James "Jimmy" Hinton Leonard, age 89, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Dec. 4, 2013, at home with family at his side. James was born Oct. 21, 1924, in Martin, Tenn., to Guy and Blanche Leonard. He is preceded in death by both parents and wife of 57 years, Maura C. Devoy-Leonard. Jimmy is survived by sister, Sara (Joe) Allen; sons, Rodney (Ginger) Leonard and Tony Leonard (Alethea Wankowski); daughters, Sherry (Bob) Rockwell and Maureen Leonard; grandchildren, Christy (Jeff) King, Shelley (Scott) McCoy, Lorrie (Craig) Hill, Matt Dixon, Scott (Carylle) Leonard, Katie (Michael) Law, Hank Rockwell, AJ (Brittany) Rockwell, Brenden Leonard, Demi Dixon (Krystal Scott), Valerie Dixon, and Alec Leonard; great-grandchildren, Alexis and Rachel King, Anna McCoy, Elijah, Tyler and Isabella Hill, Elizabeth Law, and Mykelti and Hadley Leonard; sisters-in-law, Adelaide (Cy) Harris and family, and Sheila (Bob)Allman and family; numerous relatives from New York, England, and Ireland; and the many students who touched his life throughout his career.
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Jim was a loving and devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He came to Fort Walton in 1949 to be band director at Fort Walton School from 1949-51, then at Choctawhatchee High School from 1952 to 1967. He served on the FWB Parks and Recreation Board in the 1950's. He opened his family business, Playground Music Center, in 1961 operating it with his loving wife, Maura, for several decades. James was a charter member (1963) Phi Beta Mu Music Fraternity, charter member FWB Kiwanis Club serving 60+ years with perfect attendance and served as its Lieutenant Governor for State of Florida, elected/served two years on National Association of Music Merchants board of directors, former Board member FWB YMCA, a WWII veteran serving in the U.S. Army and in 2009 participated in Freedom Flight to Washington D.C. honoring our country's veterans.
A celebration of life honoring James H. Leonard will be held Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at Two Trees Restaurant, FWB Golf Club, Lewis-Turner Boulevard from 5 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests honoring James' life through your kind donation to 'The Holy Moly James H. Leonard Style-Marcher Trust', Account No. 119750, First City Bank – FWB, or to the Fort Walton Beach YMCA. Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Rd NE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Dec. 8, 2013