Leo Isadore Poitras Jr., of Hooksett, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Leo was 85 years old.
He was born on August 14, 1936 to Leo Poitras Sr. and Maria B. (Chretien) Poitras of Manchester, NH.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Doris Mary Viola (Vincent) Poitras, his son Norman Leo Poitras and his daughter-in-law Vera (Lee) Poitras. He was predeceased by his brother, Roger W. Poitras. He leaves behind several cousins, a niece, a nephew, family members and friends.
Leo grew up in Manchester and graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1957. He and his good friend, Norman 'Buzzy' Plantier, got into body building in their youth. Leo even won a few competitions.
For a time, Leo worked at Buzzy's Building Materials in Manchester. That was where his love of wood and fine craftsmanship developed. He learned the finer tools of the trade from Buzzy, and discovered a talent for making raised panels and fine cabinetry. He loved being able to turn homes into masterpieces using crown molding and wainscoting, making custom-built cabinets and restoring stairways. He had his own business for 40 years.
In 1970 Leo and Doris welcomed Norman into their lives and the beautiful baby became the object of their affection from that point on.
Norman often accompanied Leo to work on weekends where he served as a gopher, getting tools, doing errands, and helping as much as he could. One day Norman watched his father's pencil roll off a counter and knew that the work day wasn't going to end until that counter was true and level. "There was no bike riding that day," he said.
It was through woodworking that Leo's love of history naturally developed. He loved old tools and how they turned wooden blocks and boards into treasures. Over the years his collection of hand planes grew and he was proud to show them off to admirers.
He loved visiting colonial Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH, where he could see tradesmen working with 18th century tools and creating beautiful, usable, historically accurate elements. He joined the Hookset Historical Society after he retired and helped them create hand carved wooden signs for the 197-year-old town.
He loved gardening and growing flowers and vegetables.
When his son opened Casual Cape in Moultonborough in 2001, Leo spent hours restoring the 1760 center chimney Cape Cod style. Leo worked hard to restore it to its authentic beauty. The work included making raised paneling around the fireplace, replacing old pocket shutters, and building a front door out of old pine.
His easy manner and sociable nature made him a welcome presence in the gift shop and people stopped by to visit and watch him work.
He loved everybody and he loved life. Everyone who met Leo loved him. He made an impression on everyone.
Leo was a strong but gentle man who loved all animals. He loved dogs, and had a special place in his heart for Lizzy.
SERVICES: A wake will be held on Sunday, March 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home on Elm St., Manchester. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 10 a.m. at Ste. Marie Roman Catholic Church, 378 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester. Burial will follow the mass at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Manchester.