Greenwich-Iona May McLeland, 97, of Greenwich, New York, beloved mother of Jana Vaye McLeland of Shushan, New York, and Karyn Ann Sobing of Cambridge, New York, passed away peacefully at home on June 3, 2021 with her daughters by her side.
She was born on a farm in Superior, Colorado on March 19, 1924 to Leon Louis Wattelet and Louise Mary (LeComte) Wattelet. During World War II she worked at a defense plant making bullets. After marriage she was a telephone operator in Boulder, Colorado. In the days before color photographs she colored by hand the black and white photos taken by her husband who was a professional photographer. She enjoyed fishing, picnicking, and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains until marriage took her from her beloved Colorado to Syracuse, New York and then in 1957 to Clearwater, Florida where she lived for forty years. There she was employed by Montgomery Ward as a cashier and then a staffer in Human Resources, QVC, the U.S. Census, and Bank of America (formerly Bank of Clearwater), retiring as a loan clerk.
She loved the natural beauty and wildlife of Florida, enjoying collecting shells on the beach with which she created dioramas and growing orchids and bromeliads on her porch. Her love of organ music, ignited by her older brother, led her to take lessons with the renowned theatre organist Terry Charles, who became a dear friend. In 1998 she relocated to Greenwich, New York to be near her daughters. She continued her love of birdwatching and found gardening with native plants to be rewarding. She loved to cook for family and friends, making wonderful meals based on her French heritage. A person of great curiosity and many talents, she was generous and thoughtful and will be dearly missed by family and friends.
She is survived by daughters Jana Vaye McLeland and Karyn Ann Sobing (Michael), niece Bunny (Barry) Haycock of Herriman, Utah, and Robert Lawrence, husband of niece Velma Lee Lawrence.
She is predeceased by her brother Raymond Wattelet and sister-in-law Elly Wattelet, her sister Hazel Allen and brother-in-law Gail Allen, nieces Judy Stockett and Velma Lee Lawrence, ex-husband Hubert Leon McLeland, and beloved dog Jack and constant kitty companion Pepper.
Her family is grateful for the Fort Hudson NHTD program which provided her very caring aides, especially Judy Shaw, Karen Ebbert, and Trudy Bongiovi, as well as nurses and staff who made it possible for her to remain in her home. Her family also appreciates the support and care of the Greenwich/Salem/Cambridge Family Health Centers.
Memorial donations may be made to the Easton-Greenwich Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 84 Greenwich, NY 12834, which provided her assistance on several occasions.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Iona May (Wattelet) McLeland, please visit our floral store.
Easton-Greenwich Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 84, Greenwich NY 12834