Earl T. Leonard, 97, passed away peacefully on Monday at his residence. He was born in Racine on October 20, 1920, and was the son of the late Irwin and Elsie (Nee: Smith) Leonard.
Earl was a graduate of William Horlick High School “Class of 1938”. During World War II, he proudly served in the United States Army, stationed in the South Pacific. During the day Earl drove ambulances in the jungles of Guadalcanal, and at night he developed photos in his helmet. On August 2, 1947 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, he married his high school sweetheart, LaVerne F. Olle.
Earl was employed by Commercial Press, Racine, for twenty years, and lastly by Delzer Lithograph in Waukesha. He was a longtime member of St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church and lifetime honorary member of the Racine Advertising Club where he was named “Man of the Year” in 1968. An avid photographer, Earl loved working in his dark room and enjoyed gardening. Above all, he devoted his life to his family and loved taking cross country trips with them throughout the years.
Survivors include his loving wife of seventy years, LaVerne; his daughters, Joan (Salvatore Gentile) Leonard, Mary Leonard; his grandchildren, Annie (Matthew) Hauser, Alex Gentile; nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Wayne (Danute) Leonard and sister, Mildred (Bob) Webers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church, with Reverend Steve Varghese officiating. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Hwy 32. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Thursday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of Mass at 10:30 a.m. Memorials to St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church, the Racine Public Library or a favorite charity have been suggested.
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