Thomas P. Leach Sr. reported for final merciful judgment on Nov. 15, 2013, in Saranac Lake, at the home of his son, James and daughter-in-law, Carol. He had resided in Carthage at Country Manor Nursing Home since September 2012 and prior to that since June 2010, with his wife at the home of his daughter, Mary-Margaret and son-in-law, Ralph Ferguson.
Born in Utica on April 30, 1925, the second son of John J. Leach Sr. and Mary Theresa McTighe Leach in Yorkville. He was predeceased by his parents as well his two brothers and their wives: John J. Leach Jr and Dorothy Derrick Leach of Old Forge and Brian E. Leach and Allie Coyne Leach of Sherrill, a brother-in-law and his wife, Col. James J. McAloon and Constance Boyd McAloon of Jeffersonville, Ind., and a brother-in-law George P. McAloon Esq of Alexandria Bay.
He is survived by his loving wife and faithful companion of 61-plus years, Margaret B. "Peg" McAloon Leach; their children: Thomas P. Jr, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mary Margaret and husband Ralph Ferguson of West Carthage and James J. and wife Carol A. of Saranac Lake; grandchildren: James J. Jr. "JJ" and his wife Katherine C. Garth Leach of Louisa County, Va., Janelle A. and her husband Joshua Morrison of Hatboro, Pa., Joy M. and her husband Dustin Traugott of Orlando, Fla., and Justin T. Leach of Westchester; as well as great-grandchildren: James J. III (Jack), Hudson William, and Elisabeth Ann (Elsie) Leach all residing in Louisa County, Va. and a sister-in-law by marriage, Mary Rose Scanlon McAloon of Syracuse; and several nieces and nephews and their spouses.
Having graduated from Yorkville Elementary and Whitesboro High School, the class of 1942, he attended St. Michaels in Toronto for a year before entering the Army Air Corps in August 1943. After serving in the Air Corps and the Corps of Engineers, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1945 and assigned to the Manhattan Project as a Security and Intelligence Officer. He served as a courier of the Bikini Island atomic bomb tests and served as Dr. Oppenheimer's personal security guard. His service continued into the Atomic Energy Commission.
Following his active duty, he attended St. Lawrence University, earning a Bachelors Degree in 1950 and a Masters in Education in 1951. Returning to active duty at Fort Bragg, NC in the Technical Intelligence Section during the Korean Conflict in 1951. In 1952 on May 3, he married Margaret B. (Peg) McAloon of Wellsley Island and they began life together in Fort Bragg, NC for the next two years before returning to civilian life. He continued in the reserves until retiring as a Major in 1966.
Returning to civilian life in June of 1953, he took employment as a Science teacher at the Holland Patent Central School where he taught Science for 15 years. He was then given the opportunity to organize and become the first Principal of the Holland Patent Middle School. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1980. While at Holland Patent he attended Union College earning a Masters of Science in Teaching in 1961, he attended a Middle School Institute in 1967, and earned his Secondary School Principal Certificate during the summers of 1968 and 1969.
Being involved with the Town of Trenton Kiwanis Club, he helped develop and was the first supervisor of the Trenton Township Pool. He later became a charter member of the Holland Patent Lions Club, serving as both secretary and president. As an active member of St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church, he served as one of the first Lectors as well as one of the first Eucharistic Ministers of the Church.
Not being ready to retire, he taught Physics and Chemistry at Mohawk Valley Community College from 1980 until finally retiring in 1988. Loving to travel he and Peg entered the motor-homing world, first on school breaks and summer vacations in 1983 evolving into full time motor-homing from 1993 until 2002. They visited all 49 states and took a trip to Hawaii in 1988.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Bazzanella Funeral Home in Carthage. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Carthage. Burial will be in the Holland Patent Cemetery family plot at a later date next spring.
The family would like to thank the caring staff of the Country Manor Nursing Home and the Staff of 6A at SUNY Upstate Medical Center for their kind and compassionate care. A very special thank you to the staff of High Peaks Hospice in Saranac Lake who managed to help us make Dad's wishes come to pass.
In lieu of donations, Mass cards would be appreciated.