Jay Thomas Leonard

February 12, 1941October 9, 2014
Obituary of Jay Thomas Leonard
Jay Thomas “Tom/JT” Leonard, 73, of Barefoot Beach, Florida, passed away on October 9th 2014. Tom was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on February 12th, 1941 to Arthur Jaquette Leonard and Lee Elmo Smith Leonard. He graduated from Las Lomas High School in 1959 and received his B.S. in Biology from University of California Davis where he was captain of the football and wrestling teams, president of his college class, a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and an ROTC officer. Following college, Tom served his country as an officer in the Army (219 Aviation Co.) and flew multiple missions in Vietnam in 1965-66. He was a decorated pilot, receiving an award for bravery (Distinguished Flying Cross and Seventh Oak Leaf Cluster) and he achieved the rank of Captain before returning to civilian life in June 1966. His first career was as a pilot for Braniff International, which drew him to Texas to pursue his love of aviation and raise a family. In his spare time, he obtained his real estate broker’s license and became a cattle rancher. In 1984, he continued his career in aviation – both as a Captain on the L1011 and in management with American Trans Air (Indianapolis). On February 14th, 1991, Tom married Linda Praim Evans in Indiana. Tom and Linda flew around the world together for a number of years until his retirement in 2001. Shortly thereafter, they chose “another sunny day on the beach” as a place to enjoy their retirement, family and friends. Tom had a passion for the outdoors, and when he was not flying or traveling the world he was hunting, fishing, boating, golfing, reading or enjoying his family’s constant news and events. He is survived by his first wife Kathryn Hanson Leonard, daughters Laure Leonard Bolla (Michael Wade Bolla) and Julianne Leonard Ward (Don Allen Ward) and his grandchildren Michael Thomas Bolla, Erica Taylor Bolla, Emilee Morgan Ward, Grace Kathryn Ward, Hannah Louise Ward, his wife Linda P. Leonard and her children Richard Evans (Chelsea) and Kristin Rodil (José), and their children, Ashlee Evans, Kelsee Tucker (Jordan), Keiler Rodil, Kadyn and Drake Washington. He is also survived by his older brother Donald Leonard (Barbara) and their children; Scott, Marc, Meghan, and Jeff Leonard as well as their families. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, October 26th, 2014, at Hodges Funeral Home at Naples Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Collier County American Heart Association.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Celebration of Life