Published in Arizona Daily Star (Feb. 2, 2014):
Leslie H. (Les) McQuary was born May 9, 1916, in Macon County, Missouri, to Hiram and Lula Francis McQuary.
He died peacefully on January 29, 2014, in Tucson, Arizona.
He attended Southeast Missouri State College in Cape Girardeau, MO.
During his high school years he met Ernestine Weber, his future bride, at a dance in Bloomfield, MO, and they married on September 8, 1935. At the conclusion of their junior year of college, he and Ernestine moved to Dexter, MO.
His professional career was spent in the field of education, beginning as a teacher in one-room schools in Stoddard County and Sugar Tree, MO, and then to a teaching position in Bernie, Missouri.
WWII interrupted his teaching career as he spent the next three years with the U.S. Army's 32nd (Red Arrow) Division, seeing over 600 days of combat in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor while fighting on the Verde Villa Trail.
When the war ended, Les moved back to Bernie, MO, and assumed a principal position.
In 1950, he, his wife Ernestine, and their daughter Rebecca moved to Tucson, AZ, after he accepted a teaching position at Sam Hughes School. In 1951, he became the first principal of Holladay School, and in 1953 he became the principal of Peter Howell School, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 1978.
He is preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, and two brothers.
He is survived by his wife of 78 years, Ernestine; his daughter, Rebecca Ann Cole and husband, Ronald of Davis, CA; three granddaughters, Lori Pygeorge, Shelley Morse, and Julie Cole-Marié and their husbands; and seven great-grandchildren.
He has been a member of the Catalina Methodist Church since 1950, and was also a 75-year Scottish Rite 32nd Degree Mason, a longtime member and 10th President of the Catalina Rotary Club, a past president of the Arizona Elementary Principals Association, and a past chairman of the Board of Management of the Lighthouse YMCA.
At his request, services will be private, with interment in a military cemetery in Bloomfield, Missouri, near his beloved hometown of Dexter, Missouri.
Arrangements by Adair Funeral Homes, Dodge Chapel.
Thanks to F/A/G volunteer Cori H., #46481123:
Interview with Les McQuary by Steve Pender, Catalina Rotary Veterans Project
Ernestine Ellen Weber McQuary
Staff Sergeant, US Army
World War II
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