Alfred Gene Leach was born to the late Eugene and Geneva Pickett-Leach on February 6, 1944 in Halan, Kentucky. The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he was raised with his sister Mildred Jean Hamilton. Alfred and Jean were very close and always surrounded by family, including cousins that were like siblings. Alfred received his education at Dorchester High School and later worked and retired as an Inspector for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. In the early 1980’s Al, his mother and sister purchased and opened the Pioneer food Store on Ruskindale Road in Hyde Park, MA at a time when there was not a grocery store in the neighborhood. “The store” became a central pulse of the neighborhood, a meeting place to engage neighbors and the best Penny Candy around. Over the years the store became more than a business, it became a location to discuss neighborhood concerns of safety, neighborhood beatification and advocacy, all efforts that paved the way for the founding of the Rosebery -Ruskindale Road Neighborhood Association where Al and a number of longtime residents were the groups founding members.
On March 23, 1984 he married Delores Day and the two of them set out to raise their son’s together Christopher, Makeeva (Charlie) and Damian. On July 16, 1985 Al experienced a tragic loss with the murder of his son Christopher. Al immediately stepped in and stepped up to help raise his grandson’s Darrel and Christopher where he remained a constant presence in the lives until his passing. He also became a father-figure, mentor and advisor to many of his son Christopher’s friends. Always willing to give of him-self and time to others that included family members, neighbors and anyone in need who crossed his path. He had a quest for knowledge, always seeking to learn and always willing to share what he had learned with others. After retiring from the MBTA Al and Delores moved to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina where they built their dream house with an in-law suite for his sister Jean. A masterful entrepreneur he built and opened A&D Laundromat and the Community Dollar Store, the first in Roanoke Rapids where he received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from Halifax Community College in 2018 for his contribution to the Roanoke Valley Business Community. His quest for knowledge inspired his deep love for exploring his faith and expressing his love for furthering his understanding about his creator God. He believed that politics and voting was one of the truest ways to empower community change and would talk to anyone about the importance of voting or how to make your community better especially the uplifting of the Black community and the people within it.
Alfred was devoted to family, a core principle for his life was to love hard and keep the family together. He was preceded by his mother and father Geneva and Eugen Pickett-Leach, proceeded by his son Christopher John Leach and his sister Mildred Jean Hamilton, Mother and Father in-law Mr. and Mrs. Day. He leaves to cherish his memory, Wife Delores, (2) Sister-in law and (2) Brother in-laws, Son Makeeva (Charlie) (Kelsha) Benders of Charlotte, North Carolina, Step Son Damian Andrews and James Woodie of Boston, MA. Daughters’ in-law Vandelia Rieves, Dawn Portis Webb (Shawn) Son in-law of Boston, MA, his brother David Charleston from Chicago IL. Sister Jacqueline Young, Grandchildren Christopher, Darrel, Darius, Jaylen, Mason, Jakel, Malik, Jasmine, Jade, Syaer and Shamar. He also leaves (5) Great grandchildren and a Godson Kemett, Boston MA, a host of nieces, nephews and friends who looked to him for love and advice. Alfred Gene Leach will be missed by us all!