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John Leonard

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John F. Leonard

1918 - 2012 BEDFORD John F. Leonard, 94, of Bedford died peacefully following a lengthy illness with his loving family members at his side.

Mr. Leonard was born in Tower City, Pa. on Aug. 1, 1918, son of John and Anna (Knecht) Leonard. He was raised in Pennsylvania and was a 1947 graduate of Drexel Institute where he obtained his degree in Textile Engineering. His college education was put on hold while he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II from May of 1944 until October of 1945. He was a B-24 "Liberator" co-pilot in the "Flying Eight balls" 44th Bomber group carrying out 21 combat missions over Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant.

He and his wife, Gertrude (Doyle) were married in Philadelphia in 1950. They shared 61 years of marriage until her death in January of 2011. After they retired, they lived for 20 years in Fort Myers, Fla.

He loved reading, tales of the old west being his favorite choice. He loved swimming, biking and most of all, visits from his children and grandchildren. He was a parishioner of St. Agnes in Dalton where he raised his family, the Church of the Redeemer in Ft, Myers, St. Michael's in Bedford and enjoyed the daily Mass on Catholic TV in his later years.

Mr. Leonard is survived by his sister, Mary Ford of Baltimore, and his three daughters, Kathleen Leonard of Bedford, Rosemary Racine of Milton, Vt., and Joanne Fox of Dalton, Mass., eight grandchildren, James, Jason and Michael Racine, Shaun and Shannon Fillion, and Rachel, Jeffrey and Brian Fox, and three great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Taylor Racine and Dominic Fox.

FUNERAL NOTICE: The funeral Mass for Mr. Leonard will be celebrated in the Church of St. Michael, 90 Concord Rd. (Rt. 62), Bedford, on Saturday August 18, at 9:00 AM. There will be a collation in the church hall immediately after the service.

A private burial with military honors will be held on Monday, August 20, at 1 PM at the Massachusetts Veterans' Cemetery in Agawam, MA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923, or to Catholic Television, 34 Chestnut St., P.O. Box 9196, Watertown, MA 02471.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Aug. 14, 2012
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