Sen. Patrick Leahy is the Vermont Senator who is presiding over former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. He’s married to Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy and they live on a tree farm. Here’s what you need to know about Sen. Leahy’s wife, Marcelle Leahy.
1. Sen. Patrick Leahy & Marcelle Leahy Have 3 Children & Live on a Tree Farm
Sen. Leahy and his wife, Marcelle Leahy, have three children: Kevin, Alicia, and Mark. They also have five grandchildren, including two grandsons and three granddaughters, according to his official biography.
Marcelle and Patrick Leahy have been married since 1962 — just a few years shy of 60 years. They first met at a part on Lake Champlain when he was 19 and she was 17, Burlington Free Press reported. Patrick Leahy said he fell for her immediately, but she ignored him at first and was shy. But three years later, they were married.
Leahy is the most senior member of the Senate, having been first elected to the Senate in 1975.
Marcelle and Patrick Leahy live on a tree farm in Middlesex, according to his biography.
2. She’s Known for Reaching Across Political Aisles & Earned Praise for Connecting with Raul Castro
The University of Vermont shared that Marcelle Leahy is known for her ability to reach across political lines for common goals. UVM noted that when Patrick Leahy is asked to headline events, he’s often asked if Marcelle will be leading the event with him, because she’s so skilled at what she does.
When the Leahys met Raul Castro for the first time, she was the one who helped forge a connection with him, building on their shared interests in grandchildren, Burlington Free Press reported.
Tim Rieser, foreign policy advisor for Patrick Leahy, said about that day: “It kind of broke the ice. It wouldn’t have happened if Marcelle hadn’t opened her mouth. … When you can find that personal connection it can open channels that otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Patrick Leahy said about his wife: “She is the best political sounding board I have.”
3. She’s a Registered Nurse & Was Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws
Marcelle Leahy is a registered nurse and has worked at hospitals in Arlington, Virginia; Burlington, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., VTDigger reported.
Leahy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Vermont. The University of Vermont noted that she was on the board of directors for the Vermont Nursing Association, the Vermont Nursing Initiatives Project, and on the advisory council for the Northwich University School of Nursing.
UVM reported: “Mrs. Leahy has been instrumental in advocating for a program of simulation activities for UVM students across the health disciplines and the Vermont National Guard, to best prepare health providers and first responders for their initial hands-on work experiences in the field… Transforming personal experience into public effort, Mrs. Leahy is a strong supporter of cancer research and of adjunct services to children with cancer.”
4. Her Parents Emigrated to the U.S. from Quebec, Canada, & Bernie Sanders Once Praised Her Uncle
In a column written by Patrick Leahy for VTDigger, he shared that his wife’s parents — Louis Philippe Pomerleau and Cecile Bouchard Pomerleau — had both emigrated to the United States from Quebec, Canada. This makes his wife a first-generation American, born in Newport, Vermont. He said that she grew up in a bilingual household, understanding two cultures, which is quite representative of America.
Patrick Leahy said his wife’s parents contributed much to Vermont in terms of business and music, and that other family members were leaders in the community.
Her uncle, Antonio Pomerleau, was a real estate developer and philanthropist who died at the age of 100, VPR reported. He was born in Quebec and grew up in Newport. He developed the first shopping centers in Vermont and used much of his wealth to help charities and people in need.
Patrick Leahy said about Antonio Pomerleau: “As a French Canadian immigrant family — coming into Vermont — he became more of a Vermonter than most people born here. And he did extremely well, raised a family … He never forgot Vermont and as he became wealthy, I don’t know anyone who has given back more to Vermont.”
Bernie Sanders said about Marcelle Leahy’s uncle, who was a Republican: “He was willing to sit down and talk to the union in an open manner. And the truth of the matter is that today… you can confirm from both the union and Pomerleau that the relationship between the rank and file cop in the city of Burlington and management has been better than it’s been in God knows how many years.”
5. She’s a Cancer Survivor
Marcelle Leahy shared in a column for VT Digger that she’s a skin cancer survivor, specifically having survived melanoma. She wrote a column as a public service announcement, asking people in Vermont to be careful about tanning beds and how they can contribute to the risks of cancer.