NORTHAMPTON- Fred H. Leonard died on July 23, 2012, following a short battle with cancer.
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He was born May 17, 1938, in Orange, N.J.
After receiving a B.S. from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1966, Fred was a professor of economics at Smith College in Northampton until his retirement in 2009. He served as chairman of the Economics Department twice and authored two textbooks on macroeconomics.
Fred was known as a demanding and dynamic teacher. One of his students at Smith, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who went on to become a prominent economist, serving as the head of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Clinton and currently a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said: "Great professors can change the lives of their students, and Professor Fred Leonard, one of the leaders of the Economics Department at Smith College for several decades, changed mine. His passion for economics and teaching inspired me to get a doctorate in economics and to become a college professor, at a time when few women chose such a path. His belief in my potential encouraged me to aim for excellence and to tackle new challenges throughout my career. He was a dedicated teacher and advisor who helped me and many other Smith College graduates build fascinating and rewarding careers in economics, the discipline that was the love of his life, as it is of mine."
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Fred was a longtime participant in Northampton recreational softball and basketball leagues. One particular source of satisfaction to Fred was the Masters, a city league softball team he formed for players in their 40's and early 50's, who played outstanding competitive softball because of their knowledge of the game, even though they had "lost a step."
Widely travelled in his later years, Fred enjoyed experiencing the cultures of other countries, making trips with his extended family to Spain, Italy, France, England, Germany, Costa Rica, South Africa, and China.
Fred is survived by his children, Gregory Keith Leonard of Millbrae, Calif., Karen Lynn Newman of Nashua, N.H., Margaret Hope Leonard of Northampton, and Elizabeth Rose Leonard of Northampton; his grandchildren, Zachariah Michael Newman of Northampton, Trevor Michael O'Donnell of Nashua, N.H., and Andrew Deng Leonard of Millbrae, Calif,; and his former wives, Nancy Fracker Gervais of Nashua, N.H. and Margaret Asafaylo Leonard of Northampton.
Calling hours will be Saturday, August 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Ahearn Funeral Home on Bridge Road in Northampton. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in Fred's memory to the Fisher Home for End-of-Life Care, 1165 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 27, 2012