Leroy Syphers, of Greenland, NH, passed away peacefully on March 15, 2022, at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. He was preceded by his wife and love of his life, Priscilla “Putzie” Syphers, with whom he enjoyed 59 years of marriage.
“Leap” was born on April 16, 1936, the son of Alden and Catherine Syphers. He lived his entire life in Greenland, growing up on the family homestead on Portsmouth Ave, and built his own home and raised his family directly across the street. Through his life he was a proud steward of his family farmland, tirelessly mowing fields and foresting. He loved his Kubota tractor.
Leap attended Portsmouth High School and graduated with the class of 1954. Immediately after high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force in and served four years active duty. He was always proud of his military service and enjoyed his military deployment. He first shipped off to Cheyenne, WY, for training and then was assigned to work as a Cryptographer, based on the outskirts of Paris. Big adventures for a young man from small town NH.
Upon his return, Leap took an apprenticeship at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a Pipe Fitter. He left the Navy Yard briefly in 1971 and opened a Citgo Service Station in town. After three years he returned to the Navy Yard when he realized a businessperson must charge for his services. Leap had a hard time writing up repair invoices for people and their car troubles. He loved his Navy Yard, and retired in 1997 as a General Foreman, Shop 11. His last responsibilities included coordinating and overseeing remote submarine overhaul projects in the US, and at bases in Spain and Scotland where he was able to temporarily relocate for extended periods of time.
Leap loved to travel, and he and Putzie were able to enjoy many trips throughout the world. His travel passion, coupled with an optimistic outlook, caused him to renew his US Passport at the age of 83. Throughout his life Leap cherished his summer weekends “upta” camp in Thornton, NH, where, starting in the 1950s, he created wonderful memories with friends and family. Through his life he enjoyed fishing, hunting, oystering and clam digging. Leap was an excellent dancer, and his ballroom moves with Putzie were epic. At family parties, there would always be at least one playing of his anthem: Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”, which would get a big yahoo out of him and get the whole family on the dance floor.
Leap was a talented carpenter, mechanic and handyman. He enjoyed a very rich retirement. He was a founding volunteer for trail and maintenance services at the Great Bay Wildlife Refuge. He and his good friend Paul created Grumpy Old Men Handyman Services. He was an excellent cook and became Putzie’s personal chef. He learned how to sail and spent several summers on Great Bay in his sloop, The Pretty Putzie.
Leap was a patriotic American and a lifelong member of The Greenland Vets, where his father was a founder. Leap generously volunteered his time for their many good deeds, and he was a critical part of the Corned Beef dinners, Veteran’s Day breakfasts, and Christmas Tree sales. He served on the Planning Board, Cemetery Trustees, and Trustees of the Trust Fund for the Town of Greenland.
Leap is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Debbie and Fred Ludington, son and daughter-in-law Eric and Kristen Syphers, all of Greenland, NH. He was Nono to four granddaughters whom he loved dearly, Audra (husband Keegan) Pafford of Dover, Darby Ludington of Stratham, and Julia and Anna Syphers of Greenland. He also leaves behind his Great Granddaughter, Jensen Pafford, of Dover.
Leap will be missed by his in laws, Jane and Dick Pinney of Greenland, and Adrienne Rubino of Newmarket. He was predeceased by his siblings Phyllis Macdonald (Frances), Alden Syphers (Nora), and Dorothy Booker (Lindsey). He was a well-loved Uncle LeapRoy to many nieces and nephews. He was funny, generous, and a genuinely good person, and leaves behind a deep and rich list of lifelong friends and neighbors.
The family extends a sincere thank you to Dr. Adam Kurish of Atlantic Internal Medicine who provided thorough and excellent medical care and compassion, especially during the last few months. In lieu of flowers, if you are so inclined, donations may be made to the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.ipffoundation.org) in honor of his wife Putzie.
We will honor Leap with a service starting at 11am, followed by a luncheon, on Monday, March 28 at the Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland. Friends and family are invited to attend.
For online condolences visit: www.jvwoodfuneralhome.com. Services are under the direction and care of J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad Street, Portsmouth.
Posted online on March 23, 2022
Published in Portsmouth Herald/Foster’s Daily Democrat/Seacoast Sunday, Portsmouth Herald/Foster’s Daily Democrat/Seacoast Sunday