Remembering Timothy Leffler…

Timothy E. Leffler | 1966 – 2017

VIP remembers our friend and fellow leader Timothy Leffler who died August 5. The details of his memorial at Trinity Cathedral are found below.

For many of us, Timothy is the human face of why expanding and preserving Medicaid means so much.

He first told us his story at a house meeting in the spring of 2013. In his professional life, Timothy was a musician and vocal performer. For many years, he was employed at Arizona State University. State budget cuts in the era of the Great Recession resulted in the slashing of positions. Timothy lost his job, and with it his health insurance: a fearful prospect for someone with type 2 diabetes and progressive neural disease. He had been covered by Medicaid through stop-gap measures, but was now facing the loss of his coverage at the end of 2013.

State action to expand Medicaid would secure coverage for Tim and thousands of other Arizonans. But the decision had become the center of an intense ideological contest, the outcome uncertain.

Timothy took center stage and told the story of the tough reality he faced to an assembly of 800 Valley Interfaith Project leaders, the Governor, legislators and business leaders. He spoke with courage and conviction.

After the critical vote had been taken, Tim and I had a chance to reflect. “Thank you,” he said in a way that let me know he meant the combined effort of VIP leaders, “thank you, for helping me make my story powerful.”

Timothy was very proud of the work we all did together. He arranged for blue lanyards with “VIP” printed on them to be made. He wanted us to be able to “show our colors” at the Legislature.

Certainly, there is no better way to honor our friend Tim’s memory than to redouble our efforts to preserve Medicaid. We know it changes lives.

Choral Evensong in Memory of Timothy E. Leffler will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at Trinity Cathedral.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Timothy studied choral music at Drake University and vocal performance at Arizona State University. He worked for fifteen years at ASU’s School of Music. An avid performer, Timothy sang as a professional soloist around the Valley, and was a member of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale for over ten years, appearing on many of their award-winning recordings. Timothy was a staff singer at Trinity Cathedral for over a decade where he also conducted the Compline Choir.