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THOMAS M. LEONARD , a retired business executive who lived in Vero Beach, Florida for 35 years, died peacefully on July 7th after a short illness. He was 93. A resident of Johns' Island, he was an avid golfer well into his 80s and introduced his love for the game to each member of his family. Today his grand - children share his competitive nature and fun-loving spirit both on and off the course. Mr. Leonard was born in Chicago and graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Maryland. He married a high school art teacher, Ethel Andrews in 1947, six months after he returned home from WWII as a Colonel in the US Army Air Corps. He continued flying as an Air Force test pilot and later served as a member of the Maryland Air National Guard. He then joined Continental Can Company in New York City as an industrial engineer and moved to Old Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1962, he joined Textron Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island as a group vice president. He and Ethel built a home in Barrington, Rhode Island where they lived for 25 years. In 1970, Mr. Leonard took over SW Industries outside of Boston. After successfully doubling the size of the company, he sold it to British Tire and Rubber in London, England. He continued to serve on the BTR's Board of Directors for several years while he and his wife traveled extensively. Mr. Leonard was inducted into the Calvert Hall Alumnae Hall of Fame in 1987. Over the next 25 years, he and Ethel split their time between Maryland and Florida where they played an important role in the lives of their four grandchildren. Mr. Leonard is survived by Ethel, his beloved wife of 66 years; his daughter Susan Frost and her husband Phillip who reside in Vero Beach and Chicago, his daughter Janet Stone who lives in Sharon, Connecticut; and four grandchildren, George Thomas and his wife Caryn from Frankfort, Illinois; Ryan and his wife Jennifer who live in Carmel, Indiana; and Graham and Hope Stone who live in New York City. Mr. Leonard has two great grandchildren, Tanner and Tess who live with their parents in Illinois. He is also survived by a niece Ann Sheckells and her family Kate, Paul, Teddy and Charlie who live in Maryland. A strong believer in the power of education to succeed in life and the love of family to find fulfillment, Mr. Leonard seldom accepted easy answers or a well-traveled path. An adventurer who believed in pushing envelopes, he challenged each of his family to do the same. He left a legacy of gritty character and a spirit of great caring. He will be deeply missed. Mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Catholic Church at 10 AM on Monday, July 15th. A private burial will follow at the family cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial contributions to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250- 0301, Attn: Gift Processing, on behalf of Thomas Leonard. Arrangements are by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. A guest book is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com"Paid Obituary
Published in the TC Palm on July 11, 2013