Norma V. Leonard

April 2, 1939September 18, 2013
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Frances Norma Valverde Leonard

Norma was born in San Diego, California, on April 2nd, 1939, to parents Maria Mansilla Moreno Valverde and Jose Valverde. She was raised in San Diego, graduated from The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, and attended San Diego State University.

After her schooling, Norma took a job with the U.S. government along with her best friend Lydia Ulloa, both traveling to Washington, D.C. to work for the Department of State. Norma began a series of postings to Columbia, Honduras, and then to Spain, where she met Jack, "the love of her life". They were married on the famous Rock of Gibraltar. Over the following decades, their careers took them to Uruguay, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Suriname, where they made lifelong friends, as well as significant contributions to the Foreign Service and diplomatic community.

Notably, one of their assignments was in Managua, Nicaragua, where Jack was the Charge' de Affairs during a period of political turmoil. Jack and Norma both contributed greatly in maintaining positive relations between the United States and Nicaragua at that time. During her husband's term as Ambassador to Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana), Norma handled their social and political calendars, acting the role of gracious host, all while continuing her own career with the Foreign Service and other government agencies. She also maintained a lifetime interest and active participation in the arts, culture, and community activities.

Norma's hobbies were painting and making beautiful jewelry, which she generously gave to her beloved family and friends. Her paintings varied from oil on canvas, to watercolor, to mixed media such as her delightful renderings of Latin American villages painted upon rocks of different shapes and sizes. Norma was a member of the Damas Latinas of San Diego, and served on the board of the Spreckels Organ Donor Society.

She is survived by her sister, Mary Dora Mandra, and brother Jose Valverde of Chula Vista, nieces Carol Mandra of Chula Vista, Sharon Ann Valverde Summers of San Diego, nephews Ronan Mandra of Chula Vista, Michael C. Valverde of Irvine, and Donald Louis Fernandez of Santee, California. Predeceased by her beloved John P. (Jack) Leonard, sister Ana T. Valverde, Arturo Valverde, mother Maria M. Valverde and father Jose Valverde. Normita died peacefully in her home in Bonita, California, with her family at her side, after a long battle with cancer and a broken heart from the passing of her husband Jack, deceased from lymphoma cancer on May 13, 2013.

Visitation: Thursday September 26, 2013 from 4 to 8pm at Funeraria Del Angel Humphrey, 735 Broadway, Chula Vista, Ca 91910. Funeral Mass: Friday September 27th at 2pm, at St Pius X Catholic Church located at 1120 Cuyamca Ave, Chula Vista Ca. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetary, to follow the mass. A reception following the interment will be held at the home of Arturo and Frances Renteria, Jack & Norma’s dearest next door neighbors. 4030 Troon Way, Bonita, CA 91902.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Cancer Society .



  • Visitation Thursday, September 26, 2013
  • Mass of the Resurection Friday, September 27, 2013


  • Recitation of the Rosary, Final Resting Place

Norma V. Leonard

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Carol Mandra

January 18, 2018

Tia Norma, it's been almost 5 years since you saddled up and rode away. We all miss you, but it comforts us to think of you very happy in your eternal life with Jack and other loved ones.

September 28, 2013

Norma, what a lovely, gracious woman. A classmate of my sister's, she also reached out to me as a friend. I enjoyed painting with her and the wonderful memories she and Jack shared about being abroad. She is sorely missed but lived a life of caring and being a friend to so many. Her legacy was the example she set in her every day life. Am sure she has had a positive influence on many lives and has made the world a better place. Here is a picture of one of her and Jack's last posts in Sou?th America. Here is a photo from Suriname. She had many adventures.

Patt Shinsky

September 28, 2013

When April rolls around we will continue to celebrate your "non birthday". Goodbye my friend. You will be missed.
Patt Dougan Shinsky, OLP Class of 1957

Arianna and Jazmine Valverde

September 27, 2013

Dear Aunt Norma, you will forever be in our heart and memories. Thank you for all your great advice and wonderful stories. We love you and miss you.

Sharon Ann Valverde-Summers

September 23, 2013

Normisimamocita, (The last time I'll be able to say that)
What an honor to have been able to share these last few months with my dear sweet Aunt Norma. You fought the good fight of faith, but at last you are with "the love of your life" Jack. I know how heart broken you were without him, now you'll be together for eternity. Thank you for so many wonderful family parties being the gracious hostess, always thinking of others first. Making sure there's enough food, drink and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. And that we did! Thank you for always thinking of us all at Christmas; me, Bobby, my grand-daughters and Elizabeth Joey's daughter. Family Holidays won't be the same without you and Jack. We will toast you and Jack at all our family events. Thanks for the Memories and your Love.

Joe & Rita Chavez

September 23, 2013

So heart-broken and will miss cousin Norma greatly. She inspired me to trace our family's genealogy. Normal provided all the foundational source material and I will keep running the race to preserve the Moreno-Mansilla family history and continue to trace its roots. Rest in peace, dear lady. We will see you again! (

Wilhelmina Wilson

September 22, 2013

You have been one of the joys of my life.

Glenn & Louise Smith

September 22, 2013

It's far too soon for us to be saying good-bye in this way. We love you, Norma...we love you and miss you...and yet, the beautiful person you were remains in our hearts.


What a beautiful smile, one our eyes will never forget...


What a beautiful doll. You can't help but love her...