Leo Despres

Obituary of Leo J. Despres

Leo Joseph Despres, age 92 of Peabody, passed away peacefully at Rosewood Nursing Center on Thursday, January 21 after a brief stay. He was the beloved husband of Jean Ellen Despres, also of Peabody with whom he shared almost 70 years of marriage. Leo was the son of the late Leo Despres and Obeline Robichaud of New Brunswick, Canada and proud father of his four sons and their spouses, Cory Despres of Lynn, MA, Glenn Despres and his wife Laura of Lynn, MA, Darrin Despres and his wife Maureen of Winterville, NC and Lee Despres and his wife Wendy of Chichester, NH; He was the cherished grandfather of Matthew and Joseph Despres, David Despres, Morgan, Garrett and Brooke Despres, and Colby and Camdyn Despres; He was so proud to be great grandfather to four great grandchildren. Leo was predeceased by his older brother Gerald Despres and sister Bertha Champigny. After graduating from Lynn Classical High, Leo worked in Lynn for a brief time at a printing press. Very shortly after that Leo joined the Army and served in the infantry as a scout in the Korean conflict. He was in the thick of some firefights but always felt ‘watched over’ to have survived them. He loved to tell the story in later years about how impressed he was to learn that Ted Williams had given up a shining pro baseball career to do his part in that conflict. He said Ted flew strafing missions to provide air support and cover for him and his fellow troops on the ground. Upon returning home to marry his bride Jean he studied and taught himself carpentry and made his living in that trade for many years, for a time as part of the team of Story and Despres. He stayed close to the building trade until he retired. Leo loved music and was a big fan of Frank Sinatra and all the great crooners and their Big Bands from the era. He and Jean were known as quite the dancers amongst their circle of friends. After his retirement he pursued his interests in golf, skiing and sharpening his skills at pool which earned him a reputation as a ‘shark’ at the Torigian Senior Center where he also dabbled in painting and found an audience for his quick wit and unique sense of humor; something his four boys seem to have all inherited. He loved the sea and enjoyed the simple pleasures in life like walks on the beach with Jean, gathering with family and sharing a nice meal. Service information: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and current restrictions, services for Leo will be privately held for his immediate family. Burial will take place at Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Leo's memory to VFW Peabody MA, Fidelity Post 1011, 20 Stevens St., Peabody, MA 01960.For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit www.ccbfuneral.com.
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