Founded first senior center in Wakefield, arts and crafts lover featured in “Quiltmaker” magazine.

WAKEFIELD — Alma Leafquist, 94, of Wakefield, passed away peacefully on Sept. 4 at Sawtelle House in Reading. She was born in Boston on Feb. 4, 1920 to James A. and Ethel (King) Todd. In the 1920s the family moved to Wakefield where she graduated from Wakefield High School in 1937.

After graduation, she worked in Boston for several firms as an administrative assistant before joining the Lawson Machine and Tool Company (a prime contractor to Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines) where she was secretary to the president.

Alma married the love of her life Herbert Leafquist in 1955 and together they raised one child, Eric C. Leafquist. Throughout her life she balanced family, her love of the outdoors (life member of the Appalachian Mountain Club), quilt making and love for the special art of chair caning and gardening, along with a strong commitment to service in the community.

She served her community in many ways, including co-founder of the Wakefield Drop In Center for Seniors (which she ran for 38 years), president of Wakefield Arts and Crafts Society and deaconess of the First Parish Congregational Church. In 1999, she was honored as a Deaconess of First Parish Congregational Church for Life. In 2011, one of her quilts was featured in QuiltMaker magazine.

She is survived by her son Eric C. Leafquist and his wife Kathy of Westford, her niece Grace Chiaradonna of New Hampshire and nephew John White of Virginia. She was the devoted grandmother of the late Erica Kate Leafquist and sister of the late Florence M. McMahon, John J. Todd and Leslie Todd.

Relatives and friends are invited to the memorial service on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. in the First Parish Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Wakefield.