George Leeman Jr., 70, RSO board member

George Leeman Jr., 70, a native of Ridgefield, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on February 21st after a 12-year battle with cancer.

Born in New York City, George was the son of George and Evelyn Leeman Sr. of Ridgefield.   He attended Ridgefield schools and graduated as valedictorian and president of his class.  George then attended Yale University on scholarship and graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was a member of St. Elmo’s Society.

Continuing at the University of Michigan, where he met Virginia, his wife of 47 years, George received his Ph.D. in mathematics as a National Science Foundation Fellow.   He spent his entire career as a computer science researcher at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

A devoted family man, he helped coach his children’s youth soccer, basketball, and baseball/softball teams. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be remembered for his amazing intellect, extraordinary musical talent, sense of humor and warm and generous heart.

As the son of one of the founders of the Ridgefield Symphonette (later Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, RSO), he was the piano soloist for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Symphonette while in college. He spent many years as a RSO board member, including a term as president, writer of program notes and publicity, and head of the search committee that brought the most recent music director to Ridgefield.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Jeffrey, of New York City, his daughter, Leslie Uhl with her husband, Trevor, of Fairfield, CT, and their children Carter, Charles, and Amelia, plus numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. His sister, Evelyn Martinez, predeceased him.

George’s interests included a passion for music, travel, Bridge with his wife as his partner, tennis, gardening, organizing high school class reunions, and word puzzles. In particular, he created double crostic word puzzles for notable celebrations using software that he developed himself.

A celebration of George’s life will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 351 Main Street, Ridgefield, on Saturday, March 11th at 2:30pm. A reception will follow in North Hall.   

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, 90 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield, CT 06877. Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.