Mary Leigh Howard

Mary Leigh Howard passed away on Saturday, November 7, 2020 after a brief battle with cancer.  She and her husband Colyn moved here to paradise at Smith Mountain Lake from San Diego where Leigh raised her son Christian Macauley, and met Colyn, the love of her life, at Hydro-Scape Products where they were Corporate and Management Staff.

Leigh is preceded in death by her parents Baylus Cade Brooks and Maryleigh Brooks and her son, Christian Macauley.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by Christian’s wife, Amber Russell Macauley, sister, Emma Weeks, half-brothers, Baylus Brooks, Jr., Greg Brooks; two nieces, Chelslea Weeks, Cindy Weeks Scott, Chelsea’s children, Christian, Austin and Kennedy Schroeder and step-mother, Bernice Turner.

After purchasing property at the lake in 1990, they embarked together on the adventure of real estate and founded Lake Team Realty in 2005.  Leigh and Colyn were always inseparable and worked as a Brokerage team for over 20 years in the area.  After retirement Leigh took up oil and watercolor painting and spent many fun days photographing areas around the lake to paint and specialized in florals and landscapes.  She enjoyed reclaiming old pieces of furniture, drawers, windows and selling them at local consignment stores.  She and Colyn were devoted to their several pairs of golden retrievers and were supporters of St. Francis Service Dogs and the many charitable organizations at the lake. 

Leigh was also a 24-year member of the Smith Mountain Lake Woman’s Club and Smith Mountain Arts Council.  She entered and won several awards at the John Fabre Memorial Photo Show and SMAC’s annual Art Shows over the years.  Her photography work was recognized by the Smith Mountain Regional Chamber and featured in various issues of the Visitor’s Guide.

Leigh will be remembered for her work ethic learned from her pharmacist father which she applied to her business and to all aspects of her life.  She had a kind heart and always wanted to make those in her everyday life better for knowing her. She used to say “I’m going to my studio to play with my art supplies” and took great joy in her work there. 

Chair-sitting on the lakefront deck and enjoying nature with Colyn and the dogs were her passion.  She lived a good life and will be remembered with much love.

Please make memorial contributions in Leigh’s name to local charities including Lake Christian Ministries.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Smith Mountain Lake, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit

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