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John Leslie Witter

John Leslie Witter, known as Les, Doc, Witt, renaissance man, by his friends and loved ones passed away on Monday evening at Hartford Hospital after a short illness.Leslie was born in Buffalo, NY, and moved to Skaneateles, NY as a child with his parents Leslie Martin Witter, Erma Anna Katherine Euller Witter, and sibling Dr. Barbara Gerber-Osborne.Leslie was married to the love of his life Hope-Marie Cook-Witter for over thirty years. Leslie and Hope-Marie settled in Connecticut, after living with his life partner in Syracuse, NY, Henderson NV, Detroit, and Saginaw Michigan.Leslie retired after years of teaching and serving students in the public, business, and university settings.Leslie started off as a biology, chemistry, general science teacher, and counselor and later became a school district administrator, where he became an Assistant Superintendent, and Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Counselor where he strengthened services for substance abuse, vocational and academic advisement, and psychological services.He also became a Special Education Teacher and taught adjudicated, emotionally disturbed teenagers.He spent eight years in the insurance business as a claim’s adjuster/supervisor and manager at Liberty Mutual in Boston, and lived and worked in the Albany, N.Y. Toronto Canada and Los Angeles, CA offices. He also had spent time working for Johnson and Johnson as pharmaceutical representative.His university work experience started at Syracuse University where he was an associate director of admissions and financial aid services, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and moved to Detroit where he became the Director of University Admissions, and later and Delta College, where he became Director of Educational Advising and Counseling until he followed his life partner and her tenure track appointment in 2001 at Eastern Connecticut State University.Leslie was always interested in learning new fields and decided to enroll in coursework to get his MLIS and became employed at Trinity College in Hartford, but not before he received his pharmacy certificate and worked at Big Y, in various departments, including as a cashier and pharmacy technician.Leslie was a true believer in helping others who were less fortunate, and always reminded us that learning should never stop. He received his MLIS in his 70’s while working full time.As a stained-glass artist for over 40 years, Leslie started Stained Glass by Lesie at the Sign of the Snail.His degree work was obtained at Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship, Doctor of Special Education, Master of Public Administration, Master of Arts in psychological guidance and counseling at Cal State Northridge, and Southern Connecticut State University.He had many certifications and had permanent licenses in N.Y. and Michigan.Throughout his career, Leslie started student services programs that benefited underserved students, women, and minorities.He was a mentor to many and always a sweet gentleman who enjoyed classical music, skiing, Ski Patrol, water sports, motorcycling across the country, nature and game night and holidays at home with Hope-Marie and friends.He will be missed by all who know him and the role he played in establishing policies that benefit students.He leaves behind his wife Hope-Marie Cook, Witter, his Westie, Shortbread Walker the 1st, and many N.Y. State and Connecticut friends.Arrangements are being made for a final resting place.


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