Known as a strong man who was a friend to all and a leader in the Bethel community, Leroy E. Dwinells passed away on December 3rd, 2019. Roy will be missed by all who knew him, especially his family and friends who best knew his stories, his ability to sell anything, and his genuine warm heartedness. Roy was an active member of the Bethel community where he and his loving wife Polly built their home with their own hands 50 years ago. Born April 24th, 1933 in Bridgeport, CT, Roy spent his life well, with much of his time spent giving to and serving others. He served as a trustee of the First Congregational Church of Bethel and volunteered with the Pilgrim Fellowship Youth Group when his sons were young. He was one of the founding members of the Bethel Brotherhood in Action in the 1980’s, and in his last days took comfort in knowing that scores of volunteers turned out to donate, pack and deliver food to hundreds of needy people during the recent Thanksgiving Food Drive. Roy was a Master Mason and past Master of the Bethel Masonic Lodge and he proudly wore his 50-year pin demonstrating his fraternal loyalty. In recent years Bethelites were greeted warmly by Roy outside of local businesses selling raffle tickets for the Lions Club in support of local youth scholarships, or attending worship services at the Bethel United Methodist Church.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Roy served honorably when drafted in 1951 and spent one year overseas in the mountain frontier between Italy and Yugoslavia. After his discharge in 1953, he went to work and became a jack of all trades. He worked hard to start his own small dairy farm in Canterbury Ct and sold that when he and his brother started Dwinells Bros. Inc, a drilling and blasting business, clearing rock and ledge for many construction sites in the region. They also built and sold several other homes in Bethel. Roy worked a second job for the State of CT for over 30 years, with duties as a drawbridge operator and heavy equipment operator. He ended his employment after retiring from Eaton Corp. in 1995. Afterward, he and Polly spent many summer weekends selling her hand-crafted flower arrangements or their organic herbs at country fairs in the region and tending to the beautiful gardens surrounding their home.
Roy is survived by his wife Polly (Zinn) Dwinells, formerly of Danbury CT, and three sons; Jeffrey and his wife Jen of Bethel, Mathew and his wife Li who lead and manage an orphanage in the Phillippines, and Mark and his wife Karen of Bethel, as well as numerous family members including his sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is pre-deceased by his younger brother Willard.
Family will receive friends in the Bethel Funeral Home 215 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, CT on Friday morning at 10:00 am, with the funeral service 11:00 am. Following his funeral services, Roy will find his final resting place at the Elmwood Cemetery in Bethel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Bethel Brotherhood in Action, POB 582, Bethel, CT 06801 or online at http://www.biabethel.org/home
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