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Leon R. Moulton passed from this life on January 7, 2024, in the same home where he was born on September 25, 1935, after many years of declining health. He was the elder son of Jerome and Helen (Smith) Moulton. His beloved brother James A. Moulton predeceased him in 2000.
Leon attended grade school at the Agamenticus School (at the corner of Mountain Road and Old Mountain Road) and then York High School, graduating in the Class of 1954. He had clear memories of his time in school and those classmates that famously misbehaved with him. Leon entered the US Naval Reserves at the age of seventeen, being honorably discharged, after serving the 8-year commitment. He re-enlisted and was honorably discharged again in 1963. After graduation from high school, he tried his hand at a number of jobs including delivering milk for Blaisdell Brothers, working at the York Country Club, painting houses, working as a traffic cop, plowing snow, and cutting wood, to name a few. He applied for work with the Maine Warden Service and was commissioned as an Inland Fish and Game Warden in 1958 and 1959, as a temporary warden, serving under District Warden Charles Libby. Wearing the Warden Service’s red wool coats, he recalled stopping southbound traffic at the tollbooths to speak to “hunters” and search vehicles during the October and November hunting seasons. After passing both the written and oral examination in 1960, he was offered a full-time position with Warden Service, but would have needed to move to Rockwood, Maine. He declined, because even then, he had no desire to leave York.
In the early 1960’s Leon was employed with the snow removal department to plow the runway at Pease Air Force Base in Newington, NH. After one particularly harsh New England winter, he had earned enough overtime to purchase a used school bus. Leon spent that summer repainting and repairing the bus, and in the fall began his long association with the York School Department as an independent contractor. Over three decades, he added buses and hired drivers. He spent many summers repairing buses and training drivers, always considering it his part-time job. At the end of the “run”—as he called it, he had bought and sold dozens of buses for service to generations of York students. In the late sixties, he was appointed Road Commissioner by the Board of Selectman, He was eventually elected to the position, but during a hiatus, he was Field Supervisor for the 1970 Census, one of the few jobs he ever held that required him to wear a necktie (and he hated it…) He also worked as a subforeman for MDOT, but eventually was elected to the position of Road Commissioner and later became Director of Public Works, retiring from that position in 1999. While he hated snow, he took pride in the improvements made over many of York’s sixty miles of roads. His speeches at town meetings and his annual report as Director of Public Works, were occasionally sprinkled with his dry wit. Quoting him, describing one year’s work at the DPW, “We came to work every day, we worked hard, we didn’t get everything done and we never will, we will see you tomorrow.”
Leon was always interested in local politics and served on two of York’s Charter Commissions, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, the Budget Committee, Tax Abatement Board, Firearms Committee and most recently the Board of Appeals. He was a lifetime Republican and served as a delegate to the Maine Republican Convention for more than 4 decades. He was a true patriot that often remarked that he had lived during America’s greatest years.
Leon married Mary (Thompson) May 5, 1956, and they had three children, David, Wendy and Marvin, raising his family in the 1895 Cape Neddick home where generations of Moulton’s lived. He committed to purchasing every piece of abutting undeveloped property contingent with the original parcel. Over the years, he amassed hundreds of acres. He considered himself a true land conservationist and took pride in own efforts to preserve the property around him. His management of the land included rebuilding many ancient stone walls, selective tree cutting and preserving the fields. His knowledge of property and subdivision laws served him well, and as a member of the York Appeals Board, he sided with the land or homeowner, whenever it could be justified.
Leon got his pilot’s license in the 1960’s and bought a Cessna Skyhawk 172 in 1982. He took friends and family for plane rides for 25 years in Southern Maine and New Hampshire, until he sold the plane in 2005. He rode and collected a few Harley Davidson motorcycles and was a fan of the annual pilgrimage to Laconia for “motorcycle weekend” as well as the races at Daytona Beach in Florida.
Leon was an avid sportsman all of his life and loved to hunt, especially birds. He could recall walking the Ogunquit Road (now Clay Hill Road) as a young man and seeing as many as a dozen grouse. In those early years, in bird season, he would walk to Marshalls Store after school, buy one shotgun shell for a nickel or less, and walk the seven miles home to hunt that afternoon. In his lifetime, he had seen the demise of the grouse in Southern Maine and the resurgence of the wild turkey, a bird that he loved. In his retirement years, he traveled to South Carolina, South America and Canada on many hunting trips with family and friends. He always enjoyed annual trips to Rangely during bird season, with Billie, and later Bonnie, his two hunting dogs.
Of all of his many pets, his most beloved was his cat, Tucker, who lived more than twenty years. The cat was especially spoiled, to the consternation of everyone else and Leon was heartbroken when Tucker died in 2021.
Leon is survived by his son, David and his wife, Lisa (Essenberg), his daughter Wendy Moulton Sullivan and her husband, Kenneth Sullivan, and his son, Marvin Moulton, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He will be fondly remembered by the many whose lives he touched.
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