Anthony P. “Tony” Leketa, 96, passed away peacefully in Saint Vincent’s Hospital on March 18, 2017. He was the son of Kastantin and Anna (Simkonis) Leketa and brother of Ann Stone, Virginia Chimelski, and Joseph Leketa, who preceded him in death.

He grew up in Worcester and attended Commerce High School. After more than thirty years he retired from United States Steel in 1978 where he worked as a mechanic and wire drawer. A member of “The Greatest Generation,” he was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the European Theater (England) as a Tech Sergeant. After the war he returned to Worcester, where he lived until 1980 when he moved to Auburn. Originally a member of Our Lady of Vilna Church he was a member of the Knights of Lithuania and Knights of Columbus. For years he belonged to Saint Casimir’s Church in Worcester, until he moved to Auburn where he joined Saint Joseph’s Church. He was a founding member of the Lithuanian War Veterans Organization, serving as Commander in 1955. He was very active and enjoyed participating in a variety of committees, and organizing activities associated with the LWVO. He also was a member of the Chester P. Tuttle, Post #279, American Legion in Auburn, Massachusetts.

Among the things he enjoyed most was playing cribbage in the Worcester Cribbage League, gardening, playing pinochle with family and friends, cooking, and for years he was the Manager of the Lithuanian War Veterans Drum and Bugle Corps, where he served as a surrogate parent and role model to numerous Worcester youth, and for which he was honored with the title of “Mr. Drum Corps” in 1963. Family was extremely important to him and he greatly enjoyed family cookouts and gatherings at the family home in Auburn.

Tony leaves the love of his life and wife of 71 years, Helen (Ruksnaitis) Leketa of Auburn, three children, Anthony F. Leketa and his fiancee Victoria Lehr of Gambrills, Maryland, Robert J. Leketa and his wife Melanie J. of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Cynthia A. Leketa of Auburn, Massachusetts, and a sister, Rita Lynch and her husband James Lynch of West Boylston. He leaves seven grandchildren Stacy Mongeau, Shane Leketa, Sherry Leketa, Sonya Crane, Stephanie Cleek, Sara Leketa and Anthony F. Leketa, Junior. He also was great-grandfather to ten great grandchildren and leaves numerous nieces and nephews.

We will all miss our father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. You will forever be a part of us.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Tony’s family from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 21st at the BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central Street, Auburn. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM on Wednesday, March 22nd at Saint Joseph’s Church, 189 Oxford Street North, Auburn. Interment with military honors will be Hillside Cemetery, Auburn.