Geraldine "Jeri" LEONARD

Passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 surrounded by her loving husband and sons. Jeri was born January 27th, 1930 in St. Paul. As the youngest of three daughters being raised in the depth of the depression, she developed a sophisticated thriftiness and was always on the hunt for a bargain. Jeri graduated from Washington High School in 1948 and with her keen eye for fashion took a job at Hush Brothers selling women's clothing. A few years later she married the love of her life Harold "Red" Leonard, on June 5th 1954. Jeri next took a job at State Farm Insurance in St. Paul, she quickly rose through the ranks and became the only female supervisor in her division. As anyone who ever worked with her on a project could attest, there was Jeri's way of doing things and the wrong way. In 1963 she and Red founded Fury Motors and Jeri became the official "director of celebrations", making sure there was enough food around to feed an army and that the buildings were perfectly decorated for all occasions. Jeri also had a special place in her heart for heritage, conservation and environmental causes. In 1966 she welcomed her first child Tom, late as usual, followed shortly by her second son Jim. Soon after they both could walk Jeri had them on skates teaching them to play hockey. However, the boys weren't the first of Jeri's children to come along. She devoted the majority of her time to helping raise many nieces and nephews. She took on many jobs from helping take kids to doctor appointments to teaching everyone to water-ski behind the pontoon in the summer. She welcomed two daughters-in-law into her family with love and grace and eagerly awaited the job she looked forward to most, being a grandmother. The birth of her first granddaughter came in November 2007 and with it came a glow and love from Jeri that she had been waiting to share. She loved all three of her granddaughters as only a grandmother could and relished the time she shared with each of them. She will always be remembered as a gracious host and known for being able to accommodate a large group of people at a moment's notice. Everyone who knew Jeri described her as a "force of nature", needless to say, St. Peter will have his hands full. There is a large void left in our hearts but we know she will be looking down on us with her loving embrace. Jeri is preceded in death by her mother Lillian Lee; and sisters Joyce Behr, and Phyllis Scriven. She is survived by her husband Harold "Red"; sons Tom (Phoebe), Jim (Mandi); and granddaughters Dani, Charlee and Bridget. Wake Services will be held at Klecatsky Southern Funeral Home, 414 Marie Avenue, South St. Paul from 4 to 8pm on Thursday, December 6th. Funeral will be held at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 789 17th Ave N., South St. Paul at 11am on Friday, December 7th.

Funeral Home

Klecatsky & Sons Southern Chapel
414 Marie Avenue South St. Paul, MN 55075-2036

Published in Pioneer Press from Dec. 5 to Dec. 6, 2012