Harland (Jerry) Wardwell Leach Jr., 86, passed peacefully on Oct. 5, 2020, with his family by his side. Jerry was born March 2, 1934, in Penobscot to Harland (Gankie) Leach Sr. and Ella Mae Howard Leach. Jerry lived on Cape Rosier as a child, a place he loved dearly. He later became a lifelong resident of Bucksport when his father went to work in the mill.
Jerry or Bumpa, as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him, is survived by three loving daughters, Beth Roderick and partner Dan, Karen Wardwell and husband, John, and Loretta Alley and husband, Ben. Bumpa was blessed with five grandchildren, Julie Trojano (Shawn), Jana Gray (Damon) and John Wardwell (Darci) along with Corey Alley (Jessica) and Jesse Alley (Karrie). He has 11 great-grandchildren, Abby, Evan, Gavin, Avery, Julian, Isobel, John, Colin, Monte, Deonte and Lily, and he loved spending time with all of them. Jerry is also survived by a sister, Rosemary Pease, brother-in-law John Keegan (Norma), sister-in-law Ellen Hersey (Don) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Janice, sister Cynthia Leach and son-in-law Russell Roderick.
Jerry was a great athlete in high school and made many lifelong friends there. As so many others of his generation, he entered the St. Regis Paper Mill immediately after high school and worked there until his retirement in 1996. He also was a proud member of the Bucksport Fire Department. Jerry was very “handy” and built his own home and camp, as well as helped to build many of his family’s homes. He took great joy in camping, hunting and fishing with many memorable trips to Cape Rosier, Craig Pond and other places around Maine with his family and many friends. He lived by the motto “work hard and play hard” and was often the life of the party. After his retirement, he joined the coffee group that met daily at Bucksport McDonald’s. He looked forward to that every day and enjoyed all the friendships he made there.
Not surprisingly, Jerry passed two weeks after his soulmate Janice. After 68 loving years of marriage, their wish was to go together. His caring family was by his side and take great comfort in that. A heartfelt thanks goes to granddaughter Julie for her compassion and caring for both Nana and Bumpa at home in their final days. Also, many thanks to the St. Joseph’s Health Care team for their care of both of our parents.
Arrangements are being made under the compassionate care of Mitchell-Tweedie Funeral Home. Due to COVID-19, there will be a private event for family at a later date. Donations in memory of Janice and Jerry may be made to the Bucksport Ambulance Association at P.O. Box 1848, Bucksport, ME 04416.