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Werst & LaBella Funeral Home

71-41 Cooper Ave, Glendale, NY

OBITUARY

John F. Leonard

April 25, 1947February 19, 2020
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John Francis Leonard, 72, passed into eternal life on February 19, 2020 after a long illness. He was born on April 25, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY to John and Natalie (Rodelberger) Leonard, and grew up in the East New York sec on of Brooklyn and Alexandria, VA. He married Eileen Frances McGill of the Glendale sec on of Queens, NY in 1971. He graduated from St. John’s University in Queens in 1973 and worked in the New York State courts as a Court Officer and Court Clerk, working in courthouses in Kew Gardens and Jamaica, Queens. He was accepted as a night student in St. John’s University’s School of Law in 1976 and earned a Juris Doctorate in 1980 while working full me during the day. He passed the New York Bar Exam in 1981 and spent the remainder of his career as a legal secretary in the New York State court system in Queens and Staten Island. Star ng in 1967, he joined the New York City Auxiliary Police, rising to the rank of Precinct Captain and serving intermittently until 1990. In 1988, he moved with his family to Dunellen, NJ and passed the New Jersey Bar Exam in 1991. He served as the Municipal Court Judge in Dunellen and South Bound Brook. Known for his sense of humor in the courtroom, as well as his pragmatism and fairness, his court sessions were reported as a “real slice of life” by local news media. He was an active member of the American Legion in Dunellen, having served in the United States Marine Corps, and served as a Chaplain and Judge Advocate. In 2014, he and his wife moved back to Queens, NY. John was also a member of the Knights of Columbus in both Dunellen and Glendale. A devout Roman Catholic, he was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Glendale. He was an avid reader of history, a motorcycle enthusiast, and model railroader and instilled a love of animals and pets in his children. He loved to recount stories from the old days on the streets of Brooklyn and the colorful characters that made up his childhood. Believing that the greatest aspect to being an attorney was the ability to help others, he provided countless people with free legal assistance. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Eileen, daughters Patricia and Barbara Bachmann (Thomas), and son John (Adriana). He is also survived by his brother Brian, sister-in-law Susan, nieces Gayle and Karen, and nephew Brian, grandnieces Anna and Gracie, and countless friends whom he treasured. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Glendale, NY with interment at Cypress Hills Cemetery, Queens.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, February 23, 2020

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Monday, February 24, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Monday, February 24, 2020

Memories

John F. Leonard

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Gerard Falcone

April 6, 2020

Our condolences to you and your family.
It was an honor and great pleasure working with Judge Leonard.

When I was with the Dunellen Police Dept, I had many occasions to stand side by side and have late night conversations with the judge. While explaining the situation to Judge Leonard he would set bail on suspects. But before that the very first question on every phone call would be " Did you or your officers get injured". I will never forget him and those words.
RIP Judge Leonard.

Lieutenant Gerard Falcone (Retired)
Dunellen Police Department

Tom Kraemer

February 24, 2020

John, My dearest friend,
We met at Molloy in 1960 and have been friends ever since. My fondest memory is of John, Frank Keppel and I going to Island Pond, Vermont one week in a summer while we were in high school. My parents enjoyed watching us paddle around the lake in an aluminum rowboat. Frank and I paddled and John called cadence "Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!" It was the best vacation and the fondest memory John and I shared. When We met at the Molloy 50th anniversary reunion in 2014 we laughed about that. Everyone thought we were crazy as we shouted out the cadence once again.

John was a wonderful friend, faithful and kind. I remember when he joined the marines and was given a medical discharge because of his should. I was so proud of him wen he got his law degree and became a judge! John, you are in my heart always. Dearest friend. God bless you and keep you forever.

My condolences to his wife and family. You were so lucky to have him. He was a loving and caring person. Now he is at rest and is with God and the angels and saints in heaven.

Tom Kraemer

Mary Chabriel

February 23, 2020

Eileen, Barbara, Patty and John - thinking of you all as you celebrate John’s life, and wishing you moments of peace and comfort. Love, Mary

Denise Bieniek

February 23, 2020

My condolences to the Leonard family
RIP Judge
Denise Bieniek

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