Iva Fearon Leiter
Iva Fearon Leiter died peacefully at home on September 20, 2012 as a result of complications of Alzheimer's Disease. She was able to live at home during the last four years in the care of her devoted husband and three daughters. Throughout these years she maintained her sense of humor, grace and dignity.
Iva was born April 9, 1923 in Brownville Junction the first of four children to Joseph and Nora (Boyce) Fearon. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in the nursing program at Massachusetts General Hospital. While training as a scrub nurse in the operating room she met Laban Leiter, a Harvard Medical student. In 1945, Iva received her RN degree, Laban graduated from medical school, and they married and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. There Iva worked at the Holmes Hospital while Laban completed his internship.
In subsequent years, Iva worked as an office nurse in Martinsburg, W. Va. and as a surgical nurse at the VA Hospital in Denver, Colo. After three years in Manchester, N.H., Laban and Iva moved to Portland where Laban started his medical practice in their house in Portland's West End. Iva managed a whirlwind household, supported Laban's busy home based practice, and raised their six children — all of which she did with much love, creativity, and patience.
As the children grew, Iva became active in community affairs, including Portland Model Cities, United Way, and Portland Visiting Nurse Association. Iva was initially a board member on the VNA, then chairperson. She served many dedicated years as member, chairman and president of the Board of Community Health Services. During her first presidency she developed and implemented the merger of three small agencies to form CHS; during her second presidency she guided the agency through major changes resulting from the rapidly changing health care environment. In 1986, Iva was awarded the Roselle W. Huddilston Award by the Maine Lung Association for her distinguished service and outstanding contributions in the field of health to the people of the state of Maine.
Following her service with CHS and Laban's retirement in 1991 Iva enjoyed spending time with her children and three grandchildren. She also enjoyed the creativity and comradery of her rug hooking group. Iva was a consummate cook and loved to bake bread. Many plates were lovingly filled with her creations over the years. She was also a prolific reader whom friends and family sought out for advice and lively discussion.
Iva is survived by her husband of 67 years; children Bruce and his wife Meredith, Karl and his wife Marion, Elizabeth and her husband Dale, twins Janet and John, and Susan; and grandchildren Sarah, Melissa, and John. She is also survived by a sister Maxine Davis, brother Joseph Fearon, Margaret Fearon (widow of her brother Ross), and several nieces and nephews.
There will be no service per her wishes. Appropriate family gatherings and remembrances will be held at a later time — and in perpetuity.
Iva's family is grateful to Laureen Adams and Theresa Begin for their committed care over these four years. Special thanks are also extended to Dr. Richard Marino for his professional and compassionate care. Those wishing to honor and remember her life may contribute to the Alzheimer's Association, Community Health Services or charities of their choosing.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at hobbsfuneralhome.com.