Lenore (Newell) Leavitt
Lenore (Newell) Leavitt, age 100, of Gabriels, died December 27, 2020, at Elderwood of Uihlein at Lake Placid.
Lenore was a lifelong resident of the area, born in Saranac Lake on May 5, 1920, and growing up in Keeses Mills with her parents, Harold and Pauline (Campbell) Newell and four younger brothers. Lenore married William Leavitt on Saturday, June 26, 1943, at the Keeses Mills Presbyterian Church. Upon marrying Bill she moved to the Leavitt Farm in Gabriels, where she lived until moving to Saranac Village at Will Rogers in 2015.
In 1943, she joined the First United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake where she was an active member until her death. On May 5, 2020, the wonderful staff and leadership at Will Rogers helped her celebrate her 100th birthday, a goal and highlight of her life.
During 1928, Lenore was quarantined with her family while her brother convalesced with scarlet fever. During this time her grandmother tutored her, and on returning to the Keeses Mills elementary school she was advanced two grade levels. At the end of her senior year of high school she was deemed too young for graduation and spent a fifth year in high school before attending and graduating from Plattsburgh Normal School in 1940. She then began teaching elementary school, first in Lake Clear, then Bloomingdale. Lenore continued substitute teaching through her 70’s and always encouraged the younger educators in her family.
Lenore supported the Leavitt Family Farm in many roles from bookkeeper to working side by side with her husband Bill, driving trucks for harvest, cutting seed for planting, or grading potatoes for shipping.
Lenore was known for her specialty cookies, “chocolate burrs”. Her grandchildren would eagerly await to receive a package of chocolate burrs in the mail when they moved to college. You could always count on chocolate burrs being shared at any family event, or when anyone needed to celebrate an accomplishment.
Lenore and Bill loved to travel. From 1978 – 2015 she enjoyed spending her winters in Winter Haven, Florida. Together they traveled in all 50 states, all 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada and to Europe twice. On one trip Lenore was able to lay a memorial on the grave of her brother, Harold Lovel Newell, in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium.
After Bill’s death in 1998 Lenore continued to travel, including a visit to the Alamo and several cruises throughout the world. One of her favorite trips was with her dear friend Dot MacNamara in 2006, through Egypt to Libya to witness an eclipse. It was on this trip that, always up for another adventure, Lenore rode a camel.
Lenore was an accomplished seamstress and knitter. Like her mother, Pauline Newell, Lenore was always making something for someone, from men’s shirts to granddaughters’ ice skating dresses to formal gowns for Eastern Star events. The mittens, hats sweaters, scarves and socks for family, friends, and charity number in the thousands. Her hand knit Christmas Stockings are cherished by family and friends. Lenore was an active member of the Town of Brighton knitting and sewing group known as the Brighton Ladies of the Evening, and continued knitting hats, mittens, and sweaters for “Guidepost Children” through March 2020.
Lenore was initiated in the Order of the Eastern Star on September 22, 1950, and went on to serve in all officer positions culminating as the District Deputy Grand Matron of Franklin District. She remained active as a life member of OES until her death.
Lenore is survived by sons Robert Leavitt of Easley, South Carolina, Arthur (Eileen) Leavitt of Gabriels, and David (Marybeth) Leavitt of Glenmont; her grandchildren: Scott (Jennifer) Leavitt and Jennifer (Michael) Tuggey of Gabriels, Timothy (Emily) Leavitt of Allen, Texas, Jeffrey Leavitt of Willsboro, Susan (Mike) Colletti of Clifton Park, Jonathon Leavitt of Chicago, Illinois, Christine Leavitt (Adam Lamica) of Voorheesville, Alissa (Dan) Pryde of East Greenbush and Erin (Nick) Tackett of Portsmouth, Virginia. Also surviving her are great-grandchildren Abby, Anna, Connor, Jackson, Matthew, Katherine, Georgia, Theodore, and Ava and brothers Richard Newell of Paradox Lake and Don Newell of Cohoes as well as several nieces and nephews.
Lenore is predeceased by her husband William, her parents, and brothers, twins Loren Newell (WWII) and Harold Lovell Newell (WWII).
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the wonderful care she received at Saranac Village at Will Rogers and the wonderful caregivers at Elderwood of Uihlein at Lake Placid.
Memorial donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Saranac Lake or the Paul Smiths Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. Due to the continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no funeral services for Lenore Leavitt at this time. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.