John L. Leonard, Sr


John Lewis Leonard, Sr., 87 was born March 24, 1936 and went home to be with the Lord on May 18, 2023. He was born to proud parents, Willie F. and Claude Leonard in Hissop Community in Coosa County, Alabama. He attended and graduated from Coosa County Training School. He served in the U.S. Army as a Specialist Four where he worked as an Engineering Equipment Mechanic with a special designation as Sharpshooter (Carbine) during the Vietnam War, until he received an honorable discharge from active duty. John worked a number of “good paying jobs” with companies including Westinghouse, National Can Corporation and The State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections, where he was a corrections officer until he retired.

John was known for being stylish and always wearing his hats. He was a very diligent and hardworking man who would tell anyone that he “always kept a good paying job” to provide for his family. He would never call off sick due to his diligent work ethic. His hobbies were fishing and gardening. His favorite pastimes were playing cards, betting on horse races, and playing the lottery. He loved music and always had a song to sing or a tune to whistle. He loved Mahalia Jackson’s music and would often tell a story of how she would come to the annual May Singing at New Home Baptist Church in Hissop, Alabama.

John met Loretta Thompson in 1959, and they were married in Seaside, California. From there, they moved to Atlanta, where they started their family having two sons, John Jr. and Bernard. In the early 60’s they relocated to Ohio, where their daughters Sherry and Michele were born. They were married for over 30 years and remained good friends.

John was preceded in death by his son, John L. Leonard, Jr.; parents, Willie F. and Claude Leonard; siblings, Plesby Leonard, Vallie (Samuel) Goggans, Charles, David and Earlie Leonard; granddaughter, Tiauna Leonard; and a brother-in-law, Edward Lauderdale.

John leaves to cherish his memory, three children, Bernard (Cassandra) Leonard, Sherry Leonard, and Michele Leonard; three siblings, Augusta Lauderdale, Lee Dorothy (Holman) Edmond, and Loretta (Jack) Marbury; two sisters-in-law, Rebecca Leonard and Lillian Leonard; 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; former wife and best friend, Loretta Leonard; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

Visitation 10:00am and Funeral 11:00am Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at MARLAN J. GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE East, 5456 E. Livingston Ave.

Interment at Evergreen Burial Park.

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Condolence Messages

  1. DeJarvis Leonard

    We are saddened by the passing of our uncle. The prayers of our family will continually be with you. May the strength of the Holy Spirit sustain you all during this difficult time .

  2. Sherrill Black

    Praying for the family during this difficult time. May God keep you & give you peace.
    Love, Sherrill (Arnold) Black

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