August 18, 1950 - April 30, 2023
Leland Webb–devoted family man, avid outdoorsman, woodturning artisan, and long-time faculty member at UNC School of Dentistry–passed away after a brief illness. His joy of living, twinkle in his eye, good humor and light touch in addressing problems of all kinds are treasured by his family and friends.
Leland was born in Rockingham County, North Carolina to Charlie Elton Webb and Claudia Harrison Webb and lived there surrounded by both sets of grandparents, his younger sister, many cousins and aunts and uncles. He was close to the land and its streams, fostering a lifelong love of the outdoors, fishing and nature. He was active in the local 4H club and attended Rockingham Schools. In recent years, Leland frequently joined gatherings of his high school classmates in Reidsville.
Leland moved to Chapel Hill as a Freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 and, as he enjoyed saying, never left. He was a triple Tarheel, earning his BS in Biology, DDS and then MS in Prosthodontics all at UNC. Leland joined the faculty of the UNC School of Dentistry after graduation and served on the faculty until his retirement at the end of 2010. He remained involved in dentistry in part-time practice with the Kennedy Dental Group and its successor Chapel Hill Dental Group and as adjunct faculty at UNC School of Dentistry. Throughout his career, Leland volunteered with the NC Dental Foundation’s Missions of Mercy and was active in the Durham Orange Dental Society.
In May of 1973, Leland married Tamsen (Tammie) Claire Banks at Bethany United Church in Quincy, Massachusetts where her father was pastor. The couple settled in Chapel Hill, raised their two children Bethany and Peter there, and were active in the United Church of Chapel Hill. Leland passed on to his children his love for outdoors and adventures, regularly taking family camping, hiking, and beach trips. In these years Leland began serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Peter’s Boy Scout Troop 820. Through Tammie’s illness and after her untimely death, Leland was comforted by the beauties of nature and the love of family and dear friends.
Leland shared the last fifteen years of his life with Deborah Hylton, whom he married in 2010. They filled their lives with their blended family, circles of friends, the arts, good food and wine, travel adventures and lots of hiking and cycling. Their abiding love sustained them through years of intense UNC-Duke basketball rivalry and led each to mutual respect for the other’s team. As one who claimed never to have grown up, Leland especially enjoyed being “Grandpa” to their six grandchildren. Outdoor activities were usually a focus of family gatherings. Leland took up the craft of wood turning, giving careful attention to “what the wood wants to be.” He was passionate about this creative outlet and enjoyed camaraderie with his colleagues at Durham’s Liberty Arts and at the Chapel Hill Woodturners Club. While his work was carried in local galleries and occasionally commissioned, Leland’s greatest satisfaction came from giving his creations to family, friends, charity auctions, and the “Beads of Courage” program for children undergoing cancer treatments at UNC Health Systems.
Leland was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife. He is survived by his wife Deborah Hylton (Durham), his two children, Bethany Claire Webb Emkey (Wyomissing, PA) and Peter Harrison Webb (Raleigh), his stepsons, Joshua Hartzog (Durham) and Jeremy Hartzog (Olympia WA), each of their respective spouses, and six grandchildren Ethan and Trevor Emkey, Abigail and Nora Webb, and Judah and Renee Hartzog. He is also survived by his sister, Phyllis Webb Cox, and her family. Leland will be missed by many cousins in the Webb and Harrison families, extended family members in the Banks and the Hylton families and by his patients, colleagues, fellow artists, and others whose lives he touched.
The family is deeply grateful for all those who cared for Leland and the family during his three weeks at the Medical Intensive Care Unit of UNC Memorial Hospital. The attentive nurses, physicians at all stages of practice, respiratory therapists, aides and staff demonstrated care and concern that sustained the family during these difficult weeks. The ongoing care of Leland’s longtime physician Dr. Lee Berkowitz and the steadfast attention of Dr. Brent Kinder are especially appreciated.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Liberty Arts https://www.libertyartsnc.org/donate; NC Dental Foundation’s Missions of Mercy program, https://ncdentalfoundation.org/programs/; Chapel Hill Woodturners https://www.chwt.org/about-us/donations; Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC https://foodbankcenc.org/; or the charity of one’s choice.
A service of remembrance and reception will be held at The Carolina Club at the UNC George Watts Hill Alumni Center on Stadium Drive in Chapel Hill on June 3, 2023 at 3:00 pm.