â€śWe make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we giveâ€ť (Winston Churchill)
Harold â€śHankâ€ť Peasley, beloved husband, father, quintessential gentleman, and all round good man died holding his daughterâ€™s hand on April 8, 2017, at the Masonicare Health Center while under the compassionate care of Center staff and Franciscan Homecare and Hospice. Hank was born on Aug. 13, 1922, in Rockland, Maine to Della (Moulden) and Marvin Peasley. He grew up with much love at the State Military and Naval Childrenâ€™s Home, graduating in 1942 from Morse High School in Bath, Maine. He lettered in five sports while at Morse High School. Hank served in the 87th Mountain Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops in World War II from 1942 to 1945. He trained in Alpine skiing at Camp Hale, Colorado, and fought in the north Apennine Mountains of Italy, where he saw battles at Mount Belvedere and Riva Ridge. He was also involved in the campaign to recapture the Aleutian island of Kiska which was held by the Japanese.
When he returned to Maine after the War he attended and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono, studying under the GI bill to earn a psychology degree. Hank relocated to New Britain, Conn. after college to take a job in the personnel department of Landers, Frary, & Clark, a company well known for its manufacture of Universal products. It was in a coffee shop that he spotted Florence Kristopik and pursued her until she agreed to become his wife. They were married on July 5, 1952, at Holy Cross Church in New Britain and she has been the love of his life for 64 years. Hank also served as the Assistant Director of the New Britain/ Berlin United Way, and Development Director at Mount St. John School in Deep River. Hank enjoyed a painting and wallpapering career after retirement, which carried him into his 80s.
In his youth Hank enjoyed fishing, golf, crafting clocks with his daughter out of lobster traps, and chair caning. Hank earned many civic awards as a young man. In 1956 he earned the Young Man of the Year Junior Chamber of Commerce Award, and an American Red Cross National Award for the leadership and talents he gave to several blood programs. He served as the President of the Berlin Kiwanis Club from 1970-1971. Hank and his wife Florence have been members of St. Paulâ€™s Church in Kensington since 1966 when they moved to Kensington from New Britain. Hank was humbled and honored to be embraced by the Greater Middletown Chorale as a 10th Mountain Division veteran in their production of the Letter from Italy 1944: A New American Oratorio documentary. He cherished the connections he made with the chorale members. Hank was preceded in death by his mother and stepdad, Della and Lloyd Richardson, and his older brother Nathan Peasley. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Florence; his son, John Peasley and daughter, Nancy Driska who cared for him in his home until his Masonicare admission this week. He also leaves his cherished granddaughter, Leah (Michael) Lee of Honolulu, Hawaii.
He leaves his younger brother, Leroy Peasley, and his special sister, Harriet (Vernon) Thompson of Maine. He also leaves his very dear sister-in-law, Jean Cannarella and Leo Moran of Colchester, Conn. He also leaves many caring nieces and nephews in Connecticut, Maine and New York.
Hank also leaves behind some very special friends including Michael and Bryan King and his John Boyle Paint Company family, Paul Eshoo and Al Gregory and his Berlin VFW Post 10732 buddies, Charlie and Linda Worden, and his Spring Street neighbors. His family would like to thank his many caregivers who have helped him remain at home for all his 94 years. It certainly took a village! Special thanks to the Bel Air Manor rehab team who got him home for three years following a serious fall on the ice. The family also extends heartfelt gratitude to his Franciscan Everthere caregivers who became like family. They include Kathleen Winiarski, Theda Killen, Dottie Pierce, and his live in caregiver, Agyemang Bediako, who lovingly cared for him in his home the last month of his life.
Sincere thanks to the kindness of Barbara and John Coughlin, Carmen and Linda Guzzardi and Father Robert Schlageter who brought comfort to him his last afternoon at home. Many thanks to Mary Andrews who has helped Hank in ways too numerous to count.
A service will be held at the Farrell Funeral Home, 110 Franklin Square, New Britain, Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Britain Industrial Museum, 185 Main St., New Britain, CT 06051 in Hankâ€™s name. To send a condolence, please visit www.FarrellFuneralHome.com .