May 6, 1948 – September 2, 2019
Leslie Bassett Penna, 71, passed away suddenly in her Madison home on September 2, 2019, after 23 years living with Parkinson's Disease.
Leslie was a beloved daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and neighbor. She was the fourth successive generation to be a lifelong resident of Madison. She leaves behind her parents Marie and Adrian Bassett of Madison, CT, son Scott Penna of Madison, CT, daughter Laura Walczak of New York, NY, grandson Mason Walczak of New York, NY and siblings Clay Bassett of Westport, CT and Adrienne Raynor of Burke, VA.
Leslie made so many lifelong friends and wonderful memories growing up in Madison. She graduated Daniel Hand High School in 1966, then University of Bridgeport, cum laude, with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and began her career as a sales manager at Macy's. Years later, she was a store manager for Sage-Allen in Old Saybrook. Leslie went on to work for many years as a secretary in the Madison school system and then at IDD in Branford, CT.
To know Leslie was to love her. Her infectious laugh, smile, kindness, wit, strength and beauty were admired by all who knew her. To receive one of her handwritten notes was truly a gift. Leslie loved her family, friends, fashion, creative projects and her hometown of Madison, CT.
Leslie fought a courageous battle with Parkinson's with such dignity and grace. She was an inspiration to all that knew her. Leslie will be deeply missed by her family and friends. A graveside service will be held at West Cemetery in Madison on Saturday, September 7 at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers, donations in Leslie's memory may be made to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease
- Burial Saturday, September 7, 2019
September 9, 2019
Leslie was such a special person - great neighbor and I loved to hear her stories about life in the Madison School system.
Biking? Walking? she was truly amazing, neighborhood will not be the same without her.
September 6, 2019
Seven years ago I had the good fortune to move next door to Leslie. She was such an inspiration to me with how she met the challenges of Parkinson’s with such courage and strength. Despite her struggles, she maintained her sense of humor and loved to have fun. One Friday night, after a particularly challenging day, her good friend, Barbara, and I laughed with Leslie as she danced to loud party music. We were like college girls in a dorm again.
Leslie also loved clothes and especially Talbots. My favorite Talbots visit was this past summer. Doreen, Leslie and I, armed with our coupons, headed to Talbots. We spent a couple hours there as Leslie tried on outfit after outfit. The saleswomen treated her like a queen and she had a ball. I will be forever grateful to those sales ladies for how special they made Leslie feel.
I will greatly miss my good friend, Leslie, but I am so honored to have been part of her life.