NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council honored Leonard Carlton Blessing on his 99th birthday on 16 Oct. 2019. Mayor Al Morgan read a proclamation celebrating Blessing’s longevity and his long list of achievements during the Tuesday, Oct. 15 council meeting.         

Blessing, born in Newark, NJ in 1920 has resided in New Providence since 1961, when he and his wife, Frances, and their two young daughters moved to the town. Blessing is a World War II Veteran, having served in the Army Air Corp from 1942-1946 in Oahu, Hawaii and Stateside.

Blessing worked as a teacher and educator in Manchester, England and Millburn, NJ, where he also coached tack, basketball, contract bridge, and chess at Millburn High School. Furthermore, he “held key leadership positions in local, state, national and international organizations such as the National Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Conference on Integrated Science in Maryland, USA, and the International Science Conference in Montpellier, France and Moscow, Russia,” the proclamation read.  

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He was also “the recipient of numerous awards including:  Outstanding Biology Teacher, 1966 from National Association of Biology Teachers; Outstanding Supervisor Award, 1983 from NJ Science Supervisors Association; Distinguished Service Award, 1986 from NJ Principals and Supervisors Association; Outstanding Service Award, 1987 from NJ Science Supervisors Association.  He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Leaders in Education, Community Leaders & Noteworthy Americans, and Poetry,” Morgan listed.

Moreover, Blessings has been an active member and Historian of the New Providence United Methodist Church since 1961. He has held numerous leadership positions, including 30 years as pre-worship music pianist in the parish.

Lastly, the proclamation complemented Blessings as “an international traveler; Active Masters Duplicate Bridge player, director, and teacher; pianist; composer; poet and writer.”

Blessing in turn touted the New Providence community and its schools. He joked that he is well known at the tax office as he has paid his taxes in person four times a year since 1961. I don’t particularly like paying taxes, he said but noted that he likes what he receives for taxes paid in New Providence.

With regards to other news the council declared the week of Oct. 23 – Oct. 31 as Red Ribbon Week. The week promotes drug and alcohol-free lifestyles. Councilwoman Nadine Geoffroy explained that age-appropriate events are scheduled in all borough schools to educate students concerning healthy lifestyle choices.