Florence Beulah Leonard passed peacefully from this life on December 24, 2017, at age 94. Florence was born on February 20, 1923, in Langdon, Missouri, the fifth of eight children of Ben and Rose Johnson. Florence attended Nishnabotna High School, where she played basketball, and lived with her family on a farm outside Rock Port, Missouri.
In 1944 she moved to Denver, Colorado, and worked as a school secretary. She met Sergeant Earl D. Leonard at a USO dance later that year and corresponded with him while Earl was deployed with the 315th Bombardment Wing of the 21st Bomber Command stationed in Guam. Earl, a B-29 flight engineer, flew bombing missions over Japan. Florence and Earl were married on March 5, 1946; their two sons, John and Bob, were born in December 1946 and April 1948, respectively. After WWII ended Earl left the Air Force and the family moved to Long Beach, California, where Florence worked as a school secretary in the Long Beach Unified School District. In 1986 Earl and Florence retired and moved to Bonsall, California, where she focused her time on her family and on her garden. In November 2014, Earl, Florence’s husband of 68 years, died at age 91; she lived another three years.
A memorial service was held for Florence on December 29, 2017, at Berry-Bell and Hall Mortuary in Fallbrook, California, and she was interred with her husband on January 3, 2018, at the Riverside National Cemetery located in Riverside, California.
Florence was a spiritual woman who loved her family and enjoyed cooking for her family on holidays, especially Christmas. She is survived by her two sons, John and Bob; four grandchildren, Matthew, Joe, Katherine and Leah; and one great-grandchild, Arlo.