Then-Mayor Ron Leavens joins then-Councillor Sharon Cook, both holding scissors, in August 2005, at the ribbon cutting to open Dr. Foluso Ola's medical practice in Fonthill. VOICE FILE

Retired business owner, teacher, and former mayor Ron Leavens has died at 75.

Shortly after 3 PM on Friday, Aug. 13, various EMS and fire vehicles arrived at Leavens’ residence in Fonthill. For some years he had experienced a chronic heart condition and cardiac asthma. Leavens’ son, Shane Leavens, told the Voice that his father’s death was likely related to these concerns.

Leavens served as mayor of Pelham from 2003 to 2006, was a retired teacher, and owned the Fonthill PetValu franchise until recently, when he sold it to a new owner but continued to work limited hours at the store.

There was an immediate outpouring of condolences on social media, particularly among Leavens’ former students, who recalled an exceptionally kind and patient teacher. The Voice will present an extended tribute to Leavens in next week’s edition.

Current Pelham Mayor Marvin Junkin recalls speaking with Leavens as Junkin was thinking about running for the position back in 2018.

“After listening to him for over an hour, I knew I had made a great decision to seek his advice,” Junkin tells the Voice. “He was a great mayor because he was a great communicator. My condolences to his wife and family members.”

Leavens leaves behind his wife, Karen, two children, four grandchildren, and three siblings.