Raymond Edwin Leonard, 87, of Pittsford, VT, died at his home in Fort Myers on February 2. He had been experiencing declining health for several years.
Ray Leonard graduated from Pittsford High School, Paul Smith’s College, and the University of Vermont. He earned a Master’s Degree at Helsinki University on a Fulbright Scholarship and graduate degrees from Yale University and Syracuse University.
Ray’s love of the outdoors was evident throughout his life. He worked a forester for Vermont Forest and Parks and as a research ecologist for the USDA and the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. He formed his own consulting firm and worked throughout the U.S. His assignments included serving as interim director of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and interim President of Sterling College in Vermont. His retirement years were also filled with travel and adventure. An avid seaman despite his never learning how to swim, Ray lived on board his sailboat, S.V. Satori, from 1985 until 2000. Ray and the Satori both survived the notorious Halloween Storm, also known as The Perfect Storm, of October 1991.
Ray is survived by his former wife, Nancy Leonard, of Dover, NH, and his son, Kent Leonard, daughter-in-law, Laura Miller, and grandson, Nick Leonard, of Andover, MA. His other son, Peter Leonard, predeceased him.
A gathering to celebrate Ray’s life will be held at a later time. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Maclure Library in Pittsford.