Leitch, Wayne, 2017


Leitch, Wayne, 2017

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Wayne Leitch was born on May 25, 1959 in Cortland, NY. He attended school at St. Mary’s and lived in Cortland until he was eleven. He later graduated from Dryden High School in 1977. His father often worked two jobs at time. The Wickwire factory, Smith-Corona, Brockway and Durkee were four places that he had worked at. He also was a 2nd infantry paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. Wayne’s mother worked for Smith-Corona. Wayne has an older brother named Charlie, younger brothers Jeff and Bob along with a younger sister named Carol. He spoke about the skin grafts his father received due to the working conditions he experienced working manual labor based jobs. Wayne recalls a story told to him by his father, about how an elevator shaft fell two floors onto a couple of workers during the late 19th century. Wayne began working at Cortland in the late 1970s after graduating from high school, and he ran a catering business on the side for 17 years. His job at Cortland primarily consists of doing fieldwork around campus and monitoring the various conditions of heating and temperatures throughout the buildings on campus. Although in recent years, Wayne has been forced to primarily stay put at his desk due to herniated disks. He decided to take his job at Cortland because he knew the other factories were either shutting down or moved overseas. Wayne also has experience working in the steam room, front-line supervising and as a department head, all at within the facilities department at SUNY Cortland. Wayne has three children, his older daughter, Megan, works at the city of Cortland. His middle child, David has been working at the facilities building for 6 months. Finally, his youngest son, Eric, works for spectrum. Wayne hopes for Cortland to remain strong and be able to keep the economy held up in order for its residents to be able to spend their money and raise a family here.

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Jacob Kelley, Kyle Martin, and Sarah Kitzen are all undergraduate history students in Evan Faulkenbury’s Public History class, and are involved in the Wickwire Factory Public History Project. This interview is for the Fall 2017 Oral Histories for the 1890 House Museum.


Interview was conducted by Jacob Kelley, Kyle Martin, and Sarah Kitzen on October 11, 2017.


Wayne Leitch, Oral Histories, Cortland Community

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


These oral histories express the personal views, memories, and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views, or official history of SUNY Cortland.

Leitch, Wayne, 2017