Eleanor Brooks Leech, 88, died peacefully following a brief illness on March 25, 2024, surrounded by loved ones who cherished her.

Eleanor was born Sept. 19, 1935, in Biddeford, the daughter of George and Carrie Brooks and sister to Robie, Frank, Herb, and Emily. She grew up in Kennebunk, and lived most of her life in Wells. She graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1954.

Eleanor married Richard Leech on June 27, 1953. They had a half-dozen “Congdon’s Kids,” who, along with their spouses, enriched their lives and brought them so much joy: Bette (Leech) and Billy Beyea, Gary and Diane (Fortier) Leech, Craig and Jen (Arcand) Leech, Renee Brooks, Cheryl (Brooks) and Rob Warfield, and Greg and Teresa (Thompson) Brooks.

Eleanor and Richard opened Richard’s Seafood Restaurant in Wells in 1962. Richard’s was sold in 1965 when they took over management of Congdon’s Doughnuts following the tragic death of Eleanor’s brother, Herb, and his wife, Bev (Congdon) Brooks. Eleanor was the glue that held the family together during this challenging time, as they welcomed Herb and Bev’s three children. She remained the binding force and heart of the family for the rest of her life.

Over the years, their family grew to include 20 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren, with more on the way. She cherished each opportunity to “bye lo” the babies on her lap. Eleanor ran the front of the house of Congdon’s for many years before they sold the bakery to Gary and Diane in 1984. She worked as hostess for several years, warmly greeting guests who came to dine in the restaurant.

She loved being part of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Eleanor started her career as a consultant in 1979 and was quickly promoted to sales director with a team of more than 50 beauty consultants. She earned her first pink Mary Kay car in 1982 and was a multi-time member of the National Court of Sales & Recruiting, receiving several diamond rings and the coveted diamond bumble bee from Mary Kay. In 2010, she was voted “Miss Go-Give,” the greatest award one can achieve in Mary Kay. Eleanor was an active member of the Kennebunk Alumni Association and enjoyed regular lunches with her fellow classmates.


She loved weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries – any chance to dance and party with her friends and family, particularly when “We Are Family” came on (and she made sure it did). She became notorious for her birthday cards full of confetti that spread love all over the laps and floors of her loved ones. Eleanor was larger than life and exuded love wherever she went. Her energy was contagious and the joy she shared with others was seemingly limitless. Her life was a masterclass on how to be a strong independent woman, and how to raise men that loved strong independent women. Eleanor was the epitome of grace, and exemplified the virtues of empathy, integrity, and unconditional love, which will live on for generations to come.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at 11 a.m. at New Life Church, 551 Alfred Road, Biddeford, followed immediately by her interment at Ocean View Cemetery, 1485 Post Road, Wells. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Andre’s by sending a check to St. André Health Care, 407 Pool St., Biddeford, ME 04005 or donating online at Make A Gift – St. André Health Care.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence please visit Eleanor’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in the care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, ME 04043.

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