SYRACUSE -- Leon Sherwood Penell, age 83, long time Massena resident passed away Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Bishop Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Syracuse. The family has entrusted funeral arrangements to the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home in Massena.
Leon was born in Ellenburg, NY on March 25, 1937 the son of Ernest and Yvonne “Eva” (McDonald) Penell. The family later moved to Massena. Leon, a 1955 Massena High School graduate, participated in basketball and cross country. He obtained his Master’s Degree in education at Potsdam State University. He enjoyed teaching Social Studies and Economics and coached cross country for many years at Massena High School until his retirement in 1996.
His first marriage to Janice Kennedy ended in divorce. In August of 1972, he married Colette Plante Boyer. They combined their families of five boys and moved to Potsdam, NY where Colette worked. Leon thrived on keeping busy with many school activities. He was a high school and college baseball umpire for several years. Another activity he enjoyed was pitching for the Ancient Mariners when they won Division B runner-up in 2000.
In 1980, Leon won the election for Potsdam Village Judge. Many nights were spent performing arraignments in the courtroom and going to teach in the morning. After moving back to Massena, Leon was appointed Massena Acting Village Judge in 1989. He retired as Louisville Town Judge in 1996.
After their retirement Leon and Colette spent 21 years wintering in Tropic Star RV Resort in Pharr, TX. He spent time playing, organizing table tennis and won many trophies. Competing in the McAllen Golden Age Olympics, Leon won Overall Male Olympian in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2012 he won Overall Honors and was inducted in the Golden Age Olympics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Leon leaves behind his loving wife to cherish his memory, Colette of 47 years; his son, Mel Penell; grandchildren, Melissa, Lacey and Christopher, Mark Penell and granddaughter, Kara; and stepsons, Daniel and wife Mary Boyer, Randall Boyer and step grandson, Jacob Boyer, Paul Boyer and wife, Lynn and step granddaughter, Isabella Boyer and stepson, Mark Boyer.
He was predeceased by his parents, Ernest and Yvonne Penell; and his sister, Jeanette Gauthier.
As per Leon’s wishes, there will be no public calling hours. A Memorial Mass and internment will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be acknowledged to the Alzheimer's Association; 441 W Kirkpatrick St, Syracuse, NY 13204.
Family and friends are welcome to share memories and condolences with the Penell family by visiting www.PhillipsMemorial.com