Judge Albert Dennis Leahy Jr. passed away on April 19th, 2021, at the age of 87. He was predeceased by his parents, Judge Albert Leahy, Sr., and his wife, Helen Leahy, his brother Charles Leahy and his two infant children, Robert and Caroline Leahy.
Judge Leahy, known to most as Al or Albie, was a life-long resident of Claremont before moving in 2019 with his wife, Patricia Henry Leahy, to Exeter, NH. A graduate of Stevens High School (1951), Al then graduated from Yale University (1955). Following his graduation from Yale, Al joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a lieutenant. During his time in the Marine Corps, he was a General’s Aide at Twentynine Palms in California and later oversaw drill instructors at the San Diego Marine Recruit Depot. Upon completing his tour of duty, Al decided to follow in the family footsteps and attend Harvard Law School (1961) to become an attorney. His father, Albert D. Leahy, Sr., was both an attorney and district court judge and his uncle, John Leahy, was Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court. Both Al and his brother Charles returned to NH to establish life-long careers as practicing attorneys. While in law school, Al met his soon-to-be wife, Patty. Three months after their first date, he proposed and the two of them were married for almost 61 years. After graduating from law school, Al and Patty return to Claremont where Al joined his father’s law firm, Leahy & Denault. In 1972, Governor Walter Peterson appointed Al to succeed his father as the Presiding Justice of the Claremont District Court. During his time on the bench, his particular joy came with his work in the juvenile court system where he felt he could potentially play a part in changing a young person’s life for the better.
Always wanting to support the local community, Al volunteered to serve on many boards, including Claremont National Bank, Claremont Savings Bank and he also served as a trustee of Valley Regional Hospital. Al later stated that one of his proudest moments was being one of the founders of what has since become known as West Central Behavioral Health which ensures access to support services for those in need. Al loved his hometown of Claremont. In 2001, after 40 years, he retired to spend more time with his family and friends. Throughout his life, he was an avid golf and tennis player and enjoyed spending countless hours playing both sports with his wife, children, grandchildren and his wonderful Claremont friends.
It was time with family that brought Al the greatest joy. He was a wonderful father and beloved grandfather to his five grandchildren, Kyle, Tyler, Morgan, Helen and Jackson. No matter where family gathered, whether in Claremont, the family camp on Crescent Lake, vacation trips to Maine or time in St. Simon’s Georgia, Grampa could always be counted on for his witty comments and sense of humor. Whether doing a “boomba” cannonball off the dock and into the lake, adding his unexpected but hilarious descriptors when playing Mad Libs, Sunday morning doughnut runs, or endless rounds of mini-golf, Grampa was always a favorite with his grandchildren.
Al is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia Henry Leahy, his daughter Alison Angle, his son-in-law Jeffrey Angle, his son William Leahy and his daughter-in-law Bethany Leahy, his five grandchildren, family members Mary Susan Leahy, Barbara Leahy and his nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers and to pay tribute to Al’s love of Claremont, donations may be made in his memory to the NH Charitable Foundation’s “Fund for Greater Claremont.” To donate, please visit www.nhcf.org or mail a check directly to the Foundation.
A virtual zoom memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 1 at 10:00 am. A committal service will be held on Saturday, May 22 at 2:00 pm at the West Claremont Burial Ground. Further details about both events may be found on the Stringer Funeral Home website soon.
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