Ronald E. Leonard Sr., 81

Ronald Leonard Sr.

Ronald Leonard Sr.

EUSTIS — Ronald Emery Leonard Sr., 81, formerly of Windham and Benton, died on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014.
He was born in Portland on March 16, 1933, the son of Blanche I. (Hamlin) and Carroll E. Leonard, and grew up on Peaks Island.
Ron graduated in 1951 from Portland High School, where he met his future wife of 62 years, Audrey F. Wood. Ron was an athlete, adventurer and family man. He played second base for Portland High, ice hockey in a Portland men’s league, was a recreational archer and bowler, avid alpine skier and competitive whitewater canoeist, passions he shared with his family. Ron was a runner for many years, once completing the Casco Bay Marathon. He trained as a pilot, owned an ultralight aircraft and even tried hang gliding. He enjoyed travel including trips to Hawaii, Cancun and Aruba and family ski trips to Europe and the American Rockies.
During the  Korean War, Ron was stationed in Sasebo, Japan, where he took up photography and taught baseball to Japanese workers while serving as an  Army firefighter from 1953-55.
In addition to his outdoor pursuits, Ron was a multi-faceted, creative person who enjoyed word play, wrote poetry, played the harmonica and enjoyed building things. One of his earliest projects was building a camp near Sugarloaf in 1960, where he and his family skied weekends and holidays from November into May. He was honored with lifetime membership in the Sugarloaf Ski Club after volunteering for many years on ski race crews.
Ron retired in 1988 after 27 years with S.D. Warren Paper Co. He began his career at the research lab in Westbrook and ended it at the then-new plant in Hinckley. In retirement, he and Audrey moved to Eustis, where they made many friends on and off the slopes.
Family and friends will remember Ron as generous, loving and kind. The family plans a private memorial service in the summer.
Ron is survived by his wife Audrey of Eustis; two sons, Ronald Leonard Jr. of Bridgton and James Leonard of Harrison; a daughter, Susan Gadberry of Litchfield; a sister, Carol Schaarschmidt of Easton, Pa.; a brother, Robert Leonard of Hillsboro, Ohio; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by a grandson.
Ron lived with Parkinson’s disease for 16 years; those who wish to memorialize him are asked to make a donation for Parkinson’s disease research.

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