Leonard E. Belanger, 98, of Augusta and Boothbay Harbor, died of natural causes Sept. 17, 2021, at St. Andrews Village in Boothbay Harbor.
He was born in Patten on May 6, 1923. He was the last surviving son of Thomas L. and Edith (Michaud) Belanger. He was educated in Augusta schools graduating from Cony High School in 1942.
He joined the Army Air Corp on Nov. 3, 1942.His participation in World War II began when he arrived in France at Berry-au-Bac. He retrieved and repaired planes and aviation equipment in multiple areas in France. He also acted as a French interpreter. He served in the army for over two years with 20 months of service in Europe during the campaign of Northern France. He was a Staff Sargent and was decorated with the European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, The American Campaign and The World War II Victory Medals. As a token of France’s eternal gratitude, on July 3, 2014, Leonard was decorated with the Legion of Honor, the oldest and highest honor in France. Thanks to the American Legion, David Patch, and Barbara Marr, Leonard was able to travel to Washington, D.C. with Honor Flight two years ago. He was a member of the Boothbay Harbor American Legion Post.
Leonard was very active in the Knights of Columbus for many years in Augusta. Along with James Paradis, they started a new K of C Council in Winthrop. He was a Fourth Degree member, a Past Grand Knight, and former District Deputy. His Roman Catholic faith was an important part of his life. He enjoyed singing in the choir at St. Mary’s Church along with his wife Artheline. His many activities included Drum Major for the Catholic Order of Forester’s Drum and Bugle Corps, Chief Ranger of the Catholic Order of Forester’s. He also served as a volunteer AARP tax counselor and a volunteer for Cushnoc Senior Citizens. He and his dear friend Horace L. Rodrigue for many years were volunteers on the St. Mary’s Church maintenance committee. Horace predeceased Leonard by 13 days. They must have some work to do up there!
Leonard was also a blood drive coordinator for the American Red Cross. Leonard enjoyed golfing in his later years and was an avid exerciser at the YMCA in Augusta and Manchester. At St. Andrews Village he faithfully attended exercise classes. He and his wife Peg walked a lot of miles together.
Leonard’s working career included being an usher at the Colonial Theater in Augusta, electrician, route salesman for Cushman Baking Company, clerk for the U.S. Postal Service in Augusta, Postal Service examiner in Auburn, Postmaster in Monmouth, retiring from the USPS in 1985. He was also a landlord in Augusta and his last job was newspaper delivery boy at St. Andrews Village.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Artheline (Cyr) Kersey Belanger in 1984; a son, Paul J. Belanger in 2002, a stepson, Ronald J. Kersey in 2008; brothers Lee, Lawrence, Francis, and Louis and their wives; his second wife, Barbara (Hayes) Creamer Belanger in 2017.
Surviving are his wife Margaret Coolong Belanger of Boothbay Harbor; a daughter, Vivian M. Belanger and her husband Clifford H. Goodall of Freeport, a stepson, John A. Kersey of Waterville, a daughter-in-law, Elaine Kersey of the Villages, Florida. Also surviving are stepchildren: Robert A. Creamer, Frederick L. Creamer, Valarie Gamage, Pamela Wiggins, Cheryl Erhart, and Kevin Coolong and their spouses and children; grandchildren: Matthew Kersey and his wife Marianne of Raleigh, North Carolina, Gregory Kersey and his wife Mena of White River Jct.,Vermont, Alyssa Richardson and her husband George of Ocala, Florida, Audrey Cherry and her husband Micheal of Penns Creek, Pennsylvania, Jennifer Plourde and her husband Paul of Cape Elizabeth, and Stephanie Houdlette and her husband Mark of Pittston; as well as many great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews; and cousins.
A special thanks to Dr. Alan Barker, Beacon Hospice and the staff of St. Andrews Village independent living and assisted living for making Leonard’s last five years enjoyable and fulfilling.
Visiting hours were held Sept. 22 at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 23, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Western Avenue, Augusta. Burial will be at a later date in the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta.
Condolences may be expressed via the Plummer Funeral Home website: http://www.plummerfh.com
Memorial contributions may be made to: St. Michael School, 56 Sewall St., Augusta, ME 0433.