stoneham High School in 1943 and earned a Bachelor of Science in English education at Boston University in December 1946. When a Fort Fairfield native and friend of her brother, Bob, promised Edie would be able to see moose walking on Main Street in Limestone, she eagerly headed north from Boston by train into the cold January snow of Aroostook to accept her first year teaching post at Limestone High School. Attending services at the Limestone Methodist Church, Edie met her future husband, Charles Raymond “Ray” Leighton, older brother to one of her more unruly Limestone High School students, Bill, and son of Harold Raymond and Sarah Lydia “Sadie” (Phair) Leighton. When her daughter, Jean Elizabeth (Leighton) Mileham; and son, Robert Scott Leighton MD, now both of Lincoln, were small, Edie took a break from school teaching, though she did start up a Saturday school for dance in the Limestone Frost Memorial Library basement, offering tap and ballet, as well as the Scottish folk dances she had performed in her childhood for Barre audiences. In the late 1950s, Edie returned to full-time teaching, first in the junior high and then the high school. Over the years, she served as chair of the English department at Limestone High School and later as language arts coordinator for the Limestone and Loring schools. During her tenure at Limestone, she helped introduce elective classes into the English curriculum. In 1970, she earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Maine at Orono and, in 1976, a certificate of advanced studies in school administration. While living in Limestone, Edie also learned to fly, earning a solo pilot’s license in eight hours, and to play golf at the Aroostook Valley Country Club in Fort Fairfield. After her divorce, in 1976, Edie moved back to Vermont to care for her mother in Plainfield. She also accepted a position with Barre city schools to develop their reading program and soon was named reading curriculum coordinator for kindergarten-12. During her career there, she also worked to create the gifted and talented program, and she set up and taught in a reading and math learning lab designed to help students succeed in their content class work and, so, graduate. While living in Vermont, she made many close friends who helped her through the loss of her mother and shared good times golfing and traveling. She retired from Barre City schools in June of 1990, and by October she was on her way to Czechoslovakia, as one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to serve in that former Soviet satellite country. Once through her language training in Prague, Edie volunteered to go to the more depressed Slovak region of the country and was assigned to the Pedagogical Faculta, or teacher’s college, in Nitra, a medieval provincial capital. There, for two years, she helped prospective teachers improve their English, ran teacher workshops throughout the region, and taught English weekly in a number of classrooms kindergarten-12 in both public and parochial schools. She felt fortunate to have witnessed first-hand the “Velvet Revolution,” in which the Slovak Republic broke away from the Czech Republic without bloodshed. Edie loved to travel, and with friends she met in Prague and Nitra, she fulfilled her dreams of visiting the pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Vatican in Rome. She savored staying in Budapest, Vienna, Cypress and Canterbury, and reveled in hiking in the Tatras Mountains of northern Slovakia. Earlier and later travels included a road trip with Gordon College students driving through parts of the Soviet Union, touring in England, Scotland and Ireland, and a camera safari in Kenya, east Africa. In 1992, on returning from her two year hitch with the Peace Corps, Edie moved to Shorewood, Wis. to be with her daughter, Jean Mileham; and two of her grandchildren, Edith Delia Mileham, now of Madison, Wis. and John William Mileham, now of Somerville, Mass. There, she sang in the Sanctuary Choir and developed cherished friendships as she took part in senior fellowship activities at the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay. She also played golf on Milwaukee and Mequon area courses, nearly always bringing home prizes for her league tournament play. In May of 1999, with her daughter, Jean, Edie moved to Lincoln, where she could share in the life of her son, Scott, and his wife, Sheila (Delano) Leighton; as well as her grandchildren, Amanda Fern “Mandy” Miltimore, Laura Jean Leighton and Robert Scott Jr. “Bob” Leighton. Edie valued her relationships with Mandy’s husband, Todd Miltimore and Bob’s wife, Tab (Ocana) and she was captivated by getting to know her great-grandchildren, Bob and Tab’s daughters, Eve, two, and Joy, one; Mandy and Todd’s son, Samuel, one; and Edie Mileham’s daughter, Jane, four months. While living in Maine, Edie maintained strong ties with her loved ones in Vermont, visiting the Barre area at least twice a year to tend the graves of her parents and grandparents and to catch up on the latest doings with her one surviving brother, her sisters-in-law, “Vermont” nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was delighted when family returned the favor by coming north to visit her in Lincoln, and she cherished the notes, cards, phone calls, and e-mails from family and friends who were far away. These visits and communications were precious to her. Edie was predeceased by her brothers, William Scott Smith Jr. and Robert Lamb Smith, both of Plainfield, Vt. and James Maitland Smith of Boston; by one nephew, Allen, son of Bob and Ila Smith of Plainfield; by University of Maine classmate, Elsie Boynton of Belfast; by fellow church member, Ginny Bowman of Whitefish Bay; and by fellow flutists, Norma Perreault and Mary Rounds, all of whom were also dear, dear friends. In addition to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Edie is survived by her youngest brother, Cary Maitland Smith and his wife, Jan, of Barre, Vt.; by sisters-in-law, Corrine Smith of Northfield, Vt. and Ila Smith of Plainfield, Vt.; and by her ex-husband, Ray Leighton of Limestone. Dear friends surviving Edie include Doris (Monteith) Grass of Windham, Bill and Rona Leighton of Falls Church, Va., Gerard and Jeanette Leighton of Fort Mill, S.C., Barb Hallowell of Caribou, Sandra (Kiser) and Larry Holt of East Montpelier, Vt., Henrietta “Anne” (Johndro) Collins of Richland, Wash., Ingrid Solomon of Bangor, Jeanne and Dave Mathias of Emmaus, Pa., Shirley and Lester Delano of Lee, Nancy Buinicky and Mary Monti of Barre, Vt., Bridget Gersten of Tempe, Ariz., Eva Bubakova of Nitra, Slovak Republic, Barbara Combs of Morriston Fla. and Judy Hanscom of Lincoln. Edie’s ashes will be interred at the PlainMont Cemetery, Plainfield, Vt. Memorial donations can be made in Edith J. Leighton’s name to the Pipe Organ Restoration Fund, Grace United Methodist Church, care of Linda Bartlett, 247 East Hill Rd., Plainfield, VT 05667.