Robert (Bob) Leccese, 82, passed away peacefully at Lahey Clinic in Burlington on November 11, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Bob was born December 20, 1940 in Somerville, Mass. to Florence (Tuccelli) Leccese and Angelo Leccese. The family moved to Woburn when he was 8-years-old and Bob remained living in that family home, which he cared for meticulously, until his death.
Bob attended Woburn Public Schools (although he would rather be, and often was, fishing), graduating from Woburn High School in 1958. At Woburn High he was a star athlete, playing football and basketball, and running track.
He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany from 1961-1964. While in Germany, he saw fellow soldier Elvis Presley cleaning a missile silo, and took photos of President John F. Kennedy riding in a convertible two years before his assassination.
Bob spent 35 years working as a foreman at the Sealtest/Breyers ice cream factory in Framingham and he never stopped loving ice cream. He retired early in order to care for his mom, Florence, when she became ill with Parkinson’s Disease.
He loved bowling, racing remote-controlled cars, playing softball, and fishing on “Jumbo,” the boat he shared with his brother and best friend, Tom, which was docked in Newburyport. He spent summer weekends in the 1980’s and early 90’s with Tom and his family at Rusnick Family Campground in Salisbury, and later Hidden Valley Campground in Derry, NH, where they had a trailer and made many lifelong friends.
Bob was a prolific gardener and cook who produced a bounty of basil, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, and more every summer. With few exceptions, he refused to eat food from restaurants, because he knew what he liked and he knew he could make it better than any chef. He took great joy in his culinary creations and the explosive messes he made while crafting them – especially when making homemade chicken soup. He loved to share the food he grew and made with family and friends.
He loved the Bruins and Celtics and tolerated the Red Sox and Patriots. He also loved the Green Bay Packers – especially during the Aaron Rodgers years.
Bob was strong willed and stubborn, but that was tempered by his incredible generosity, fierce loyalty, and great sense of humor. He was a bit of a klutz, but also somehow had the ability to build or fix pretty much anything and solve any problem.
He was always the first person to step up if a family member needed help. Although he never married or had children of his own, he stepped into the Dad role for his brother’s kids when Tom passed away unexpectedly in 1993 and took great pride in the accomplishments of his niece and nephew and their children.
Bob is survived by his sister-in-law Roberta Leccese, of Dracut; his niece Jennifer Myers and her husband John, of Dracut; his nephew Steven Leccese and his wife Jennifer, of Tomball, Texas; his great nieces Isabella Myers of Dracut, and Sophia and Eliana Leccese of Tomball, Texas; his great nephew Jack Leccese, of Tomball, Texas; and several cousins.
In accordance with Bob’s wishes there will be no services. In lieu of services, Bob would like you all to eat good food, cheer on your favorite sports teams, and enjoy your lives.