GUILDHALL, Vt. - Leslie B. Menzies, 100, passed away peacefully Dec. 22, 2013, at the Merrimack County Nursing Home in Boscawen, surrounded by his family.
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Les was born in Manchester, N.H., on Oct. 19, 1913, to William B. Menzies and Zella M. (Adams) Menzies. He received his education in the public schools of Manchester, Boise, Idaho, Goffstown, N.H., and Concord, N.H., graduating from Concord High School in 1932. There he was a member of the track and field teams and a member of the state champion cross country teams in 1930 and 1931. While still in high school, he joined the N.H. National Guard and served in the 197th Coast Artillery Headquarters Battery. This unit saw service in the Amoskeag Mill riots in Manchester. He is best remembered for his boxing ability in the 1930s as undefeated Golden Glove and Diamond Belt Champion in the light-heavyweight division.
He joined the Concord, N.H., Police Department in April 1936 and in 1937 became the first trooper to enlist in the newly created Department of State Police. He had a long and distinguished career of over 34 years with the State Police, retiring in 1972 with the rank of lieutenant. In 1940, he became New Hampshire's first recipient of the Medal of Valor as a result of a shoot-out with a holdup murderer in Swanzey. In 1941, he was awarded the first Valor-Honor Bar by the New England Police Revolver League. Around 1950, with the department's backing, he set up a police training school in Henniker, which was heavily attended by town and city police officers from central and southern New Hampshire. At various times he also served as troop commander of Troop C in Keene and Troop F in Twin Mountain. Promoted to lieutenant in 1962, he was assigned to duty of setting up patrols on the newly created Interstate Highway System. He served as firearms instructor for 22 years and was the riot and crowd control instructor and saw action in the riots of Hampton Beach and Weirs Beach in the 1960s. He was also captain of the State Police Pistol Team.
After his retirement from the State Police he became chief of security for the N.H. State Legislature, retiring in 1983. He then moved from Hopkinton, N.H., to Guildhall, in 1985, where he resided 37 years.
He was a member of Harmony Lodge 38 F & AM of Hillsborough. He had been a member of the National Rifle Association since 1938. Les was an avid hunter, fisherman and target shooter. He loved sailing and built many of his own sailboats. He and his wife Alice were members of the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club for 30 years. He also was an avid motorcyclist, beginning in the late 1920s with a 1928 Harley-Davidson, and continued to ride into his 70s.
He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Alice, in 2007.
He is survived by a sister, Alice Beardsley of Aurora, Colo.; a daughter, Shirley Stemska of Goffstown, N.H.; a son, Douglas Menzies and his wife, Rose, of Groveton, N.H.; a daughter, Patricia Guay and her husband, Stephen, of Hopkinton, N.H.; eight grandchildren, Jay, Robert, Heather, Jennifer, Abigail, Aaron, Eric and Autumn and 10 great-grandchildren.
services: Calling hours will be Saturday, Dec. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bailey Funeral Home, 210 Main St., Lancaster. Burial will take place in the spring at the Ridgewell Cemetery in Guildhall, Vt.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Les' memory may be made to the N.H. Retired State Troopers Association, 206 Airport Road, Concord, 03301, or to the NRA ILA, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Go to www.baileyfh.net for more information or to send an online condolence.
Bailey Funeral Home
210 Main Street Lancaster, NH 03584
Published in Union Leader on Dec. 24, 2013