Agnes W. LeachFebruary 19, 1917 ~ May 18, 2017 (age 100)
In Manhattan during World War I, on a snowy February 9, 1917, an angel was born to Frederick and Frances McDonough -Agnes Winifred.
Growing up, Agnes was filled with wonder about the world and loved to read poems and act out plays with the other children in her NYC neighborhood.
One of Agnes' loves was education. She loved school and skipped two grades, graduating from high school at 16 years of age. She then went to Hunter College where she graduated with degrees in French and Education with a minor in German. To help support her family after her father passed away, Agnes got a job at Bloomingdale's selling shoes and worked as a secretary at Esso Oil all the while dreaming of being a teacher. She went to further her education at Columbia University and received her Master's Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.
While teaching elementary students in Manhattan, Agnes went to a dance wearing a white dress with her two beloved sisters, Marjorie and Dorothy, at the Newman Club. It was there where she met the love of her life, James ("Jim") Leach who said that Agnes captured his heart that night. James, originally from South Fork, PA, also was a teacher and he taught high school biology, chemistry and physics. Agnes and James married on June 28, 1952 in Immaculate Conception Church in Astoria, Queens.
Agnes and Jim moved to Ridgewood, NJ where they raised their three daughters Patricia, Mary, and Kathleen. While Jim taught in Fair Lawn High School, Agnes taught 1st grade, her favorite grade to teach, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Ridgewood, NJ. A parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church for over 50 years and a lifetime devoted Catholic, Agnes lived her life as God taught.
Agnes loved being Irish, and also adored everything French. She spoke French fluently to everyone – whether they understood her or not, because she loved the language so much! Fortunately her two daughters, Patricia and Mary, were bilingual and understood her fully.
Agnes was enthralled with New York City. Whether seeing a Broadway show with her family, worshiping at St. Patrick's Cathedral, watching the Saint Patrick's Day parade or going to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree, Agnes was mesmerized by everything New York had to offer! One of her favorite musicals was Carousel and two of her favorite songs were "If I Loved You" and "Some Enchanted Evening" both of which would be frequently sung along with Irish popular songs.
On May 18, 2017, on a bright, sunny day, Agnes' angelic spirit flew high above us to be with the Lord in Heaven. She is now reunited with her husband James, eldest daughter Patricia Leach Carta, her parents Frederick and Frances McDonough, her younger sisters Marjorie McDonough and Dorothy McDonough Laird and all those who she knew who left this world before her throughout her century of life.
Agnes, is survived by Mary and Kathleen Leach, Karen Bergen, Carl Carta and Kelly, Meghan, Laura, Jennifer and Michael Carta as well as her many nieces, nephews and friends.
God Blessed us with Agnes for 100 years. She was warm, kind, loving, funny and nice. She was nicknamed "Agnice." Her intuition was on a spiritual level. Agnes could look at you with her blue Irish eyes and see your soul, your truth and your essence. Her quiet strength and her faith gave her the ability to soar high above mediocrity, complacency, and judgment and show respect and love toward everyone.
Agnes is loved and missed by those she leaves behind. She is loved forever and alive in our hearts, therefore she will never truly die.
Honor her by expressing a kind word to someone or by being joyful or thankful or courageous. Enjoy some of Agnes' favorite things like a Klondike ice cream, bacon and eggs, a cup of coffee or tea or some Irish soda bread and when you do, toast to beloved "Agnice."
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday at 1:00 PM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 1 Passaic St., Ridgewood. The family will receive friends on Monday from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM at the Feeney Funeral Home, 232 Franklin Ave., Ridgewood. The interment will be Tuesday at 11:30 AM at St. Luke’s Cemetery, 340 N. Franklin Tpke., Ho-Ho-Kus.
Any donations to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1 Passaic Street Ridgewood NJ 07450, are greatly appreciated.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
1 Passaic Street, Ridgewood NJ 07450