THOMASTON - Rebecca Joy (Duff) Leonard , 67, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed on to her eternal reward on August 21, 2019, at Sussman House.
Born in the Aroostook County town of Houlton, Maine, she was the daughter of Harold and Evelyn Smith Duff. She graduated from Fort Wayne Bible college with a degree in Music Education, and from the University of Southern Maine with a master’s degree in School Administration.
Becky began teaching music in MSAD 50 on August 27, 1987. She taught vocal and general music K-12 at Lura Libby School, Thomaston Grammar School, and Georges Valley High School (GVHS). In September of 2000 she became full time vocal music teacher at Georges Valley High School until MSAD 50 merged with MSAD 5. She then taught vocal music at Georges Valley High School and Rockland District High School (RDHS) for two years. When the two high schools combined, she taught vocal, instrumental, and general music at Oceanside West and finished her career teaching vocal and general music at Oceanside Middle School.
Her motivation to teach music was inspired by her love of music and her love of her students. In 1994 she developed a vision for providing a broader music experience for her students and began planning for the first GVHS Broadway musical. Over the next seventeen years she produced and directed seventeen musicals. She never met a challenge too great and when there was no money in the budget for a musical, she donated many long hours producing, directing and raising funds to cover costs. Her musicals included: 1995 Fiddler on the Roof, 1996 Hello Dolly, 1997 Oklahoma, 1998 The King and I, 1999 The Music Man, 2000 My Fair Lady, 2001 Fiddler on the Roof, 2002 Guys and Dolls, 2003 Hello Dolly, 2004 Singin’ In The Rain, 2005 Cinderella, 2006 The Music Man, 2007 The Pajama Game, 2008 Crazy for You, 2009 Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2010 Fiddler on the Roof, and 2011 Hello Dolly.
She also raised funds with the assistance of Mrs. Angela Johnson and their students for annual trips to Portland Symphony’s “The Magic of Christmas” concerts, trips to Boston to see professional musicals, and end of year trips to Funtown. The Funtown trip was an appropriate ending activity each year, because Becky’s goal was to maintain high standards of musical excellence, but to make it fun as well.
Becky’s love for people and her love for music emanated from her faith in Christ which led her to also pursue sacred music opportunities. She served for several years as choir director at Littlefield Memorial Baptist Church, and as Director of the Thomaston Baptist Church’s Living Christmas Tree choir for ten years.
Becky is survived by her loving husband, William (Bill) Leonard of Thomaston, five siblings and their spouses: Ruth and Robert Clements of Dayton, Ohio, Timothy and Laura Duff of Springfield, Mass., Lois and Richard Chaffee of Marietta, N.Y., Eunice and Robert Bragg of East Longmeadow, Mass., John and Desiree Duff of Grand Rapids, Mich.; five children and their spouses/partners, Timothy and Rebecca Couch, Joslyn Couch, Steven and Casey Couch, Jennifer and Jared Burns, Erin Leonard and Aaron Crossman, eight grandchildren, Luisa Couch, Katelyn Couch, Christian Couch, Aubrey Couch; Gavin Burns, Arabelle Burns, Samuel Moody, Lucas Moody; as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Sussman House, Rockport, for their loving care and support for Becky and our family during her final days on this earth.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 30, 2019, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 31st, at Thomaston Baptist Church, 212 Main Street, followed by a reception at Oceanside Middle School, 47 Valley St., Thomaston. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Rebecca Joy Leonard Music Education Scholarship Fund (R J Leonard Scholarship Fund), Camden National Bank, 188 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine 04861.