Leonard T. Carlisle, 1929 – 2022 🇺🇸

Leonard T. Carlisle, 1929-2022. Photo provided

CHESTER, Vt. – Leonard Tucker Carlisle was born Oct. 4, 1929 in Chester, Vt., to William H. “Tuck” Carlisle and Margaret (Holman) Carlisle. He passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 at the Gill Odd Fellows Home. He grew up in Chester and then Cavendish.

He started school in Chester Stone Village’s one room schoolhouse. They didn’t have running water or electricity so, every day, there were chores to do, carrying water and filling the wood box. When they moved to Cavendish they had electricity and he loved playing with the light switch on the wall.

Leonard joined the United States Navy Nov. 22, 1946, in the Korean War, active duty in Japan and San Diego, and was discharged Sept. 21, 1951. He hitchhiked across the country to return home to Vermont.

Leonard was part of the work crew that built the Proctorsville Gulf Road, worked on the Roundy farm as a young teen, drove a bread delivery route, and in 1956 he started at General Electric in Ludlow, transferring to the new plant in Rutland, where he benched dies and trained many new bench hands for over 35 years, retiring in 1991.

When still a young boy, his family moved to Cavendish where he met his future wife, Joan Gilson, when Joan was 13 years old. Joan was the little sister of Leonard’s friend Ronnie, and they spent their days trying to “get away from” Joan. That changed after Leonard returned from his stint in the Navy, and he and Joan began dating. They married in Proctorsville on Feb. 7, 1953. They had four daughters.

Leonard was a proud Vermonter all his life. He was proud of being a universal blood donor, giving many gallons through many years. He was a lifelong Red Sox fan, listening to the games on his pocket transistor radio and earplug, going to Fenway Park, and going to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a member of the American Legion and Loyal Order of the Moose. He loved to play cards – especially cribbage; play horseshoes at GE lunch hours, winning many tournaments; teaching his daughters how to play these, and badminton, and softball along with all the neighborhood children; swimming at the swimming hole and skating at the fire station. He was an accomplished carpenter, renovating his home (an original Sears package house) to add a second floor to make room for all his daughters. He helped renovate the Holy Name of Mary Community Building, and helped with some renovations at the Cavendish Baptist Church and painting at the Gill Home. He was quite an artist, drawing and carving statues, making wooden toys, and showing them to all. His cars had moving steering wheels and doors that opened. His animals had manes and tails made from Joan’s old leather pocketbooks. He enjoyed deer hunting. He was a whiz at jigsaw puzzles. He attended all the ballgames of his daughters and grandchildren. He made ice igloos for his daughters to play in. He loved babies and children. Leonard and Joan went to the Cafe at Delight, the restaurant co-owned by daughter Sheryl, every day for lunch for years, delivering his delicious pies that were on the menu, making many friends and helping with end of day duties. He was a terrific dad, grandfather, husband, father-in-law, uncle and friend to all. All of us were very lucky to have him in our lives.

He is survived by his four daughters, Roxanne (Mike) Mackey, Theresa (Peter) Southworth, Sheryl (Howard Paul) Guica, and Lisa (Scott) Spooner; his grandchildren Desiree Guica, Adrienne Guica, Bradley (Kim) Southworth, Aaron (Ashley) Southworth, and Cole Spooner; his great-grandchildren Alessia Guica, Cadence Paul; Connor, Tucker and Lucas Southworth; sister-in-law Patricia (Verne) Mossey; brother-in-law Allen Coleman; many nieces, nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife of 63 years Joan in 2016; his sisters Edna (Arthur) Stocker and Clarissa Coleman; his brother Glenn “Johnnie” (Jannette) Carlisle; brother-in-law Ronnie (Goldie) Gilson; sister-in-law Janet (Ozzie) Pikkarainen; mother/father-in-law Jesse and Clarinda Gilson.

Services will be in the spring in Cavendish. Clifford Funeral Home is assisting with all arrangements.


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