Leonard R Willey


Leonard R. Willey ,90, passed away peacefully with family by his bedside on May 13, 2022. He was born on Aug. 29, 1931, the second child to Roy A. and Harriet Small Willey. Leonard grew up in Cherryfield and attended Cherryfield Academy. He enlisted in the Army in 1948. Shortly after basic training he was sent overseas to fight in Korea. He was seriously injured and spent several months in a U.S. military hospital in Japan. As he was recovering, yet not ready to return to combat he was an orderly in the hospital for about three months. Leonard served in both the Army and the Air Force, was honorably discharged, and received a Purple Heart from the injuries he sustained in Korea.

After his military service, Leonard returned home and met the love of his life, Joanne Nash St. Pierre. They married on Oct. 5, 1962, and made their home in Cherryfield. Leonard also became a father of three little girls that day, and he and Joanne would have a son two years later in 1963. Two or three years ago, he was asked if he ever regretted taking on three little girls, and his reply was spontaneous and sweet as he said, “No, not for a minute … not ever.”

Two years after their son, Frank, was born Leonard and Joanne moved their family to Norton, Mass., where they would live for 10 years. During that time, they both worked at Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Mass. In August of 1975, they returned to Cherryfield, and lived on Ridge Road together for 47 years until Joanne’s passing in 2020. Leonard had an upholstery business, as well as working as the custodian of Cherryfield Elementary School. He retired after many years at the school and was always pleased when one of those “kids” would stop and speak to him at the post office, or the grocery store — often sharing a fun memory of him from their school days.

Leonard was talented in so many ways. It seemed he could fix anything or build anything with wood. He was especially proud of his many beautiful wood duck carvings. He won numerous awards in competitions across New England for his duck carvings. They can be seen on display at the Cherryfield Historical Society. He was active for many years in the historical society, always ready to lend a hand or do projects that would benefit that organization.

In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his wife, Joanne; a sister, Lurline; three brothers, George, Gene and Doug; and by two sons-in-law, Craig Fickett and David Seeley. He is survived by his four children: Brenda Fickett, Janet Seeley, Cheryl (Larry) Brown and Frank (Maureen) Willey; 11 grandchildren — Jessica Fickett, Stephanie Fickett, Rachel Seeley Merrill (Adam), Rosanne Seeley Ellis, Sarah Seeley Peterson, Jonathan Seeley (Jennifer), Daniel Seeley and Katie Seeley (Daniel) Dyches, Eli Brown, Rebecca Mesiti and Matthew Oxton; and 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Betty Look and Linda (Bryan) Young; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Graveside services will be announced at a later date. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.mcclurefamilyfuneral.com.

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