Leonard Linsley, 85, a former executive who spent his retirement helping the poor in Peru, died of leukemia April 7 at the Gloria Dei Farms retirement community in Hatboro.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Linsley was a retired pharmaceutical company executive who had taken up real estate when he became friends with the Rev. Richard Mullen, whom he had heard speak about his work in Augustinian missions in Peru.

Mr. Linsley visited Chulucanas, Peru, with Mullen in 1990 and was so moved by the poverty that he became committed to helping, Mullen said. Mr. Linsley began by helping the Augustinian Mission Office in Villanova collect donations of medicine and medical and school supplies.

He was especially concerned about the nutrition of the children and collected boxes of vitamins, said Mullen, who now ministers in a church in Coral Gables, Fla.

Mr. Linsley asked administrators at nursing homes and hospitals to donate old wheelchairs and walkers, and he even collected bicycles. He had a gentleness about him, Mullen said, but he had guts when asking for help for the poor.

Mr. Linsley's wife, Beryl, said the collected items had been stored in the basement of their home in Oreland and shipped every two years to Peru.

He cut back on his collecting when he and his wife moved to an apartment at Gloria Dei Farms four years ago, but stayed involved in the work until he became ill more than a year ago.

In Peru, Mr. Linsley met a woman with five children. For years he helped support the family and was very proud that three of the daughters attended college. One is a teacher, another a lawyer, and another a doctor, his wife said.

Mr. Linsley grew up in Ardmore and graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys in 1939.

During World War II, he was a staff sergeant in the Army Air Force and served as a clerk in North Africa, Italy, France and England. In England, he met Beryl White at a tea dance in Leicester. She was serving in the Women's Royal Air Force and was home on leave. They married in England in 1945.

After his discharge, he returned to the States with his bride and joined the accounting department of Smith, Kline & French in Philadelphia.

While working, he earned a certificate in economics in 1950 from the evening division of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Linsley held several management positions at Smith Kline before retiring in 1970. He then was a real estate agent with the former William A. Emmerick Inc. in Lansdale until retiring again in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Linsley won awards for skeet shooting. He enjoyed returning to England to visit his wife's family and traveling the countryside.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Barry; daughters Karen O'Neil and Sandra DeMello; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Services were private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Advent, 12 Byberry Rd., Hatboro, Pa. 19040.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.