Leona M. Hazelton DeShane was born on March 9, 1925 in Canton, to Floyd Henry Hazelton and Pearl Josephine Newvine.
She grew up on a self-sufficient farm with two older brothers and two younger sisters, Leo and Leon Hazelton and Leota (Thornton) and Leola (Peggy Woodcock), all now deceased. Educated in local schools, she met and later married Floyd A. DeShane on October 6, 1945 at Sacred Heart Church, Massena, with Father Gerald F Kellogg officiating. Leona converted to Roman Catholicism when she married and was a devoted parishioner at St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart Catholic Churches in Massena.
She worked at the lunch counter at Fishman’s when she was young, worked at farming as a young wife and mother. Later the family ran a gas and service station with a full diner in Brasher Falls. Leona worked at Giorgi’s Bakery in Massena for many years and has always been fondly remembered by the customers of the bakery.
Leona passed away with family at her side on October 24, 2013. She is survived by her husband, Floyd, of Massena; her three children, Sharleen Wilson, Norfolk, Jan Patraw and Darcy Chenier, Brasher Falls, and Paul F. DeShane and JeanMarie Martello, of Canton; by her beloved grandchildren, Kimberly, Tavis, Vanessa, Jesse, and Derek; great-grandchildren, Janelle, Jesse, Nicole, Nicholas, Gavin and Tavin; and two great-great granddaughters, Autumn and Aubrey.
She was predeceased by her brothers, sisters, and many beloved family and friends.
When Leona was young she liked to sing, have fun with her close and extended family, cooking and baking special holiday meals, and preparing homemade goodies for everyone at Christmas. She made the best fudge. Even after she lost her sight, she continued to live independently, taking care of herself, her husband and family. She will be deeply missed by all of those who love her and will forever cherish her generous, sweet and kind spirit.
The staff at St. Regis Nursing Home deserve special thanks for being so good and compassionate in Leona’s final days.
The family requests donations in her memory to be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 U.S. Hwy 11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
A memorial mass at St. Mary’s Church in Massena will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 11:00 am with Rev. Scott D. Fobare, celebrating. Burial will follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Brasher Falls.
Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.donaldsonfh.com.