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Leslie H. Deming

Leslie H. Deming

1928 - 2015

    Les left us Monday, November 9, 2015 while under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County and his family.
  Les was born in Syracuse, NY on December 4, 1928, the second son of Mildred (Remer) and Ernest Renan Deming.  Les was a direct descendant of John Deming, taverner of Wethersfield, Connecticut (1646) and his wife, Honor Treat. 
  Les attended Bellevue Junior High and transferred to The Manlius Military Academy at age 14.  He excelled in academics and was named Head Boy of lower school, followed by Head Boy of upper school two years later.  In his senior year as Captain of A Company, he was pleased to receive for his company the Awards for Intermural Sports and Annual Company Drill Competition.  He was a member of the ski team and platoon.  He maintained his connection with the School, serving on its Board of Trustees and its Alumni Board over the years.
  Les matriculated in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (W’ 50), was a member of the Kite and Key Society, the Sphinx Honor Society and was treasurer of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.  He graduated as an honor student and as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army due to his years in ROTC.  He earned his letter by rowing under Rusty Callow for four years, stroking Freshman J.V. and occasionally the Varsity boats in regattas throughout the northeast.
  Les entered Syracuse College of Law in 1950, was soon called to Fort Knox for service in the Korean War as a tank platoon leader and ended his service as Aide de camp to Lt. Gen. Reuben Jenkins, CG of IX Corps, which held the center of the DMZ at that time.  Les received a Bronze Star for his front line service.
  Les returned to law school, graduated and joined the firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King where he practiced municipal and education law and served as managing partner during ten years of growth.
  In January 1962 Les was named 1st Assistant Corporation Counsel and two years later as Corporation Counsel under Syracuse Mayor William F. Walsh.  During this “leave” from the Bond firm, he led the negotiations with the then five airlines for their operating and space leases at the new Hancock International Airport; the development of MONY Center which incorporated a City garage; the Sibley Department Store and garage complex; the Dey Brothers renovation and garage; and the relocation of Greyhound Bus Lines to the New York Central Railroad Station on Erie Boulevard.  He also served as counsel to the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency and was a board member on the Onondaga County (“Lake Ontario”) Water District, the Syracuse Symphony and the Syracuse Regatta Association.
  In 1993 Les was retired from the Bond firm and joined the Watertown firm of Schwerzmann & Wise, servicing municipalities and school districts but, more significantly, the Development Agency of the North Country.  Les led the successful negotiations for the construction of the large sewer and water services for the expansion of Fort Drum, the land acquisition and construction of the DANC landfill in Rodman NY, and the Cape Vincent water line to serve Glen Park and water districts along the way.  These projects were completed without recourse to condemnation.
  Les’ first marriage ended by mutual agreement in 1978.
  Les’ affiliations included Onondaga Golf & Country Club; University Club; Trustee, Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse; Trustee and Session member, First Presbyterian Church, Watertown; Director, Henry Keep Home and Samaritan Keep Nursing Home; Citizens Foundation; Director, American General Life Insurance Company of New York; Young Republicans, Compass Society and 4th Ward Republican Club; Onondaga Ski Club; Watertown Rotary and Business Council; ABA, NYBA, Onondaga and Jefferson County Bar Associations, Association of NY Corporation Counsels, National Association of Bond Lawyers, and Sons of Union Veterans.
  Les was an avid sailor, learning the ropes at Camp Cedar Isles on Fourth Lake and winning ribbons and trophies in the Adirondack Sailing Club with Crandall Melvin Jr. as crew.  At age 15 he was sailing assistant at Camp Androscoggin in Maine.  Les was the Sailing Pro at Skaneateles Country Club for three years of his college summers.  He ran the Junior sailing program and the Senior weekend races from the trusty retired mail and honey bucket boat, the Florence (“Flossie”).  Thereafter he sailed with Stewart Hancock, Richard Wiles, Gene Irish, John Beach, Bill Burrows, and others variously in Maine, Chesapeake and Cape Cod Bays, Nantucket and Long Island Sounds, and Bermuda and the Bahamas.  He and Marsha have taken small ship cruises on the Inland Waterway, to Alaska, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea and bareboat charters in the Caribbean.  He purchased his beloved “Intuition” in the late 1980’s and cruised the River and Lake Ontario with family and friends until physically unable.  He was twice winner of the Annual Henderson-Duck Island Race.  He was a member of Henderson Harbor and Crescent Yacht Clubs, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  He was an incidental ski jumper and pilot.
  He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Marsha Stevenson Deming; a son, Warren Woodruff Deming of Tucson, Arizona; a daughter, Sara Whitcomb (Jay) Wason of Cazanovia; 3 grandchildren, Margaret, Samantha and Jake Wason; 3 nephews and a niece, and his longtime friend and cheerleader, Nancy Rudolph of Tucson, Arizona.  His brother Ernie, Jr. died in 1982.
  There are no calling hours.  There will be a memorial service at 1pm Sunday November 15, 2015 at First Presbyterian Church with The Rev. Dr. Fred G. Garry officiating.  Arrangements are with D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Watertown NY 13601 or First Presbyterian Church, 403 Washington St., Watertown. Condolences may be made to

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Condolences left by other guests:

Dear Sara, Jay & Family,

We are so sorry to hear of you Father’s passing, Sara. Please know that you and your family are
in our thoughts are prayers.
Mary & Larry Leatherman

By Mary & Larry Leatherman on 11 17, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

To Sara and family -
My heartfelt condolences to you all. What a life and legacy… You are in our thoughts and prayers.
John and Pam Eberle
Otisco, NY

By John Eberle on 11 16, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

To Marsha, Warren, Sara and family,

Our prayers are with you at this time along with appreciation for a life well lived.

By Tony and Amy Pietrafesa on 11 15, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

We are sorry for your loss, I have so many fond memories of your dad when we were growing up.

By Susan Buecheler Luchsinger on 11 15, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

Please accept my condolences at this time.

Mr. Deming and I never met but his family name is well known in our organization’s history.

The Deming family was active in the Sons of Union Veterans in Syracuse.  Some of them held local and state offices.

The son of a most noble sire has died and we all mourn his passing.  May the passing of time ease your sorrow.  A sunset in this life is a bright sunrise in another.

Jerome Orton, PDC
NY Department Historian
Sons of Union Veterans
Syracuse, NY

By Jerome Orton on 11 13, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

Marsha, Please accept my sympathy for your loss. What an amazing man to have shared a life with. What a terrific team you must have made.  Pat AANNY

By Patricia Treanor on 11 12, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:

My wife worked at BS&K for several years. Les and I “closed out the bar” at the Partridge Berry at the very last Christmas Party. He was always my very favorite member of the firm. Wonderful person, enlightened, but very sensible and amazingly intelligent gentleman!

By Vinton (Valerie) Tarrant on 11 11, 2015

Condolences left by other guests:


I was saddened to read about Les. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

By Pattie Schreck on 11 11, 2015

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