Leonard D. Orser
Leonard was a retired school teacher and an accomplished musician. At
the age of twelve, he discovered he had a God given gift for music when
his father brought home a pump organ which he purchased for $10.00. With
his youngest brother, Garry, standing by his side, Leonard sat down and
before long, beautiful music began to flow and his gift of music took
He graduated from Hartland High School in 1959 and then attended
Teachers' College in Fredericton, NB, while working part time in the
Hartland Stedmans store after school and on Saturdays to help with
tuition and other expenses. After teaching a year in Grafton, NB, he
returned to Teachers' College to get his Certificate Two. During that
time, he attended an Inter Varsity Missionary convention at the
University of Illinois in Urbana where his faith was strengthened. He
began teaching in Hartland, NB in 1964 until his retirement in 1994. He
taught mostly English and Core French. He directed the school band for
two years and taught a few music classes. Leonard earned his Bachelor of
Education degree by taking night courses at UNB in Fredericton, NB.
During his years as an educator, he coached the HHS Reach For The Top
team and volunteered his time and knowledge to serve on local committees
and boards, and was an active member of the Teachers' Association.
Leonard gave selflessly of his time and talents whenever and wherever he
was needed, even in the later years when he did not feel up to it. Every
Christmas Eve, he would drive to Canterbury to play for the service at
St. Thomas of Canterbury church and then to the Marne church. Every
December his calendar was full of entertaining commitments and he would
try to fulfill every one.
His mentors were Professor John Peterson, Laura Clark and Paul Mullen
who taught him to play "The Train" on the organ which has delighted all
He played in the Hartland Band, and after university he joined the
89thBattery Field Regiment Military Band in Woodstock, NB. Over the
years, he had mastered other instruments, along with piano and organ,
the accordion, vibraphone, chimes, clarinet, saxophone and French horn.
He was even able to produce music from a saw!
In 1977, The Carleton-Victoria Youth Choir was born with Sandra
Culberson at the piano and Leonard directing. A reunion was held
thirty-four years later, and the positive effect on the members
resounded throughout their time together.
While teaching he loved to travel, some of which would enhance his
career as an educator. He studied French at Montpellier University in
France and enjoyed three weeks in Paris. Musically, he studied voice at
Wheaton College, Illinois as well as French language. He visited friends
as far away as Australia.
One of Leonard's rewarding passions was to entertain seniors either in a
nursing home setting or elsewhere. It was evident that his music was
reaching their hearts when he noticed the quiet tapping of their fingers
on their laps or smiles appear where there had been no smiles before.
His quick wit will also be missed.
He enjoyed being the Town Crier for many years but had to give it up the
summer of 2015 because of health issues.
He was honored and humbled to receive the Queen's Golden Jubilee award
and then the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. He was featured in Keith
Minchin's book "Faces Of New Brunswick" in recognition of his many
musical contributions and also in an "Ageless NB" magazine. In April
2015, he received the Paul Harris honor from the Florenceville Rotary Club.
Leonard is survived by his siblings, Gaynelle Adams and her husband, Elwyn, of Fredericton, NB, Robert Orser and his wife, Eyke, of Hartland, NB, Garry Orser and his wife, Connie, of Hartland, NB, aunt, Etta Parsons of East Brighton, NB, nieces and nephews, as well as many other relatives and friends. He was a tenant of special friends, Andy and April Haines, Amelia and Alex.
It has been requested by Leonard that there be no visitation or funeral. His family plans to have a public celebration of his life on a date to be announced later. Arrangements are being handled by the Britton Funeral Home in Hartland. Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in Hartland at a later date. If so desired donations can be made to The Gideons or the Greenwood Cemetery.
Leonard performed a piano concert on the 88 (grand piano) at the Woodstock Baptist Church for the Sunny Seniors. This concert will be replayed before the celebration begins, starting at 1 PM until 2 PM. This concert has excellent video and audio quality for you to enjoy. Yes, you will see and hear the TRAIN once again. The celebration of Leonard's life begins at 2 PM. See you there. Celebration will be replayed within the same day at: www.publishten.com.
The Hartland Wesleyan Church
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Prelude at 1 PM
Celebration at 2 PM
Saturday, April 23, 2016