formerly of Spring Lake
Leonard Taft, formerly of Spring Lake, recently of Ocean, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at home. Mr. Taft was born in Bovina, NY in 1918. He attended St. Bernards School in Gladstone, where he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. An outstanding athlete, he held the NJ state swimming record in breast stroke for many years.
Mr. Taft attended Newark College of Engineering and was an engineer by profession. He worked for Hughes Aircraft and Lockheed Martin, to name a few. He served in the U.S. Army's 7th Regiment in New York City. When WWII
broke out, he served in the U.S. Navy
on the Liberty ship the WM. H. Wilmer in a convoy to Russia. At the age of 65, Mr. Taft got his pilot's license and flew his Ultralight aircraft for several years.
He was predeceased by his wife, the former Beverly Bodine, who died in 1981. Mr. Taft is survived by his son and his wife, Mary of Island Heights; and daughter, Nancy and her husband Oliver P. Keelan. He has six grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
A private family burial is planned. Arrangements by the Bailey Funeral Home of Peapack.