Leonard S. Van Gaasbeek, Jr., Len, or Lenny as many people knew him, of Hollis, died peacefully of natural causes April 29, 2019, in his home at Green Peace Farm.
The loving care of his family and closest friends surrounded him during his final weeks.
Born in Schenectady, N.Y., to Martha E. Thompson and Leonard Sitzer Van Gaasbeek of Stuart, Florida, Len was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Christine Larson, and his sister, Jeanne Van Gaasbeek Small. Leonard S. Van Gaasbeek, Jr. is survived by his children, Leonard Van Gaasbeek III and his wife Hazel, Brian Van Gaasbeek, and Holly Van Gaasbeek McCarthy and her husband Sean, as well as his grandchildren, Matthew Van Gaasbeek, Cedric Stoddard and Kate McCarthy. Len also leaves behind his two nieces, Debbie Johnson and Wendy Small as well as his extended family, including Andrea and Jonathan Mac Alpine, and their children, Elliot and Paige Mac Alpine, Sarah Swenson, Alessandro Girasoli, and Elizabeth Rossignol.
Len graduated from Abington High School near Philadelphia in 1948. He earned his B.A. in Social Relations as a member of the First Graduating Class of Brandeis University where he also met and married the art student Christine Larson, in 1952. In 1967 Len earned his MBA from Northeastern University’s Business School, and in 1974 a CAGS [Advanced Graduate Study Certificate] in Educational Administration from Northeastern University’s School of Education.
Following college Len served 12 years as an officer in the US Marine Corps, on active duty as an ordinance specialist at several Marine Corps bases across the US, as well as in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, retiring with the rank of Captain. He began his life as a civilian in Concord, Massachusetts with his family where he served as an Assistant Director of Admission at Northeastern University. While living in Concord, the family actively participated in the community theater group, The Concord Players.
In 1976, the family moved to Hollis Center and built their home at Green Peace Farm. With his wife and daughter, they actively participated in local and regional equestrian events around Maine. Professionally, Len became a business manager for the Town of Saco Public Schools. He served as CFO of Saint Joseph’s College in Standish. In his last position prior to retirement, Len worked as the General Manager of the Lake Arrowhead Community.
A former Selectman for the Town of Hollis, Len had been active in town planning and after his term continued to serve on many other town committees, including planning for Hollis’ new town complex to come.
A private family memorial event will be held at a later date. If you wish, you may donate to the Hollis Lions Club in the name of Leonard S. Van Gaasbeek Jr., and mail the check to Hollis Lions, 876 Hollis Road, Hollis, ME 04042.