Obituary : Leona D. Maciel
Leona Dow Maciel, 84, of Zephyrhills, Fla., and formerly of Vineyard Haven, died on Wednesday, April 15, in the Heartland Nursing Home in Zephyrhills after a brief illness.
Lee, as she was known to her family and many friends, was born Leona Maxine Dow in Highgate Falls, Vt., the daughter of Benjamin and Mae Dow. She was raised by her step-dad Corliss B. Centabar.
Lee attended State Teachers College in Johnson, Vt., then went on to graduate from Boston University with a B.S. in education in 1948. It was during her school years at B.U. she heard of the opportunity to teach on Martha's Vineyard. The then superintendent of schools Harold Lord was in Boston recruiting teachers, advising the prospective female teachers that there were plenty of good men on the Island. In 1948, Lee came to the Vineyard and went to work at the Tisbury School teaching remedial reading. She worked at the Tisbury School until 1952. During this time she met James Maciel, a young plumber working for his brother. They were married February 21, 1953.
Lee then became a fulltime mother to her sons Neal J. Maciel and Corliss (Corly) R. Maciel, both of Tisbury, and eventually the bookkeeper for her husband's plumbing business when he went out on his own. She later stayed on and worked for her son Corly after he took over the family business. Lee retired to Zephyrhills with her husband full-time in 1992, making many return trips to the Vineyard to visit family and friends.
Lee loved to knit and even more enjoyed teaching someone else to knit. She also loved bird watching. Her favorite was the cardinal.
Lee leaves behind many close friends including Bob and Louise Yapp, Stanley and Mary Marshall of Tisbury, and Catherine (Enos) Griffin of Falmouth.
Lee is survived by her husband James, her sons Neal and Corly, her daughter-in-law Marilyn, and grandsons Curtis and Denver Maciel. Lee was predeceased by her grandson Michael James Maciel. Lee is also survived by her cousins Helen Montgomery of Richford, Vt., and Anna Stevens of East Derry, N.H.
A memorial service on the Vineyard will be organized in the late summer or early fall.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee's memory may be sent to a charity or organization of one's choice.