Leo Supina

by Philip Supina


Leo Supina was born in Ashford in 1922 and grew up on the Family homestead. He was the tenth of eleven children in the family.

He finished high school in Stafford Springs and then with the usual family wanderlust, went off to the Territory of Alaska in 1941. He was in Anchorage at the time of Pearl Harbor and returned to Connecticut. He went into the military and did basic training at Fort Adams in Rhode Island. He later served at Wright=Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Subsequently he worked with the military in test firing captured German V-2 rockets after the war in New Mexico.

Leo left the military and went to the University of Connecticut in 1947 on the GI Bill. He majored in physics, graduating in 1951 and went on to do his master's work in the same area. A lecture by Russian guest lecturer George Gamow on the "Big Bang Theory" in 1950 was seminal and had influence on him for the rest of his life.

Leo subsequently returned to Alaska at least half a dozen times, most of them driving up the AlCan Highway back before the Territory became a state in the "heroic days." I still remember some of the wonderful home films Leo took of the glaciers and wildlife in Alaska. He was a gifted amateur photographer and many of the best of the family event photos were taken and immortalized by Leo.

He worked in the defense and space industry for nearly fifty years. He was active in the development of Apollo Project that put the first men on the moon and was an early member of the original Rocket Society. He knew a number of the early leaders in the space program. Leo was always supremely generous to the rest of the family both in financial and emotional terms. He was also strongly committed to America's armed forces, the police and to St. Philip's — the local Catholic Church in Willington.

In his last years, Leo did what so many of the rest of us always dream of doing; he sat down and wrote and then personally published his own book. Time Minus One (2001) was inspired both by Charles Darwin and by George Gamow. He tried to update Darwin's Origin of Species with the most recent findings and discoveries in physics and mathematics. The book has been distributed and placed in libraries across nearly all states and has been received overseas, especially in Russia and China.

Leo's death in May, 2002, of heart problems in Hartford Hospital marked the end of an era that began with the marriage of his parents in Budapest in 1899.

The nine page (unsubstantiated) document below was found among Leo’s personal items by Bob Supina.

Leo Supina

Young Leo


Bob & Leo at Andrea Wedding




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