LeRoy Leonard

Born: Fri., Feb. 7, 1947
Died: Thu., Mar. 23, 2017


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Tue., Mar. 28, 2017
Location: Niebur Funeral Home

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Wed., Mar. 29, 2017
Location: Niebur Funeral Home

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Donald "LeRoy" Leonard, 70 of rural Pleasant Hill, passed away Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL.  LeRoy was born on February 7, 1947 in Hannibal, MO, a son of James LeRoy and Charlet Eckman Leonard of Hull, IL.  He married Brenda Griffeth of Pleasant Hill, IL on July 26, 1978 in Abilene, TX.

LeRoy graduated from West Pike High School in 1965. He was very close with his classmates and known as “Spook” and “Sonny” driving fast cars around Hull area and pulling pranks, played trumpet in the band, and loved participating in basketball, baseball and track. After graduating from high school LeRoy enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was in Drum and Bugle Corps at Basic Training, Lackland Air Force Base, TX. While at Dyess Air Force Base TX for C-130 Loadmaster training, he completed lots of different extractions and drops, and was the first to ever complete a double extraction out of the C-130. He was also on missions that served food to victims of famine in Africa, dropped loads in conjunction with the German Air Force, and in Libya helped recover the Gemini Space Capsule from the Mediterranean Sea. In the fall of 1967 he began his mission as a C-130 Loadmaster in Vietnam and served there until June of 1969.  He served during the Tet Offense, The Seize, and The Bombing Halt. He was on the last plane that came out of Causon. As a C-130 Loadmaster, he was in control of the back of C-130 where he loaded and unloaded American troops (dead, alive, injured, special forces) prisoners of war, supplies, equipment and chemicals of all kinds including the well-known chemical Agent Orange.  LeRoy earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters and the U.S. Marine Presidential Unit Citation.
After his honorable discharge from the United States Air Force in 1969, he joined the Illinois State Police in 1970.  While serving as an Illinois State Police Trooper, LeRoy served in many different capacities: he was a Field Training Officer, Range Officer, Second Division Truck Inspector Officer, Physical Fitness Testing Officer, and Juvenile Officer. He was a member of our state’s first Tactical Response Team, and he and his K-9 partner Rand were the first canine unit in Pike County. LeRoy retired after nearly 30 years service from the Illinois State Police in 1998.

LeRoy was honored in 2016 to go on the Great River Honor Flight with other local veterans. LeRoy attended the Hull United Methodist church and was a member of the Hull Masonic Lodge, lifelong member of the NRA and VFW and a past member of the Pittsfield American Legion Post. He was a proud American who loved his family and his freedom. He was also proud of his Native American Cherokee Osage heritage. Although his C-130 Loadmaster service of handling many different chemical agents in Vietnam eventually caused LeRoy to be severely disabled, he would tell anyone who asked that he never regretted serving and would do it all over again to protect our freedom. He enjoyed traveling out west and living his country life with his wife Brenda on the family farm, raising children and grandchildren to enjoy animals and outdoor activities, especially hunting and fishing and horseback riding and swimming.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda; a daughter B. Michelle (Tom) Mavity of Pleasant Hill; two sons, Michael (Michele) Leonard of Pittsfield; LeRoy "Sonny" (Avril) Leonard of Rockport; and eight grandchildren, Emily, Owen, Eli, Westin, Rueben, Dylan, Caitlin, and Schae.  Additional survivors are three sisters, Mary Shirley of Hannibal; Paula LaRosa of Florida; and Martha Barry of Plainville; two god daughters, Amanda and Amy of Florida and numerous nieces and nephews.

LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents and a child in infancy.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield from 4-7 p.m. with Masonic services accorded by the Hull Masonic Lodge #910 A.F. & A.M. at 7 p.m.  Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the Niebur Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. with Todd Strubinger and Rich Avoletta officiating and the Illinois State Police providing Honor Guard.  The Illinois State Police and other law enforcement along with the Illinois Patriot Guard will provide motorcade to Interment at the Crescent Heights Cemetery in Pleasant Hill with military honors accorded by Pittsfield American Legion Post #152, Pleasant Hill American Legion Post #1048 and military funeral honor guard.

Memorials are suggested to be made to the Pike County Honor Flight and the Pike County War Museum.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.nieburfh.com.  The Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield has been entrusted with the service.
Charitable donations may be made in LeRoy's memory to the following organizations:
Pike County Honor Flight
Pike County All Wars Museum

Charitable donations may be made in LeRoy's memory to the following organizations:

Pike County All Wars Museum

Pike County Honor Flight

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Condolence Booklet

Rick Myers
   Posted Fri March 24, 2017

Deepest sympathies in this time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the kiddos at this sorrowful time.


