Patrick Joseph Leonard, 95, a resident of Braintree for 70 years, passed away March 19, 2013, surrounded by family. He was the loving and devoted husband of the late Rosanna Meunier Leonard. He was a 1934 graduate of St. John's High School in Canton, where he grew up. Pat worked at Fore River Shipyard as a welder before and during World War II and worked on the construction of many ships including the Battleship USS Massachusetts. He married Rosanna Meunier in 1943 and moved to Braintree. Later he served on active duty in the United States Naval Reserve at the end of World War II. After the war he worked for many years for the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency and rose to be the manager of the Boston office. A private investigator for decades, he also ran his own private investigating and security officer service firm, Leonard Agency, Inc., in Braintree. A historian and noted authority on boxing, Pat had many articles published in various sports publications. Pat was an avid reader and writer and was a published author for more than 40 years. His work appeared in magazines such as Yankee, Military History, Ireland's Own, and many others. His stories, both historically factual work, and creative fiction, were published both in the United States and in Europe. He belonged to both the Speckled Band of Boston, and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London; literary societies dedicated to the study of the famous fictional detective. In 1978 he won the annual literary prize of the Speckled Band; and he later was a speaker at the Sherlock Holmes Society in London. He shared his skills in writing by serving for several years as a creative writing instructor at the Universidad Americana in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pat became a member of the Boston Rotary Club in 1958, and later transferred membership to the Hingham Rotary Club, serving as its president from 1970 to 1971 when the club won the District Service Award under his leadership. He enjoyed Rotary for decades and was a 100% member; enjoying service as both program chairman and bulletin editor. He was noted for arranging for unique and interesting programs and writing weekly bulletins which were enjoyed by all. He was deeply interested in Braintree History, was a long time member of the Braintree Historical Society, was a prime mover in the design and construction of the Braintree Bi-Centennial Time Capsule Cairn, and was active on the Time Capsule project for decades. He was also a noted authority on the Sacco-Vanzetti Case and was consulted by many authors of this subject. His research into the life of Deborah Samson, a female veteran of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and his written work about her life and military career, resulted in her being named Massachusetts State Heroine. Pat loved the ocean and for many years his family had a summer home at Sunset Point in Nantasket where he kept boats and went swimming year round. Pat was the author of scores of stories and articles and worked on his writing up until the last several months of his life. He is survived by his son, Patrick J. Leonard Jr. and his wife Norma Bonilla Leonard of Weymouth; step-granddaughter, Norma Denise McDonough Barth and her husband Brendan Barth of Yorba Linda, Calif.; step-grandson, William Charles McDonough and his wife Kerry Ayers McDonough; step-great-grandson, Liam Nolan McDonough of Whitman; and his daughter, Mary Leonard Barrett and her husband Stephen Barrett of Taunton; and grandsons, Patrick Barrett of Mansfield and Christopher Barrett of Taunton. Visitation in the McMaster Funeral Home, 86 Franklin St. (Rte. 37), Braintree, Friday, March 22, from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral Mass was held Saturday, March 23, at 9 a.m. in St. Thomas More Church, Braintree. Internment will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery in West Roxbury. In lieu of flowers, the family sincerely requests donations in his memory may be made to a charity of ones choice. For information and directions please visit www.mcmasterfh.com.
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Published in Braintree Forum from Mar. 20 to Mar. 27, 2013