Leonard E. Belanger, 98, of Augusta and Boothbay Harbor, died of natural causes on September 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) Bélanger. He was educated at Augusta schools and graduated from Cony High School in 1942.
He joined the Army Air Corp on November 3, 1942. His participation in World War II began upon his arrival in France at Berry-au-Bac. He recovers and repairs planes and aeronautical equipment in several regions of 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 Northern France Campaign. He was a staff sergeant and was decorated with the Euro-African Middle East Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign, and the WWII Victory Medals. As a token of the eternal gratitude of France, Leonardo was decorated on July 3, 2014 with the Legion of Honor, the oldest and highest distinction in France. Thanks to the American Legion, David Patch and Barbara Marr, Leonard was able to travel to Washington, DC with Honor Flight two years ago. He was a member of the American Legion Post at Boothbay Harbor.
Leonard was very active with the Knights of Columbus for many years in Augusta. With James Paradis, they started a new C of C council in Winthrop. He was a member of the Fourth Degree, former Grand Knight and former District Deputy. His Roman Catholic faith was an important part of his life. He enjoyed singing in the choir of St. Mary’s Church with his wife Arteline. His many activities included the Drum Major of the Drum and Bugle Corps of the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Chief of Forest Rangers of the Catholic Order of Foresters. He has also been a volunteer tax advisor for the AARP and a volunteer for Cushnoc seniors. He and his dear friend Horace L. Rodrigue have volunteered for many years on the maintenance committee of St. Mary’s Church. Horace died 13 days earlier than Leonard. They must have work up there!
Leonard was also a blood drive coordinator for the American Red Cross. Leonard enjoyed playing golf in his later years and was an avid exercise enthusiast at the YMCA Augusta and Manchester. In the village of St. Andrews, he faithfully followed the exercise classes. He and his wife Peg have covered a lot of miles together.
Leonard’s professional career has included being a usher at the Colonial Theater in Augusta, electrician, route salesman for Cushman Baking Company, US Postal Service clerk in Augusta, Postal Service Examiner in Auburn, Postmaster in Monmouth, taking retired from the USPS in 1985. He was also a homeowner in Augusta and his last job was a newspaper delivery man in St. Andrews Village.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Artheline (Cyr) Kersey Bélanger in 1984; one son, Paul J. Belanger in 2002, one stepson, Ronald J. Kersey in 2008; brothers Lee, Lawrence, Francis and Louis and their wives; his second wife, Barbara (Hayes) Creamer Belanger in 2017.
The survivors are his wife Margaret Coolong Belanger of Boothbay Harbor; one daughter, Vivian M. Belanger and her husband Clifford H. Goodall of Freeport, one stepson, John A. Kersey of Waterville, one step daughter, Elaine Kersey of 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, Pa., Jennifer Plourde and her husband Paul from Cape Elizabeth, and Stephanie Houdlette and her husband Mark of Pittston; as well as many great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews; and cousins.
Special thanks to Dr. Alan Barker, Beacon Hospice and the Independent Living and Assisted Living staff at St. Andrews Village for making Leonard’s last five years enjoyable and fulfilling.
Visiting hours were September 22 at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. A Christian burial mass was celebrated on September 23 at the Sainte-Marie-de-l’Assomption Catholic Church, Western Avenue, Augusta. Interment will be held at a later date at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.
Condolences can be expressed through the Plummer Funeral Home website: http://www.plummerfh.com
Memorial contributions can be made at: St. Michael School, 56 Sewall St., Augusta, ME 0433.