Robert D. Leonard

Robert D. Leonard Feb. 26, 1925 - March 29, 2014 NILES - Robert D. Leonard, age 89 years, of Niles, died at 10:52 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at home following a brief illness. Bob died peacefully with his family at his side. His last several weeks of life were filled with visits from a great many wonderful people. His face lit up as each visitor arrived . . . he enjoyed each one so much. He was born on February 26, 1925, in Lisbon, North Dakota, to John R. and Dora E. (Hardebeck) Leonard. He was graduated from Lisbon High School, and then served a tour of duty with the Unites States Army, being discharged as a veteran of World War II. He lived most of his life in Niles after falling in love with the beautiful Irish songstress, Maureen O'Toole. They were married on June 2, 1951, at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles and built their lives around family, church and community. They raised 9 children, and added 9 more as their children were married. They later joyfully welcomed 22 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren into the family. Bob served the church in a myriad of ways: fundraising for building Saint Mary Elementary School, many years as an usher, 50 years as Financial Secretary of the Knights of Columbus Council #708, coordinating the KofC Tootsie Roll Drive for over 30 years; assisting in the building of the Saint Mary Community Center, and volunteering with whatever else needed to be done. He was employed at the party store at Drolet's for many years, eventually owning and operating Bob's B Bottle Store. In retirement, he was employed at the Niles Feed and Seed, and as a delivery agent for the local pharmacy. Bob served the community as a coach for the Little League, as a trustee for Niles Charter Township and representative to the SMCAS board, a member of the B.P.O. of Niles Elks #1322, and secretary of the Friday Night Bowling league for 50 years. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, he initiated joint projects with the Niles Shrine Club including the annual Friendship Night dinner and golf outing. For those efforts Bob was one of a select few non-Shriners to be awarded a "green fez". He also supported local charities from the proceeds of Bob's B Bottle Golf Outing for over 35 years. Bob is survived by his wife of 63 years, Maureen, and their children, Beth (& Don) Inks, Ann (& Curt) Cutts, Sheila (& Doug) Morton, Becky (& Dick) Scameheorn, Shane (& Laura) Leonard, C.J. (& Colleen) Leonard, Sue (& Brian) Burks, and Tricia (& Dan) Mentock; a daughter-in-law, Cheryl Leonard; 22 grandchildren and 16 great-granchildren; and Bob's sister, Sharon Richards; sister-in-law, Patty Leonard; aunts, Evelyn Hardebeck, Marge Turk and Helen Thompson; several cousins and scores of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son, Terry; his parents, Ross & Elizabeth; and his brothers, Don and Chuck. The Mass of Christian Burial for Bob Leonard will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles by the Rev. David Otto with the Rev. William P. Melody of Notre Dame, Indiana, and the Rev. Joe Richards of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Fertile, Minnesota, concelebrating and assisted by Deacon Roger Gregorski of Saint Mary. Committal Rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Niles and will conclude with the Veterans Flag Presentation and "Taps" by the United States Army Honor Guard. The family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the church with recitation of The Rosary at 7:30 p.m. and attendance by the Knights of Columbus Color Corps. Contributions in memory of Bob may be made to the Knights of Columbus Council #708 to support its Mentally Impaired program. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.

Funeral Home

615 E MAIN ST Niles, MI 49120
(269) 683-3000

Published in South Bend Tribune on Apr. 1, 2014