John James McLeod

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Service Information
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street
Portland, ME

PORTLAND - At 95 years old, the world and the McLeod clan lost a great man Dec. 20, 2018.

John James McLeod was born Sept. 18, 1923, to John J. and Albina Charland McLeod of Portland. John was one of five sons who served in the military during WWII. He attended Cheverus High School and later joined the Civilian Conservative Corps at the time of the Great Depression. He worked there from 1940 to 1942 helping to build Camden Hills State Park. He made $35.00 per month of which he sent $25.00 home to his family.

Always a Marine (Semper FI), John served in WWII with the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Division on the Peleliu and Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. In April 1945, he and his fellow Marines invaded the beaches of Okinawa. An 82 day battle ensued as one of the fiercest engagements of the war. He served in the field of communication alongside the Navaho Code Talkers. During that time, he befriended Rex Kontz, a native Navaho and fellow Marine. The two remained friends for many years. The secret code of the Code Talkers ultimately helped to win the War.

John loved being a member of the Veterans of Foreign War (V.F.W.) Post. While living in Arizona, he served as post commander. After returning to Maine, he became a life member of the V.F.W. Post 6859 in Portland. He would march every year in the Veterans and Memorial Day parades through the age of 93.

John was loved by all who knew him. In addition to being part of the Greatest Generation, John was a wonderful story teller and published several poems. After the war he worked for Lucas Tree then became a machinist for Pratt & Whitney. He was also a long time member of the Odd Fellows of Portland and volunteered each Christmas as a kettle bell ringer for the Salvation Army.

Together with his wife Thelma, they lived in Connecticut and Arizona, in addition to Maine. The two enjoyed traveling the Unites States by train during retirement.

John is predeceased by his parents; brothers Merton, Daniel and Francis, sisters Ellen and Patricia. He is survived by his wife Thelma of Portland, brother Norman of Portland; two sons, Bruce and wife Nancy of Massachusetts, Brian of Connecticut, stepdaughter Patricia Clem of New York; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A private interment will be held at the Veterans Cemetery in Augusta. A memorial service will be hosted by V.F.W. Post 6859, at a later date.

The family would like to thank the medical and nursing staff at St. Joseph's Rehabilitation and Residence.

In recognition for the excellent care he received while in hospice, any

memorial contributions should be made to:

Hospice of Southern Maine

180 US Rt 1

Scarborough, ME 04074 

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 5, 2019
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