Lenard Nelson East

March 8, 1960February 9, 2021
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Mr. Lenard Nelson East was born on Tuesday, March 8, 1960 to Joe Nelson East and Mary Emma East in Frankfurt, Germany. His father was a proud First Sergeant in the United States Army. Not long after he was born his father was transferred to Fort Still in Oklahoma. Being an only child growing up he felt a close connection with his cousins and regarded them as siblings. He would tell stories of foot races, climbing trees, having fun, and getting into mischief with his cousins. When he was 8 years old, he moved to Tacoma, WA with his mother and soon, those same aunts, uncles and cousins moved nearby. In school he was a star student-athlete and ASB President at Gault Jr. High. It was also at Gault where he met Brenda Roberts. He would often tell a story about how he casually shared with a classmate that, “Brenda Roberts would make someone an amazing wife one day.” They became friends and attended the same church and later dated in high school. Lenard’s athletic and academic achievements continued into his high school years where he attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA. It was in high school that he began to hone his public speaking, leadership, and problem-solving skills. As Lenard continued to flourish, his personality and charisma transcended the classroom and he was again elected ASB president. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1978, and later attended college in Spokane, WA. Lenard and Brenda were married in May of 1981. To their union they were blessed to grow their family with three children: Taliah East (Tolleson, AZ), Julius East (Jasmine/Glendale, AZ), Ulysses East (Patrice Bruton/Avondale, AZ), and daughter Shaleeya Mills (Tolleson, AZ). He entered the technology industry in the mid-80s. As Lenard’s career grew as a technology consultant so did his ability to inspire and help others achieve their own professional goals. He was always gracious enough to listen to anyone who needed an ear. People would reach out to him for mentorship and he humbly did his best to counsel them. Lenard’s desire for growth professionally took his family across the country. Accepting new opportunities and making friends in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fort Worth, Texas; The San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix, AZ. While working in many Executive Leadership positions throughout his career, Lenard’s professional acumen was an asset with Deloitte Consulting as a Specialist Master from 2010 – 2020. His focus was on mergers and acquisitions and later he worked on cloud technology pursuits throughout The United States and Mexico. In 2020 Lenard was blessed to partner with SEI, Systems Evolution, INC., as a Business and Technology Consultant; wherein, his dynamic impact with “The Team” was immediately realized. His contributions as a colleague and friend are evident in the outpouring of love and support extended to his family from SEI. Wherever Lenard and his family moved to, they flourished. Even though he did a lot of traveling for his job, he instilled in his family the importance of knowing and experiencing the vastness, beauty, complexity, and differences in the world through vacationing with his family. He took the family to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico a few times and to a Raider game in Oakland, CA in 2019 where they made a stop at the Raiders Headquarters before the game to see if any players would stop by and they did!. He also enjoyed camping with the family. Lenard loved music. He was a big fan of Marvin Gaye and old school R&B, as well as Jazz music. In fact, he was quite the singer, having sang in church choir, in school, in weddings and always around the house. He and Brenda would sing together at special occasions with friends. He was a big-time sports fan and was always front and center for every Raider Game – fully dressed in all his Raider gear. His favorite basketball team was the Golden State Warriors. He had an opinion about everything and would have debates with people all the time. He loved to entertain. You would find him barbecuing, talking loudly, laughing even louder, and sharing words of wisdom with others all the time. Lenard was such a force and large presence in the family. He was kind and generous to others. He was our anchor. He was our coach on the sideline cheering and challenging us to always do our best. He would always say, “There is no substitute for hard work”. He was larger than life. He was loved by so many which is evident by the outpouring of love the family has received during this time of bereavement. As we remember his love for us and the way he expressed that love so often, we will also continue to strive for those things we think are unattainable just as he did. For it is through that striving that God provides the increase. His life is a testament of hard work, faith, and God’s favor. Let us all continue to do as our beloved Lenard would always say,… “Reach just Beyond your Grasp” Lenard leaves to cherish his life and memories, The Love of his Life for 39 years, “His Girlfriend”, “His Sweetie”, “His Ride or Die”, “His Wife”, Brenda, his 4 children and 3 grandbabies that he absolutely loved and adored: Ava Simone (6); Zola Jonee (5) and Emori Joyce (4 weeks) as well as a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues. Lenard is Forever in Our Hearts.

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Order of Service

Prelude.……..………………...……….…..Praise and Worship Music

Processional of Family (Stand)..Song..“Every Praise” Hezekiah Walker

Greetings……………….…….….………Min. ReBecca Suits-Burkett

Prayer……………….……….…………Mr. Marshall Bootsy Wilson

Old Testament Scripture……...Psalm 73:24-26………Mrs. DC Gillespie

New Testament Scripture.…..1 Thess.4:13-14……Deacon Donald Love

Song…………………..“Worth” …………..…….by Anthony Brown

As a Friend…………………Mr. Eric Flynn………...…Tacoma, WA

As a Brother……………..…Mr. Shannon Roberts..…….Houston, TX

As a Mentor………….…….Ms. Karelle Pinnock….San Francisco, CA

As a Colleague………….…..Mr. Mark Retz - SEI,Inc.......Phoenix, AZ

DVD …………….……………….……R eflections of Lenard’s Life

Acknowledgements & Resolutions……,,,…Min. ReBecca Suits-Burkett

Mt. Moriah AME Church, Maricopa, AZ Song………………“Nobody Greater”…...…..…by Vashawn Mitchell Celebration of Life Prayer……..........……..Min. ReBecca Suits-Burkett Musical Selection……..“Blessed Assurance”………….Ms. Taliah East Accompanist…………………Mr. Lonnie Irons, Phoenix, AZ Eulogy………….………….…Pastor David Burkett, Brunswick, GA Closing Remarks Rejoicing Closing Song..…“Take Me To The King”……by Tamela Mann Recessional Reception ……. Immediately following Service

