October 25,1946 – April 17, 2021
Born October 25, 1946 in Fresno, California Leonard began developing his love of baseball as a young man of 9 years by playing baseball in the Spartan League on Fresno’s West Side. It was then he won his first award as a member of the 1956 Lions Club West Champions. Leonard was a graduate of Edison High School class of 1964 where he played football and baseball. He made an indelible mark on the Edison Tigers baseball team landing his spot as catcher on varsity his sophomore year and by being the recipient of the Harry Coffee All-American Blanket award in 1963. Immediately after high school, Leonard went right to work at Napa Auto Parts starting as the most aggressive of all clerks locating every impossible part and growing into the man that would be consulted as the gold standard for the corporation over a 40 plus-year career with Napa.
August 14, 1964, Leonard became a father for the first time when Little Leonard was born and again on June 23, 1971 when his second son, Steven came into his life. Leonard loved his boys fiercely and cared for them tirelessly until their untimely passing. They left far too soon, and Leonard wore this heartbreak on his sleeve for many years. Family meant the most to him including the ones he chose for himself. Loyalty and obligation to those that came before you were responsibilities in life he took very seriously. He cared for many people who needed him and people who needed him were never in short supply. His caregiving knew no limitations and did not require anything in return.
Leonard was reunited, in heaven, on April 17, 2021, with his mother, father, sons, and his beloved dog, Maggie. He is survived by his siblings Fran and her husband Seve, John and his wife Eleanor, Linda and her husband Art, one granddaughter, and 6 nieces and nephews who will truly miss his spirit and his ability to speak his mind no matter the audience or venue.
The family is forever grateful to Leonard’s greatest love and the only woman, by his own description, who ever truly loved him for who he was, Kay Cone. Kay, who cared for him, loved him, and put up with all of his stubborn, leathery exterior in what would prove to be his most challenging times, will forever hold a special place in our hearts and will always be welcome at our tables as any other family member would.
In addition, the family would like to express their gratitude to Elvira, Jasmin, and “Chava” of Chubby’s Blackstone. As the favorite hang out of Leonard, his father, and his friends, the staff at Chubby’s served him and his father George almost daily for over 25 years and, whether the staff there knew it or not, they were a very large part of making Leonard feel cared for and loved. Because of this, he treasured them like family.
Please join us for a celebration of Leonard’s life at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery Chapel, 264 N. Blythe Ave., Fresno, CA 93706 on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 11:00am.
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