Leavy, H. James
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H. James Leavy, of Westport, CT, died peacefully on February 10, 2014, at the age of 83.
Born on May 29, 1930, in New York, New York, James was the son of entrepreneur Samuel Leavy and social columnist Lena L. Leavy, and brother to predeceased Gerald Leavy, who passed away in 2012.
Too young to enlist during WWII but greatly motivated to serve his country, James accelerated his studies by graduating from the Milford Academy one year early and matriculated to George Washington University. Upon graduation, James quickly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant. James was stationed and fought in Korea during the first years of the Korean War and was later stationed in Tokyo and Hawaii. He was a proud veteran who always extolled the greatness of America and its promise of freedom and democracy around the world. Upon returning to the U.S., James began a successful career in the fashion industry serving in executive positions, first at Stern Brothers where he met a beautiful retail buyer, Emilia Anne Zemo, who went on to be his wife of nearly 60 years. James later worked at Colonial Corporation of the Gulf and Western Corp., and later in his career, at Mast Industries in Brookline, MA, where he was the Executive Vice President of Asian Operations.
James was a loving husband, son, brother, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Emilia Anne, five children Donald Leavy, Dana Langham, Daniel Leavy, Douglas Lowell, and David Leavy, and nine healthy and happy grandchildren Emily, Wesley, Jeremy, Caitlin, Megan, Christopher, Edward, Gavin and Gardiner.
James was a voracious reader whose passions included history, politics, national security, international travel, horse racing, and his favorite New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. James had a passion for Winston Churchill, whom he greatly admired for his mastery of emotive language, and was always handy with an appropriate Churchill quote for whatever the moment required. He was known to family, friends and colleagues for his sharp wit, booming voice, superior vocabulary, and cultured intellect. He will be greatly missed.
Published in Westport News from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2014