LAURENS – Larry Robert Leahy, 80, retired teacher and coach at Morris Central School, and Laurens town justice and town board member, passed away on July 4, 2017.
He was born on Aug. 6, 1936, in Binghamton, the eldest of six children of John Robert and Mary Gwendolyn (Wheat) Leahy. Larry married Carole Rae Margeson on June 14, 1964, the same day they both graduated from SUNY Oneonta.
Larry graduated from Otego Central School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s in education from SUNY Oneonta. He taught junior and senior high school social studies at Morris Central School (1964-1991). He also coached the eight-man football team at MCS for many years.
He served as Laurens town justice (1976-2012) and on the Laurens Town Board for four years. He was a member and past president of the Otsego County Magistrates Association and served on the editorial board of New York State Magistrates Association.
He was a former member and director of the Oneonta Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Retired Teachers Association; Oneonta Elks Lodge #1312; the Oneonta Country Club; the Laurens American Legion; and the Mustang Club of America. Larry volunteered time to the annual Pit Run and Hospice.
He enjoyed gardening, golfing, cooking, reading, walking and hiking; bird watching, area sports, and cruising the countryside in his 2008 Roush Speedster Mustang.
He paddled in the 70-mile General Clinton Canoe Regatta for many years, participating in the very first race in 1963. He had many fond memories of Chateaugay fishing trips, deep sea fishing trips; traveling to Ireland and Nova Scotia; Caribbean cruises; the Daytona 500 and many a card game and golf tournament.
He is survived by his beloved family: Carole, his wife of 53 years; his son Thomas Robert Leahy and wife Jennifer; his daughter Kate Martin Allaire and husband Rich Allaire; six grandchildren, Ty Leahy, Ian Leahy, Luke Martin, Hannah Martin, Cammy Allaire, and Logan Allaire; a brother, John B. (Jackie) Leahy; sisters Kathy Leahy (Wendy York); Arden (Robert) Fleischer, and Cheryl (John) Shackelton; a brother-in-law, William (Beverly)Margeson; as well as five nieces, one nephew, and cousins.
Larry was predeceased by his nephew Eric Shackelton, his niece Abigail Margeson and his very special grandson Jack Thomas Martin.
Larry loved life and lived it to the fullest. He loved his Brewster Hill home, his family and his many friends. He also had a special place in his heart for his pets throughout the years. He was a true “Renaissance man”. His advice to his grandchildren was the same “Do the right thing”.
Larry donated his body to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for medical research. At his request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.
Those who wish may make contribution to the Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, 542 Main St., Oneonta, NY 13820 or The Jack Thomas Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, Victor Central School, Dollars for Scholars, 953 High Street, Victor, NY 14564.
Larry was fond of the following poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
Online condolences may be made to family at www.johnstonfh.com. Arrangements are by the Johnston Funeral Home of Morris.