Isabelle M. (McHugh) Leen

September 21, 2018

Isabelle M. (McHugh) Leen
U.S. Veteran

US Navy

WWII

of Woburn, September 21st, at 99 years of age.  Beloved wife of the late Henry M. Leen.  Cherished mother of Katherine A. Leen of Woburn, Mary Leen of Charlestown, Anne Leen of SC, Jane Leen of Boston, Kevin T. Leen, his wife Jean of NH, Michael J. Leen, his wife Sara Kiesselbach of Arlington, Mark Leen, his wife Anthonette of CA, and Martha Leen of Newburyport and her late husband Joe Piacquad.  Dear sister of Paul P. McHugh, his wife Kathleen of WI and the late John, Frank, Margaret and Kathleen McHugh.  Loving grandmother of Taylor, Cameron, Isabella, Lila, Harry, Marco, Anthony, Celeste, Alana and the late Annabelle.  Also survived by her loving nephews, cousins and friends.  A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Wednesday, September 26th at 10 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony Church, 850 Main Street, Woburn at 11.  Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Winchester.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Tuesday evening, 6-8 p.m..    At the families request in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Isabell’s honor to the Mission of Deeds, 6 Chapin Ave, Reading, MA, 01867 OR  to the charity of your choice. 

Isabelle M. Leen passed away peacefully on September 21st, surrounded by her family.

A native of Amesbury, MA, Isabelle was the oldest of six children born to Catherine K. and John McHugh. The first in her family to go to college, she attended Boston University, graduating with a degree in Romance Languages; in gratitude she later awarded an undergraduate prize named in her honor. At BU she was a member of Pi Lambda Sigma sorority where she formed lifelong friendships with several of her sorority sisters.

After graduating, Isabelle stayed in Boston and began her career. She worked first for the Boston Yanks (short lived NFL team), Liberty Mutual Insurance, and the Boston Public Library. During World War II she enlisted in the U.S. Navy, earning the rank of lieutenant. While working at Liberty Mutual, she met her future husband, Henry (Harry) M. Leen over the phone. Initially resistant, she eventually agreed to a date; they married not long afterward. She and Harry settled in his hometown of Woburn, MA, where he practiced law, and together they raised eight children.

Despite the chaos of so many children, Isabelle reveled in family life. She attended countless sporting events, plays, and awards dinners. She enjoyed hearing about her children’s experiences during nightly dinners. She loved nothing more than a college tour, often with a less excited child in tow. During summers spent at the family cottage in Seabrook, NH, she was known to spontaneously announce, “It’s a mountains day!” She would pack a lunch, load her brood and her mother into the family station wagon, and head to the White Mountains. Lake Winnipesaukee and Franconia were favorite destinations.

While raising her children, Isabelle also pursued several interests. She was skilled in furniture reupholstery and refinishing. Her furniture refinishing, in particular, won many prizes in local exhibitions. She was also renowned for her meringue-baking skills, delivering dozens to family and friends at various holidays. A devout Catholic, she was one of the first Lay Eucharistic Ministers at St. Anthony’s Parish. She was a longtime volunteer at Mission of Deeds in Reading. Later in life, Isabelle developed a love of travel and with friends and family toured the U.S. and Europe, with a special fondness for California.

Isabelle was predeceased by her husband, her sisters Peggy and Kay, her brothers Jack and Frank, her son-in-law Joseph Piacquad, and infant granddaughter Annabelle Leen.

She is survived by her children: Katherine, Mary, Anne (Gibson Smith), Jane, Kevin (Jean), Michael (Sara), Mark (Anthonette), and Martha; and her brother Paul (Kathleen) and several nephews. She also leaves her nine grandchildren: Taylor and Cameron Leen, Isabella, Harry and Lila Piacquad, Marco and Anthony Leen, and Alana and Celeste Leen. As the matriarch and center of her family, Isabelle will be remembered for her keen and curious mind, excellent sense of humor, and friendliness to all.

A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Main Street, Woburn at 11:00. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Winchester. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Tuesday evening, 6-8 p.m. At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Isabelle’s honor to the Mission of Deeds, 6 Chapin Avenue, Reading, MA 01867 or to the charity of your choice.

Isabelle’s family extends a special thanks to the staffs of both Hearthstone and Cooperative Elder Services of Burlington for the affectionate and attentive care they provided during the last year of her life.

A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Main Street, Woburn at 11:00. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Winchester. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Tuesday evening, 6-8 p.m. At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Isabelle’s honor to the Mission of Deeds, 6 Chapin Avenue, Reading, MA 01867 or to the charity of your choice.

Guestbook

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  1. Kevin, Mike, Mark and all of the Leen family. Sorry to hear about the loss your mother. Ralph and Mary Ellen.

  2. Nick & Carol Xenos

    Katherine, Martha, Mark, and all of you–

    We couldn’t have asked for more thoughtful, helpful and lovely neighbors during our years in Woburn. Our thoughts are with you and your Mum. Nick and Carol Xenos York, ME

  3. Katherine, Mary, Anne, Jane, Kevin, Michael, Mark, and Martha,

    I was so sorry to hear of your beloved mother’s passing. She was a kind and dignified woman, who left a wonderful legacy of a long life well-lived. May she rest in peace with your father now.

    Kate Martin

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