John Edward Leahy
John Edward Leahy
  • November 29, 1931 - July 29, 2017
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Obituary for John E. Leahy, November 29,1931-July 29, 2017

John Edward Leahy was born on November 29, 1931, in Syracuse, New York. He was the only child of Lawrence and Margaret Mary Leahy. He grew up in Fayetteville, just outside of Syracuse, and graduated from high school there in 1949. His parents owned a cottage on Oneida Lake, and he spent much of his youth fishing and boating on the Lake in the summer. He also enjoyed Scouting.

He went to Le Moyne College in Syracuse and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a minor in Philosophy. After college, he worked as an engineer in Cincinnati, Ohio, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He spent two years in the Signal Corps at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. During his time there, he met the love of his life, Jacqueline Monfils.

When he finished his service, he married Jackie in her hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1957, at St. John the Evangelist Church. They soon moved to Rochester, New York, where he took an engineering job with General Dynamics. There John and Jackie bought their first home and raised three children, Joy, Margaret, and John Jr. They were active members of St. Joseph's Parish; all three children attended school there.

In 1972, the family moved to Burke, Virginia, when John took a job with a government contractor in the D.C. area. He later joined the federal government working for the Department of the Navy, first for Nav-Air and later for Nav-Sea, as a systems engineer. He contributed work on the F-14 jet and the Trident submarine. The family belonged to St. Bernadette's Parish in Springfield until joining Nativity Parish when it was established in Burke.

John and Jackie put all three children through college, and afterwards, all of them settled in the D.C. area, raising families of their own. He and Jackie enjoyed hosting and attending many gatherings with their children and grandchildren.

When John retired in 1993, he became a full-time tinkerer, grandfather, and husband. He had countless hobbies and often remarked, "I'm so busy I don't know how I ever had time for a job!" He and Jackie enjoyed traveling, visits from Jackie's sister June from Alaska, and taking scenic drives. John also enjoyed reading, especially historical non-fiction.

In 2006, Jackie passed away and was interred at Quantico National Cemetery. Soon after, John moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and settled into the Fredericksburg community and joined St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish. He lived in Fredericksburg until his death.

John was the consummate engineer: he loved to tinker, fix things, solve problems, and figure out better ways to make things work. He enjoyed sailing, and his first sailboat was appropriately named "Tinker Toy." He also loved fishing, the outdoors, and most of all hunting. In keeping with his character, he likely spent 10 times the number of hours studying, planning, researching, and preparing to go hunting as he did actually hunting. He valued family above all, and always relished family gatherings and visits from his children and grandchildren. He will be missed deeply.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the following:

~Ceili Leahy Service Scholarship

James Monroe High School
c/o Katie Hornung
2300 Washington Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Please send check or money order payable to JMHS; find more information online at

~Capital Caring Hospice
111 Olde Greenwich Dr., Ste. 101
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Please make checks payable to Capital Caring; online: Under Gift Designation, please select Capital Caring Fredericksburg

~Little Sisters of the Poor, www.