Debra Buchanan Fish
   Posted Fri March 24, 2017
I'm so sorry, LeRoy was a great man. Prayers for the family.

Brenda Turner Scranton
   Posted Fri March 24, 2017
So very sorry for your loss, LeRoy was a great guy, always had a friendly word when he seen you

Marva Hurst
   Posted Fri March 24, 2017
Brenda and family, I would like to express my deepest condolences on the loss of your loved one. I pray the Good Lord will remind you of the good times and that your hearts will be filled with peace.

Frank C. Lee
   Posted Sat March 25, 2017
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of LeRoy, our thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of grief. As I set here I can't help but think that LeRoy was a good friend to me when I lived in Hull. We had some great times that I still cherish to this very day. May God give you comfort in your time of loss.

Judy Chaplin
   Posted Sat March 25, 2017
My prayers are sent out to the family. Leroy was a good guy. Glad he got to do things he did. He is with GOD now and at peace.

Guy Scaggs
   Posted Sat March 25, 2017
Leroy was my FTO. He will always be thought of as my brother. He treated me with respect and made my first year as an ISP officer a true learning experience. I have never and will never forget him.

Me and Mrs Wilford (Rosemary) Wintjen
   Posted Sat March 25, 2017
Wil and I are so sorry to hear of Leroy's passing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time
of grieving. May you and your family find comfort in
our Lord


Merlyn and Margo Winchell
   Posted Sat March 25, 2017
Our prayers go out to all of you due to the loss of our good friend Leroy. He was so many wonderful things in his lifetime that you will continue to celebrate in your lives...Honorable, generous, strong of mind and spirit... and on and on and on. We can't help but think he will now have a lot of time to visit with Ernie again. We will miss him too. Our love to you all and prayers for peace. God bless you all!

Anna Borrowman
   Posted Sun March 26, 2017
Brenda, I was so glad to see Leroy when you could still get out. He enjoyed seeing old classmates so much.

George and Edee Hermens
   Posted Sun March 26, 2017
May the Lord comfort your entire family during this very difficult time

Loren Crowder (Jr.)
   Posted Mon March 27, 2017
To all of LeRoy's family-
My heartfelt sympathy to all of you for your loss. LeRoy was "good people", and I'm proud to have know him. God bless and keep each of you as you begin to heal.

   Posted Mon March 27, 2017
Brenda , I am so sorry to hear of Leroy's passing . He was a great gentleman and I am so Greatful to have known him most of my adult life . He was a pleasure to be around . My prayers are with you all .

John Toumbs
   Posted Mon March 27, 2017
So sorry to hear about LeRoy. He graduated with my brother Dave who was also a Veteran. Heartfelt sympathy goes out to Brenda, Martha Jo, Paula, and Mary. The three girls...my friends in high school.

Jena Schulz
   Posted Mon March 27, 2017
As a classmate of Martha Jo and native of Hull, I remember seeing LeRoy after he returned from military service. From time to time, there he would be, in his police officer's uniform and I remember thinking how it suit him. He seemed to wear the entire ensemble like a second skin. It's just who he was when he was on the job. Good man. Blessings to the family and hoping for comfort as you know he is now restored to health, together again with family that passed before him.

Rita Rumple
   Posted Mon March 27, 2017
Brenda, So sorry to hear of Leroy's passing. I always enjoyed working with Leroy and he was easy to talk to on the radio. We are living in Florida now and unable to attend services however my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. It sounds like a very nice and honorable service. May the Lord comfort you in your time of sorrow. Rita Rumple

Dan Adams
   Posted Tue March 28, 2017
I am so sorry to hear of Leroy's passing. He was a great guy to work with and will be fondly remembered by all.

Marge griffeth
   Posted Tue March 28, 2017
Prayers to you and your family. Losing someone you love is so hard
My thoughts are with you

Shelley Stolte campbell
   Posted Tue March 28, 2017
LeRoy wa in my sisters class at West Pike. Where everyone knows each other. I've kept track of LeRoy. He is a hero. I' m pretty sure he was at the police academy when our son went though. You have our deepest sympathy. LeRoy was a wonderful person and the world is a little sadder because of this loss.

Agnes Peile
   Posted Wed March 29, 2017
Brenda you have my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of Leroy. He was a person who always knew you and had something to say. You were a Godsend to him.

Scott Lummis
   Posted Sat April 01, 2017
My condolences to the entire Leonard family. LeRoy's service and sacrifice to his country are unparalleled. All of you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Phylis Herald RN
   Posted Sun April 02, 2017
Brenda & Family,
I am thankful I had the honor of caring for Leroy & meeting you. Thank you for serving our country & the great sacrifice you all have made. Sending love & prayers. Phylis Herald

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