Leona Chasse has traveled around the world, but home is Cornish, Maine. She was born in 1924. Calvin Coolidge was president. The month after she came into the world, Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin, was performed for the first time. That year, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed head of the FBI, New York City hosted the first-ever Macy’s Day parade, and Nellie Ross was elected governor of Wyoming, the first woman governor in the United States. Twenty years later, in 1944, Leona was in the Navy, part of a secret mission that helped bring World War Two to an end. When we met, she was eager to talk about her life, then and now. You’re going to love listening to her.

Listen to my conversation about aging with Leona Chasse, 95

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Read a transcript of our conversation

A few pictures

Leona (L) and her older sister
Leona as a young woman/tomboy
Leona as a teenager
Leona's Navy uniform
Leona’s Navy uniform
A bombe/Source: National Security Agency
A coconut Leona sent home from Pearl Harbor
A coconut Leona sent her mother from Hawaii
Leona and her infant son Michael
A passport photo of Leona and her son Michael
Leona looking at newspaper clippings
Looking through memorabilia
Leona holding a picture of herself in uniform
Leona Chasse, now and then

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Who’s next?

Conversations About Aging airs every other Monday. My next conversation is with Bill Saltzer, who is 93 and recently moved into an assisted living facility in Gorham. We talked about the joys and challenges of living on your own and coming to terms with needing help even though you feel perfectly capable and want to remain independent. He also told me about his time in the war as an interpreter.


If you have any suggestions for people I should consider interviewing or you’re aware of a helpful aging resource in your community, let me know. In addition to the podcast, I intend to blog about what various communities, organizations, and individuals are doing to provide age-friendly services, support, and connection here in Maine. The best way to get in touch is to send me an email. Thank you!

Please share the podcast with friends, family, on social media, everywhere. You’re also welcome to become a member of our Facebook group Conversations About Aging.