Longtime Music Instructor, Accomplished Concert Pianist, Artist, Builder
SPRINGFIELD, N.H. — A celebration of life was held at the Sunapee United Methodist Church on June 15 for Julian Durgin Leach, 78, who died suddenly, yet peacefully at his home on June 2.
He was born in Madison, Maine on June 10, 1934, son of Henry and Ethel Durgin of Bingham, Maine.
He received his bachelor of music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass., and his master’s degree at Fitchburg State College.
He served in the Navy during the Korean War and concertized in his travels. He worked as a music instructor at Camp Vega, Maine, served schools in Wilton, Farmington and Milton, N.H., Oakland, Maine, Mascoma Regional School in Enfield and retired from Kearsarge Regional School District as music educator in 1995. He was the Minister of Music at Rochester Methodist Church where he was choir director and organist and led the Brookline Choral Society. He was a music educator at the private Perkins School for Emotionally and Mentally Challenged in Lancaster, Mass. He also was pianist in the Newport Opera House Bank and in the group “The Expressions.” He was an accomplished concert pianist, private pilot, artist, builder, published writer and local actor with the Homesteaders, the Town Hall Players, the New London Barn Players and his latest in Skit where he played the part of Gershwin. Julian was instrumental in the grand opening of the Palace Theatre and later received statewide recognition and award as “best male performer” in “A Christmas Memory.”
During his retirement he enjoyed building their dream home, gardening, RV traveling, fishing, golf and his family.
He loved his God and touched the lives and talents of many students, family and friends.
He leaves his wife, Nancee and their children, Shawn (Concord, N.H.), Julie (Hartland) and Jody (Keene, N.H.) The spouses and grandchildren include, Shawn’s wife, Elizabeth Jobin, Julie’s husband, David Abernethy, their children, Leah and Noah, Jody’s wife, Kristin (Abbott,) their daughters, Karin, McKenzie, Jayna and Eliza Leach; Julian’s sister, Dorothy Rebarick (LaMesa, Calif.) his half-brother, John Durgin and his wife, Phoebe, Bingham, Maine.
He was predeceased by his biological parents, Henry and Ethel Durgin, Bingham, Maine and his adoptive parents (at four years of age) Harold and Hazel leach, Skowhegan, Maine.
A memorial Julian D. Leach Music Scholarship will be created and presented to an aspiring Kearsarge Regional High School graduate.
Donations in his memory can be made to his charity: the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org/waystohelp) or the Lake Sunapee United Methodist Church.
Please visit the online guest book via Chadwick’s Funeral Home, New London.
This obituary first appeared in the June 20, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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