Leon J. Pernice Jr. passed away at his home in Fort Pierce, Florida on February 28, 2023 with his loving family at his side. Lee grew up in West Springfield Massachusetts and graduated High School from Williston Northampton School in Easthampton MA., where he played Football and Hockey. He attended Stetson University in Deland, Florida, studied at the University of Miami and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Boston Architectural Center in Boston, MA. He was a licensed Architect in Massachusetts and Florida and worked for more than 40 years at the family-owned Architectural firm, Leon Pernice and Associates, Inc. At the time of his passing he was Vice-President of the firm. Lee was an avid golfer in his younger days. He competed at a high level in many local tournaments, charity events and qualified for the Massachusetts State Amateur Championship. He also loved mountain biking and spent many hours riding through numerous Western Massachusetts trails and Florida parks. Anyone who knew Lee knew his passion was being on his boat and on the water. Fishing was his favorite pastime which took him on adventures all the way up and down the East coast from Rockport, Maine to Islamorada, Florida Keys. He spent his final years living in Fort Pierce, Florida and fished offshore the Fort Pierce Treasure coast, the place he loved most. If he wasn’t offshore trolling blue water for Mahi, you could find him cruising the Intercoastal Waterways and the Fort Pierce Inlet, chasing down Snook, Grouper and Mangrove Snapper for a fresh fish dinner. He was always saying he needed warmer waters and his boat, the “SushiD’Lux” took him there. Lee was also a certified deep-water scuba diver. If he wasn’t fishing, he would spend his time diving and snorkeling reefs, mangrove flats and boat wrecks in and around Fort Pierce and the Florida Keys. Alligator Reef – “The Light House” off Islamorada Key was his favorite dive. Lee had an old saying – “Never leave fish to find fish” but he did it anyway. That’s just the kind of guy he was. He couldn’t stay in one spot for any length of time. There was always better fish to find and more live bait to catch – just over there by the shipping buoy or over the next reef. Lee leaves to cherish his memory his loving father, Leon J. Pernice, Sr., his brother and best friend, David, his sister, Lisa Pernice-Gomes (and husband, David), his sister, Nina Cunningham (and husband, Robert) of Bradenton, Florida, “Uncle Lee’s” nieces and nephews-Andrea, his godson-Greg, Mark, Allie, John, Anna and Sharlotte, several aunts and uncles, cousins and friends too numerous to count. He was pre-deceased by his beloved mother, Yolande Pernice. Lee lived his life on his terms and his sudden illness took him from us way too soon. He was a generous soul who loved God, his family and his friends and was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. He will be greatly missed. Calling hours for Leon will be held Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 4-7 pm at Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home, 1043 Westfield Street, West Springfield, and a funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 24, 2023, 10:00am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 47 Pine Street, West Springfield. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600.
Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community