In Remembrance: Leavenworth P. Sperry Jr. ’45W Died on November 15 2022

Leavenworth Porter Sperry Jr. passed away peacefully at the age of 97 at his home in Middlebury, Connecticut, on November 15, 2022.  He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on April 3, 1925, son of the late Leavenworth Porter Sperry and Olive Smith Sperry. He graduated in 1942 from St. Paul’s School of Concord, New Hampshire; in 1947 from Yale University; and in 1950 from Harvard Law School.

At the age of 18, he was called to serve in the US Navy.  Originally an ensign, he was promoted to lieutenant JG, executive officer, and navigator.  He was commissioned in February 1944 and served aboard the 220-foot minesweeper USS Pochard in the Atlantic and Pacific areas from November 1944 to April 1946, sweeping 83 mines in the East China Sea and the coast of Japan.  They were assigned to sweep Tokyo Bay the day prior to General Douglas MacArthur and the USS Missouri accepting the surrender of Japan in 1945. He later visited Hiroshima while on duty, three months after the bomb was dropped.

After graduating from law school. he moved to Washington, DC, where he worked as an attorney for the Wyatt Company. There he began dating Carol Joyce Skoglund of Edina, Minnesota, and they were later married on April 24, 1954.  They first took up residence in Waterbury, Connecticut, and then moved to their new in home in Middlebury in 1958, where they spent their entire married life of 61 years before she passed away in 2015.

In 1954 he began working as general counsel for Waterbury Companies, a brass button manufacturing company.  He was promoted to director and president in 1956, and chairman of the board in 1969.  He retired in 1983 after almost 30 years of service. 

His favorite sport was tennis, at which he played until he was 94. He also enjoyed golf, paddle tennis, sailing, riding his bike, croquet, working in the woods on his various properties in Middlebury, and a gin martini with a lemon twist.  He was a founding member of the Highfield Club of Middlebury, Connecticut, was a member of the John’s Island Club of Vero Beach, Florida, from 1992, and was also a member of the Mill Reef Club of Antigua, West Indies, for over 40 years.

During his life he engaged in many other business and philanthropic activities in Connecticut. He was a director for Waterbury Pressed Metal, director for the Lewis Engineering Company, vice president and director for the Mad River Company, member of the City National Bank of Connecticut, member of the Yankee chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization Inc, served on the Middlebury Planning & Zoning Committee, was a member of the board of the Waterbury Hospital, was a director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, was a director of the Institute for American Indian Studies, was a member of the board of the Anderson Boys Club, was a member of the board of the Mattatuck Museum, was president of the Riverside Cemetery, and was a founding board member and past president of the Middlebury Land Trust.

He is survived by his four sons: James and his wife Abigail of Madison, Connecticut; Charles and his wife Lisa of Vonore, Tennessee; Edward and his wife Holly of Denver, Colorado; and Grant and his wife Lynn of Houston, Texas; 12 grandchildren: Nina, Ben, Blake, Brooks, Chase, Sarah, Hiller, Connor, Taylor, Parker, Caroline, and Adrienne; and seven great-grandchildren: Chase and Molly McGrath, Duke Sperry, Alice and Elenor Sperry, and Porter and Palmer Neel.

A memorial service will be held at the Middlebury Congregational Church in Middlebury, Connecticut, at a date and time to be determined. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations to Friends of Riverside Cemetery, PO Box 826, Waterbury, CT 06720; or visit to donate.  

—Submitted by the family.

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