Frank Leonardo passed away on April 4, 2013, at the age of 78, from complications due to an accidental fall.
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Frank was a larger-than-life personality, whose presence in the community impacted hundreds and hundreds of people through the way he lived his life. A 68- year Bayliss resident, Frank embodied the "work hard, play hard" lifestyle. Frank was giving and caring, and a doer, not a talker, although he could B.S. with the best of them.
Always active in his community, Frank served and led in many organizations, but his family and his Portuguese heritage always came first. He traveled extensively with family and friends, but put down generational roots on his farm in Bayliss.
Many things describe the man; loving husband, father, grandfather (Vovo), great grandfather, boxer, dairyman, farmer, wine maker, icon, life of the party, 49'er tailgater, B.S.'er, all around standup guy, card player, 100% Portuguese, and one of the last "legends".
Frank is survived by four sisters, Mary McArdle, Loutina Niehues, Evelyn Mendes, and Dolores Amaro. He leaves behind his bride of 57 years, Eva May, their seven children and nineteen grandchildren, Roxane and John Cornelius (Tiana, Marissa), Frank (Jessica Thuemler, Emiley Johnson, Franchaska, Hank), Sandra and Greg Miller (Megan Aldridge, Matt, Camille), Manuel (Amy, Jade), Teresa and Kevin Stokes (Jennifer Milne, Thomas, Sarah Galvan), Mary and Thom Rock (Hannah, Hailey), and Judy and Matt Cullen (Rachel, Madison, Mason). There are also seven great-grandchildren, Rylie, Wyatt, Rhett, Reese, Ellie, Madelyn, and Brody, with an eighth on the way.
In addition to building and running a successful dairy business, Frank was active in the Young Farmers of America, Elks, the Willows Pheasant Association, the Princeton Festa Committee, S.E.S, and the Bayliss Volunteer Fire Dept., where he was chief for six years. He was instrumental in helping to establish the California Milk Advisory Board, and served on the board for 40 years.
Frank's passing leaves a huge void in his family and his community, which many will try to fill with fond memories of his life and legacy. Few can truly be termed legendary, and his passing is the end of an era. Frank will be sorely missed by all who were honored to know him.
Adeus, Frank. We love you.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a
A rosary will be held Thursday April 11, 2013 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass, Friday April 12, 2013 10:00 a.m. Both will be held at St. Monica's Catholic Church in Willows.
Published in Willows Journal from Apr. 10 to Apr. 17, 2013