DARTMOUTH: Leo Joseph Gagne, born March 9, 1936, passed away on Wednesday, October 30 after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
A memorial for Leo will take place on Sunday, November 10, 2019 in Dartmouth at the Dartmouth Housing complex, 2 Anderson Way, Building 2 in N. Dartmouth, MA from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Leo J. Gagne was born in Winooski,VT to parents Leo and Beatrice (Blow) Gagne, but moved to New Bedford, MA for the rest of his long life until recent years when he resided at Brandon Woods Nursing Home in Dartmouth, MA for care.
Between Vermont and Dartmouth, Leo cut a large swath through New Bedford history. He often recalled the labor of days gone by, such as childhood and teen stints as a pin boy in a bowling alley (in the days before lanes were automated); after-school work in a commercial laundry; and clerking at the downtown art-deco retail institution, Cherry & Webb, now a campus of Bristol Community College.
His long career at Acushnet Company defined his professional life, however. He retired from the company as a Time Study Engineer in the 1990s after 40 years with its advanced rubber division.
Personally, Leo was part of the fabled George’s Gym team of weightlifters who considered the south end gym a home away from home. The weightlifters of George’s Gym were a frequent sight on New Bedford’s East and West Municipal Beaches where they attained an almost mythic status as athletes in this city.
Leo was an active weightlifter with the close-knit team throughout his life and journeyed with them to meets throughout the northeast of the United States. In the course of those travels, he brought back to New Bedford very many trophies for his accomplishments on the mat - and even into his forties and fifties was awarded first in his age-class medals and trophies several times.
He was also well known as a voracious reader. Indeed, he was seldom without a book anywhere he went just in case he could steal away a few moments to dive into a crackling historical action yarn or imaginative science fiction or fantasy novel. He leaves behind an impressive - and well-thumbed - library of mid to late 20th century genre literature.
Leo J. Gagne also leaves behind three sisters: Theresa Medeiros of N. Dartmouth, MA; Juliette Harkless of Kittanning, PA; and Muriel Froias of Summerfield, FLA, in addition to Brother-in-law, Steven Froias.
He also leaves behind nephews, Louis Medeiros, Alan Medeiros, William Harkless, Ronald Harkless, Michael Froias, and the writer he helped inspire, Steven J. Froias, Jr. Nieces are Dorothy Burt, Deborah Gauthier, and Betty McClary. And special friends, Joseph Maillet and William Piche. Leo was predeceased by his loyal rescue dog, Mame.
Arrangements were the direction of Cabral Baylies Square-Lamoureux Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 512 No. Front Street, New Bedford.
Online condolences to the family can be made on our website; www.cabralbaylies.com.
To plant a tree in memory of Leo J. Gagne, please visit our tribute store.