Leonard Garth Parsons, a long-time resident of Amarillo, passed away suddenly but peacefully on Wednesday evening, December 16, in Amarillo. He was born May 3, 1925 in Cliff NM, the youngest of the 6 children of Donnie Rover Parsons and Lilian Lenore (Wixom) Parsons. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Fox Tech high school as senior class president in 1942. He served in the United States Marine Corps for nearly 3 years during World War II as a tech sergeant and radar technician at Camp Lejeune NC and on the island of Tinian in the South Pacific. He witnessed the take-off and the return (many hours later) of the Enola Gay B-29 bomber which delivered the first atomic bomb to Hiroshima, Japan.
After the war, he continued his education at San Antonio College where he met Marie McMunn. They were married on December 28, 1948 in San Antonio and finished their education (thanks to the GI bill) at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. After teaching high school and college for a few years, he changed careers in the early 1950's and was employed by Sandia Laboratories to work with and test the electronic circuitry of nuclear weapons. In 1966, he was transferred by Sandia to the Pantex plant outside of Amarillo where he worked until his retirement in 1989.
Leonard and Marie and their 5 children were sealed together for eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 4, 1974.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he served in many capacities: a home teacher, a Scoutmaster, a Sunday School President, counselor in a Bishopric, and later as a Bishop himself. He served for 29 years on the Amarillo Stake High Council. Together with Marie, he also served for 5 years in the Lubbock Temple. He was a sealer.
After almost 59 years of marriage, his beloved Marie passed away in 2007, and Leonard married Violet Craig Bailey in 2008. Leonard and Violet enjoyed 12+ wonderful years of love, laughter, travel, and companionship.
Leonard and Marie were blessed with 5 children, Kent (Kathy) of Los Alamos NM, Dean (Pam) of Austin TX, Lee (Leisa) of San Antonio TX, Martha (Terry Huggans) of Gilbert AZ, and their special daughter Edith of Amarillo. He is survived by his wife, Violet, a brother in law William McMunn, a sister in law Vicki (Reynolds Delgado), his 5 children, his 17 grandchildren, his 17 and 8/9 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, etc.
He was quiet, but competitive. He was well educated, but soft spoken. As a child of the great depression, he was frugal, but generous. He was an avid ham radio operator (W5LGG, W5GR, and later as W5AL) for about 80 years. He often taught himself new skills and hobbies; such as stamp collecting, coin collecting, insulator collecting, playing the piano, furniture refinishing, writing poetry, and travel. It was almost impossible to find a crossword puzzle that he couldn't solve with a ballpoint pen. And he was always interested in a pineapple upside-down cake.
He will be mourned and missed by many, but we look forward to the future day when we can all be together again.
Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, 2101 Coulter St, Amarillo, TX. Viewing will be held at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.
Published in Amarillo Globe-News from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2020.