Leo Francis McNamara died peacefully at his home in Hamburg, Michigan on February 9, 2012. He was born June 3, 1933 in Clinton Massachusetts to Leo and Helen (Weaver) McNamara. He married Barbara Brousseau in 1955, with whom he had seven children, then Deborah (Lesher) McNamara in 1980, with whom he had two children. Leo graduated from Clinton High School in 1950 and magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1954 with a B.A. in English. He chose not to pursue graduate study, but instead began his academic career as a research assistant in the Harvard Psychological Clinic. He was twice a Fulbright Scholar; first in Celtic philology at Queen's University, Belfast and later as a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at Trinity College, Dublin. He accepted an invitation to join as Instructor in English at the University of Michigan. There, he served forty years, teaching courses in nearly all periods, genres, and major authors. He created and taught courses on Ireland for the Department of History. He was a remarkable teacher and a longtime honors tutor, advisor, and counselor; he received the University of Michigan Distinguished Teaching Award. After retirement as full Professor, he was named professor emeritus and then taught Shakespeare at Ave Maria School of Law. One of Leos most compelling talents was to translate his love of literature into stage performances. A member of Actor's Equity, he performed with regional theaters in and around Ann Arbor and the Detroit area. Most recently, Leo was on staff at the Ann Arbor Rehabilitation Center, bringing his experience to the treatment of the persons served there. Ever the teacher, Leo continues his work by leaving his body to the University of Michigan. Leo is survived by his wife Deborah and their children Elizabeth (Zamir Toska) McNamara Toska, Emily McNamara, and his step children Heidi Bonetti and Christopher (Stephanie) Tolonen. He is survived by Barbara ODonnell (Brousseau) and their children Michael (Kevin Putz) McNamara, Anne (Glenn) Vande Water, Sean (Rhonda Claridge) McNamara, Leo (Jowita) McNamara, Mary McNamara, Margaret (David OBrien) McNamara, Nora (Hugh Culik) McNamara. Also surviving are seven grandchildren; his sisters, Patricia (Walter) Sadowski and Mary (George) Cantrell; and his brother, John J. (Meredith) McNamara. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on February 14, 2012 at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Hamburg, Michigan.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by The Times & Courier - Clinton from Feb. 21 to Feb. 28, 2012.