GRIDLEY — Clarence “Gene” Leonard of Gridley passed away on May 15, 2019, from complications due to lung cancer at the age of 80.
His funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Calvert Johnson and Froelich Memorial Home in El Paso. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Gridley Cemetery, Gridley.
Gene was born on Aug. 26, 1938, in Odell, a son to Floyd and Goldie Derossett Leonard. He married Martha Drury on Aug. 25, 1963. She preceded him in death in 2003.
He is survived by two sons, Mark Leonard of Long Beach, Calif., and Brian Leonard, of Hot Springs Ark.; a brother, George Fight of Odell; a sister, Carole Bockman of Sycamore; and his significant other, Florence Klingler of Dwight, along with her children, John Klingler of Gardner, and Becky Gish of Saunemin. He also leaves behind a number of cousins, nephews and nieces.
Gene was preceded in death by his father, Floyd, and his mother, Goldie.
Gene’s great passions in life were bowling, horses and the Chicago Cubs. The 2016 World Series victory by the Cubs was the culmination of a lifetime of loyalty and perseverance that characterized Gene as a person.
Gene was known as an excellent auto mechanic. He was once put to the test of disassembling an engine. After the engine was completely taken apart, he was asked to leave the room while the testers moved all the parts around. Gene was able to reenter the room and re-assemble the engine without any hesitation.
A charitable man, Gene always donated to organizations that looked after the welfare of children. As a consequence, his family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Gene be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Shriners or to Arkansas Hospice, who cared for Gene in his final days.
Gene was a gentle, caring man, who was loved by many and will be missed greatly.