Cover photo for Sydney Greenleaf's Obituary
Sydney Greenleaf Profile Photo
1946 Sydney 2019

Sydney Greenleaf

October 15, 1946 — May 4, 2019

Sydney “Ditty” Greenleaf, 72, of Church Street in St. Johnsbury, VT, passed away on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.

Ditty was born on October 15, 1946, in Portland, ME to Sydney and Edith (Youngling) Claman.  She was raised in Maine and graduated from Oak Grove Seminary for Girls in East Vassalbourough, ME with the Class of 1964.  In 1979, Ditty married Newcomb Greenleaf in Boulder, CO, where they were both studying Buddhism with the Tibetan teacher Chogyam Trungpa, founder of Karme Choling. Later they lived in Santa Cruz, CA and New York City before moving to St. Johnsbury.

The Shambhala Buddist community was very important part of Ditty’s life.  She had been a practicing Buddhist since 1971 within the Shambhala community and later became a student of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher.  An avid reader, while living in Boulder, Ditty founded a small bookstore within Vajradhatu (now Shambhala) which eventually grew into the Naropa University Library.

Survivors include her loving husband of 40 years: Newcomb Greenleaf of St. Johnsbury, VT; a daughter: Maron Greenleaf and husband, Justin, of Hanover, NH; two granddaughters: Halilee and Estara Greenleaf; and two step-sons: Michael Greenleaf and wife, Jeanine, of West Barnet, VT and Anthony Greenleaf and wife, Catherine, of Lyme, NH.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at

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