Peter Arthur Leary, age 92, of Atlantic City, New Jersey passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with chronic diseases with his husband, sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Mark Kerr, at his side. "Art" as he was affectionaly called, was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 18, 1928, the son of Helen W. and Russell S. Leary. Art, his with his seven siblings and parents, settled in North Brunswick, New Jersey. Art graduated from New Brunswick High School and Durham Technical Community College.
He is survived by: his husband and partner of 45 years, Michael Saint Joseph; two sisters Jane Smith of East Brunswick, New Jersey and Anita McFarland of Cape Coral, Florida; son, Kenneth A. Leary of Jacksonville, Florida; daughter, Kathleen Calvaruso and son-in-law, Tony of Spotswood New Jersey grandchildren, Erik and Kevin of Jacksonville, Florida, Gina and Christopher; and great-granddaughter, Serena. In additional to his parents, Art was predeceased by: his siblings, Ruth Leary Davenport, Robert I. Leary, Harold R. Leary, Russell S. Leary and Susanne Leary DiBartolo; grandson, Keith Arthur Leary.
Art served his country proudly during the Korean War with the United States Army as a radio operator stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.
During his lifetime, Art had several careers. When he was 56 he began working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in North Carolina practicing in hospitals and hospice care for persons with AIDS. He converted to Catholicism after he began volunteering with a church group working with seasonal farm workers from Mexico and witnessed the deep faith of the people he worked with.
Art was a professional Santa Claus at a mall in North Carolina for many years. He appeared in as Santa Claus in both televions and print ad commercials.
After leaving North Carolnia, Art moved to Vermont. Once in Vermont, he retired from his nursing career and began life making new friends and discovering new hobbies. He then returned to New Jersey, making a home in Atlantic City where he enjoyed looking at the ocean, working with his plants, watching televised golf, reading and caring for his adopted rescue dog, Linus.
Graveside memorial services will be 1PM at Franklin Memorial Park Chapel, 1800 State Route 27, North Brunswick, New Jersey.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to One Love Animal Rescue Group, Inc. PO Box 931 Bellmawr, NJ 08099