John J. Leonard, 88, died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of Monday August 26th, 2019. Born in Orange, New Jersey on November 20th, 1930, John was the son of John Matthew Leonard and Margaret (Sussex) Leonard. John was raised in Queens and Manhattan where he graduated from Haaren High School in January 1948.
He enlisted in the Navy in December 1950 and proudly served on multiple destroyers during the Korean War before leaving the service with the rank of Seaman First Class in December 1953. John soon started working for Pan American World Airways as he continued his education at night at Pace University. John retired from Pan Am after 38 years as Director of System Automation— he was always thankful that both the Navy and Pan Am gave him the opportunity to travel and see so much of the world.
On January 21st, 1955, John married the love of his life, Joan McKeever. After three years in Astoria, Queens, they settled in Nanuet and were the proud parents of six boys. As his sons grew up, John became a coach and manager in the Nanuet Little League and an adult leader with Boy Scout Troop 93 in Bardonia.
He was a parishioner of St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet where he was a long time Lector and member of the Holy Name Society.
John was an avid reader and enjoyed (in no special order) crossword puzzles, baseball (Go Yankees!), British comedy, the Honeymooners, and the comics—especially Peanuts, Pogo, and BC. He was a quiet, humble, impressively intelligent, and ferociously funny man. He will be terribly missed.
Predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Joan, his son Joseph, and his brother Thomas, John is survived by his sons John (Kathy) of West Sand Lake, Kevin (Barbara) of Chatham, N.J., Thomas (Joyce) of Congers, Robert (Lisa) of Kent, and Dr. Michael Leonard of Manhattan; and grandchildren Matthew, Timothy, Gregory, Stephen, Brian, Christopher, Joseph, James, Erica, Robert, Michael, Katie, and Bridget; his sister-in-law Ilona McKeever; and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours at Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home, 728 West Nyack Rd., West Nyack, are on Friday August 30th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm.
A Mass of Christian Buriel will be held at St. Anthony’s Shrine Church, 36 West Nyack Rd., Nanuet, on Saturday August 31st at 11:30am with interment immediately following at St. Anthony’s.