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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Leo McNamara

Leo McNamara, 96, of Clover Leaf, Brooksville, Florida passed away July 11, 2022.

Leo was born to Mary (McDermott) and Leo A. McNamara on October 31, 1925, in his grandfather McDermott’s farmhouse in Nicholson, Pennsylvania. Nicholson is well known for the Tunkhannock Viaduct, the largest concrete deck arch bridge in the world when built in 1915 by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western (DL&W) Railroad. He spent summers on this farm, but Leo grew up in Scranton. His favorite toy was his Lionel Model Train which he kept all his life. One childhood memory was sneaking down to the basement kitchen to make fudge with friends.

In 1942 his family moved to Chester, Pennsylvania where his older brother, Bobby, got a job at the Baldwin Steam Locomotive Works. After high school, Leo worked at Robert Howarth’s furnace business. One of his car riders to Howarth’s was Bill Haley, later famous for the song “Rock Around the Clock.” He met the love of his life, Ann Nostadt at Kerr’s Barn Dance in Twin Oaks. Leo earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Spring Garden College in Chestnut Hill.

Leo and Ann married on February 6, 1948, in Elkton, Maryland. A few years later they bought shorefront property near there and built a second home which was a favorite weekend place for many family members and friends.

He worked at Westinghouse on the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. Next, he worked for the Philadelphia Pump Company designing high-pressure pumps. In the 1960s he worked for SKF in charge of product engineering at the plant in Hornell, New York. In 1969 Leo relocated his family to Vandalia, Ohio, and began working at Enpo Cornell Pump Company where he was an engineer, sales manager, lift station installer and troubleshooter.

In Vandalia Leo and Ann joined the Sister Cities International Organization with the town of Lichtenfels, Germany. They hosted members from Lichtenfels and traveled there several times. Both volunteered for the annual Oktoberfest fundraising event but took breaks to dance some polkas.

In late 1988 Leo and Ann retired and began snowbirding to Florida. Summers were spent in Vandalia and Nicholson. Leo resumed his model train hobby with a LGB G Scale platform in the spare bedroom. He also began collecting Flexible Flyer Sleds – reminders of fun times sledding as a child.

By the mid-1990s they found Clover Leaf in a AAA book. During the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Leo dressed up as an Irish Leprechaun in a bright kelly green suit and hat. He was a natural for this role dancing to “McNamara’s Band.” They attended many of the dances and volunteered for security patrol. He enjoyed the monthly dinners, playing cards, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and any time someone came to visit. In 2016 Leo and Ann made Clover Leaf their permanent home.

Leo is predeceased by his parents, Leo and Mary McNamara, and all his siblings: Hanna, Bobby, Jack, Mary, Joe, Kay, and Frank. He was also predeceased by his son-in-law, Steven Honeycutt, and 17 nieces and nephews.

Leo is survived by his beloved wife of 74 years, Ann McNamara of Clover Leaf, Brooksville, daughter, Maureen Honeycutt of Dallas, Texas; and 33 nieces and nephews with many grand and great grand nieces and nephews.

No memorial service is planned at this time. Ann and Maureen are very appreciative of the family and friends who took the time over the last 7 years to attend Leo’s Surprise 90th Birthday Party, the 70th Anniversary Party, and visits to Leo at home.