Catherine McIntire Leslie died on October 5 in the company of her family at Fox Hill Village, Westwood, MA, her home for the past 19 years. She was 96 years old and led a full and wonderful life. Born in New Jersey, Catherine previously lived in Englewood, NJ for 52 years where she raised her family of four. She summered on Fishers Island, NY.
Affectionately called “Mackie” she had an enthusiasm for life and people, especially her family. She travelled extensively to over 39 countries and delighted in taking family groups on cruises to Europe, or horseback riding and river rafting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Always up for a good time, she bought a 1935 Fire Truck which was used in parades and summertime events. She believed that memories make the best gift and her family now cherishes the many fond times with her at Fishers Island and on family vacations.
She was an independent thinker and always spoke her mind. Devoted to education, she became the President of the Board of Dwight-Englewood School where she launched the Three School Foundation, a cooperative fundraising program for Englewood’s private schools. She attended Ethel Walker School where she became an accomplished equestrian, and later served as a Trustee and President of the Alumni Association. She was a member of the President’s Council of the National Association of Independent Schools. She attended Vassar College and remained a loyal alumna.
Mackie had a deep-seated interest in history. She was active in the DAR and Colonial Dames. She enjoyed genealogical libraries and followed the lines of her family tree from the 1600’s to the present day. She was an avid antique collector, most memorably, of Stanhopes. Above all, Mackie was about fun. She loved attending the Philharmonic in both New York and Boston. She was a long time member of the Fishers Island Club and the Colony Club in New York City. She entertained regularly. She loved making people laugh.
As matriarch, she relished her 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren with whom she had a unique and magical bond. Even in her last days, Mackie exhibited her positive attitude and great sense of humor with family members and friends. Mackie was predeceased by her second husband of 27 years, banker George Robert Leslie. She is survived by her children H. Ashley Smith, Jr. of Lenox, MA; Catherine S. Leonard of Simsbury, CT; Patricia S. Perron of Parker, CO; and William T.M. Smith of Londonderry, VT. She was dearly loved by her family and her many friends. She will be sorely missed and will be remembered for her insight and incredible zest for life.
Her service will be held Tuesday, November 18th, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 59 Court Street, Dedham, MA.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent in memory of Catherine Leslie to the Fishers Island Fire Department, P.O. Box 123, Fishers Island, New York 06390 or to Ethel Walker School/Fund for Walkers, 230 Bushy Hill Rd., Simsbury, CT 06070.
Published in The Boston Globe on October 12, 2014