Erick Leadbeater ’64

Erick Leadbeater ’64 died on December 15, 2022, in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

(The following was provided by the Concord Monitor on December 19, 2022)

Contoocook, NH – Erick Leadbetter, age 80, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, passed away at home on Thursday, December 15, 2022. He was born July 2, 1942, in Concord, NH, the son of Edward C. and Lucille Leadbeater.

Having spent his formative years in “Tooky,” Rick was educated at Bowdoin College with a major in chemistry. He also enjoyed his time as a member of Theta Delta Chi and singing with campus choirs. Rick later joined the Navy and relocated to Chicago, where he taught at Great Lakes in his field of study as well as how to sail any sized vessel under the harshest conditions. It wasn’t long before he found himself on the racing circuit, becoming a regular on the run to Bermuda.

Returning to his hometown in 1971, Rick followed in his father’s footsteps to become an apple grower atop Gould Hill. Not long after, he met the love of his life, Susan Ritchie Leadbeater, at the neighborhood paddle tennis tournament. Together they cared for the orchard, renown for the expansive views from its Pick-Your-Own operation and eighty-plus varieties of apples and peaches. Before retiring in 2009, he successfully patented the Hampshire apple, a demonstration of his passion for science and agriculture.

A highly engaged member of numerous town committees and state boards, Rick served with a keen focus on preserving green space and protecting the beauty of New Hampshire. In his spare time, he and Susan sailed to and from many ports and explored the back roads between home and their summer sanctuary on Swan’s Island, Maine.

Rick was predeceased by his wife of forty years earlier this year and leaves behind daughters Karen McKinney Jantzen of Contoocook, NH, and Kathryn McKinney Ashraf of Wellesley, MA; grandchildren Doak, Zakry, Zoe, and Phoebe Jantzen, as well as Lexi and Nicholas Ashraf; sisters Mary Leadbeater and Ruth Pratt, both of Contoocook, NH; and, an extensive network of cousins scattered from Maine to South Carolina.

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