Acknowledgements The East Family gratefully acknowledges your comforting expressions of sympathy rendered through gifts, cards, visits, expressions of sympathy and every act of kindness shown during this time of bereavement. We acknowledge the generosity in spirit and deed of our wonderful circle of family & friends who prayed, called, provided food, and contributed financially. We cannot thank you enough for all of your love and support. “God Bless each of you Abundantly” Special Thanks The Staff of Banner Estrella Hospital, Phoenix, AZ SEI – Systems Evolution Incorporated Family Mr. Mark Retz, SEI Rogers Benefit Group, Phoenix & Tucson AZ Mr. Timothy Radden, Northwest Mutual Insurance Mr. Lonnie Irons for sharing his musical gifts Mrs. DC Gillespie, Medical Intercessor Pastor Arnold Jackson, Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Church, Maricopa, AZ Pastor & Mrs. David Burkett. Brunswick, GA Ms. Marie Bruin & Ms. Paula Wood – Lincoln Alumni Memorial Fund

Final Arrangements Entrusted to: Chapel of The Chimes, Michele Bailey Please visit: to leave in honor of Lenard East, Memory gift options, offer condolences and view memories.

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV


  • Julius East, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Ulysses East, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Shannon Roberts, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Clifford Roberts, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Sherman Robert, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Keith Roberts, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Reginald Roberts, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Donald Love, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Stacey Brown, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Marshall Wilson, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joe Stewart, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Rick Chaney, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Undra Simpson, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Ray Turner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Sherman Moore, Honorary Pallbearer
  • AD Gillespie, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Andra Batie, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Sam Pointer, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Michael Grimes, Honorary Pallbearer


28 February

A Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary

7924 North 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301


  • A Celebration of Life


Lenard Nelson East

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Hania

February 27, 2021

Leonard was one of my favorite neighbor kids, hanging around our house from junior high through high school with my daughter, Lynette Coleman and their friends. He was always polite but fun and could make me laugh. His standards and morals were high even as a young boy. I was truly impressed with the man he became. Rest peacefully with our Lord Leonard.

Teresa Wilson

February 27, 2021

To The East Family, our hearts are heavy with this loss. We have enjoyed so many great moments together from family events, vacations, sporting events, weekend cookouts, business adventures, laughter, crying, counseling “LOL”..etc. We too don’t know how the future looks without Lenard in our circle.. but our faith helps us move forward knowing Lenard would want us to “Live”... as we often heard him say! Will miss so much about him and hold on to many of the great memories and funny sayings like “Hear’s the Thing”... with him moving his glasses from his nose!! Or “Give me sum suga” LOL!! Lenard will be truly missed and we are so thankful for the time we shared. We will continue to share more great times making new memories in his honor along with all of you!! Brenda and family know Bootsy and I are a call away whenever you need us. We love you all and pray for your strength and comfort during this most difficult time. Rest in Heaven Lenard!!! 🙏🏼❤️

Sheila Redmond

February 26, 2021

My sisters and I remember when we first meet our cousin Len in Oklahoma. Uncle Joe was in the service. We stayed at a hotel and uncle Joe brought Len. We played in the pool all day. We talked and talked. Even though that was our 1st time meeting our cousin, it felt like we all knew each other before. The memories never fade nor does the love.
Love you Cous,
Rena, Sheila and April

Adrain AD Gillespie

February 25, 2021

Big L!! My man!!! I still remember him riding in the ambulance with me when I tore both of my quads. When we arrived I had no idea what was wrong with me, only that I couldn’t stand up. We sat there for hours talking about everything but my situation that I was in. Good conversation. When it was time for him to go he gave me a hug and as he walked out the room he taps my shoes and said those are some baaaaad shoes!!! That was Big L. Always found a way to focus on the good even when the moment was bad.

East Family

February 24, 2021

Dad with Leeya at her high school graduation. Go Lincoln Abes!

Rhea Ciabattari

February 24, 2021

Lenard’s son Julius and I were really close friends in middle school & high school. I hung out with their family a few times and they are all such wonderful human beings! I remember being so intimidated by Lenard because he always had a strict looking demeanor, but in actuality he was just a big teddy bear, all laughs & smiles! Those memories will never be forgotten. Rest in Paradise Uncle Lenard, you’ll forever be in our hearts. Sending all my love to the East Family.

Jasmjne East

February 24, 2021

A little birthday fun with dads forever girl! I love you mom 💕

Benjamin Snyder

February 24, 2021

Mr. East was a great father figure for a lot of us in high school. He was a great example of a loving man and what a healthy relationship and family looked like. I always admired how personable he was. He made everyone feel like they were apart of his own family. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.


Andre Burnett

February 24, 2021

Mr.East was one nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Great father, husband, and provider. The true definition of a family man. Sending my condolences to the East family.

Julius East

February 24, 2021

Love you dad


This is the moment when our journey actually began. We are jumping the broom at our wedding! Stepping into new possibilities and sharing a new life together. This was at St. John Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington. What a day that was..


This is Lenard's heart. He loved his family so much. Taliah, Jasmine, Shaleeya, Ulysses & Patrice. He is proud of you all..


We were in the middle of the ocean on a cruise celebrating our anniversary toasting to the future. We are so blessed to share so many beautiful moments together. I cherish them all in my heart.


Family was so important to Lenard. Here you see his Mother Mary East far left, Uncle Donald Love, Aunt Charlesetta Sutton AKA Aunt Tootsie, Aunt Anna Wofford and Aunt Irene Horsley. He loved them all very much..


The Fellas!!