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Obituary: Ray D. Leoni

May 25, 2023
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Obituary: Ray D. Leoni

Ray Dennis Leoni, 94, of Woodbridge, CT and Centerville, MA, passed away peacefully at home on May 10, 2023.  He was born in Woonsocket, RI on May 5, 1929, son of Angelo N. Leoni and Millie E.  Maselli.

Ray received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University and master of engineering degree from Yale University.  He began his career at Sikorsky Aircraft as a junior engineer in 1951 and retired 41 years later as Senior Vice President, Engineering and Advanced Programs.  Ray was awarded nine patents including the Black Hawk helicopter design patent.  He authored the book “Black Hawk, the Story of a World Class Helicopter,” published in 2007.  After retiring, Ray served as a trustee with the Igor I. Sikorsky Historical Archives.

Ray was a member of the American Helicopter Society since 1952 and received its Fellow Award in 1990 and its prestigious Historical Achievement Award in 2009 for preserving, in his book, the history of one of the most famous helicopters in the world.

Ray’s hobbies included building and flying radio control model airplanes and boating, fishing and clamming in Nantucket Sound.  He was a twenty-five-year member of the Branford Yacht Club.

Ray was predeceased in 2021 by his beloved wife of 69 years, Patricia Morrow Leoni.  He was cherished by his children, Susan Eident (Peter) of Woodbridge, CT, Peter (Linda) of Bethany, CT and Christopher (Kim) of Woodbridge, CT, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were in the capable hands of the Wakelee Memorial Funeral Home, 167 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia, CT.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sikorsky Archives at or to the charity of one’s choice.  Online condolences may be made at

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