John F. Leonard, a devoted grandfather and father.
John F. Leonard, 88, of Morris Township, previously a long-time resident of Chatham Township, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2021. John was born in the Bronx in 1933 and then moved to Rutherford, New Jersey where he attended Saint Mary’s High School. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Army where he was stationed in France during the Korean conflict. He later graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University majoring in Mechanical Engineering and was then employed by General Motors for over 30 years in Ohio and New Jersey.
In 1972, John and his wife Barbara moved back to New Jersey and continued to raise their children settling in Chatham Township. While living in Chatham Township, John became an integral part of the community, volunteering for several years on the Board of Recreation and for over a decade on the Planning Board. He enjoyed serving in the Men’s Society and as an usher at Corpus Christi Church for many years. On the weekends, his passion for tennis and golf was a priority as he never turned down a chance to hit the courts or the links with friends or neighbors.
John was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He was predeceased by his brothers, Martin and Bert, and sister Teresa McQuillan. Surviving are brothers, Patrick, and Thomas, as well as his sisters Agnes McNeilly and Margaret Gillespie. He was a proud uncle to many wonderful nieces and nephews.
John is survived by his wife Barbara (nee Keogh); children Nancy E. Munns (Tim), John F. Jr. and Regina M. Cariddi (Curt). To his six grandchildren, Kelsey, Kevin, Erica, Mack, Brian and Caroline, their Pa will be remembered as a boundless source of reassurance and support. Pa will be truly missed as having been a huge part of their lives. He loved attending soccer games, graduations, dance recitals, ceremonies, and countless milestones. The family finds great comfort in knowing that Pa will be greeted in Heaven by adored family and friends. His greatest legacy is encouraging his grandchildren to find their wings and go after their dreams.