In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Blackjack Church Building Fund and left at the funeral home.
Cletis Wayne Leonard, age 81, of Blackjack, MO, passed from this life at Cedar County Memorial Hospital On Thursday, January 29, 2015. He was born September 4, 1933, to Thelma and Avery Leonard of Blackjack, Missouri.
With three brothers and five sisters growing up in Blackjack, there were always fun times. They also were raised to know what hard work was, working around the farm, gardening, and working cattle for Charlie Vilhauer.
He had the Witt boys, Bland boys, and Hamilton boys to explore the hills, swim in the river, and fish with. Oh the stories we all have heard. There was never a shortage of someone to go hunting or fishing with. Whether they had their hand back in a hole trying to pull out a big catfish, the dogs hot on the trail of another raccoon, or catching crappie or walleye from the bridge at Caplinger Mills. The coon, catfish, and the crappie can rest a little easier now.
He spent his time serving his country when he entered the Army and spent two years serving at Fort Leonard Wood. After returning, he worked as a bus driver for the El Dorado Springs School District where he met the apple of his eye, Nancy, on his school route.
He was married to his wife of 55 years, Nancy Lee Corder, on December 19, 1959. To this union three sons were born: Mike, Greg, and Brian Leonard. He was a lifelong resident of the Blackjack community where he raised his family.
He taught his boys what hard work and taking care of your family meant. It was not uncommon on Saturday afternoon to say let’s go cut a load of wood or we need to go work cattle. He also taught them how to hunt and fish.
What mattered the most to him? It was later in life when the song “Going Home “ was being sung that God awakened him to what mattered most in life; it was his walk with God. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior and became alive. He loved his church family and they loved him. He could always bring a smile to those around him. While in the hospital, the nurses never had a boring moment and he reflected the light of God.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Thelma and Avery Leonard, and three brothers: Ronnie, Bobby, and Harold Lee.
Survivors include: his wife of 55 years, Nancy Leonard; three sons: Mike and Marietha Leonard of Clinton, AR.; Greg and Kris Leonard of El Dorado Springs, MO; and Brian Leonard and Autumn of Kansas City, MO; fourteen grandkids; fourteen great-grandkids in which he took great pride; and his dog, Callie, who lit up his life in his last few years. Also surviving are five sisters: Bonnell Huff; Dorothy Moore; Imogene Marquis and husband Russell; Pat Baker and husband Van; and Sharron Poe and husband Mark; two sisters-in-law,June Brown and husband Ted; and Betty Leonard; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Cletis Leonard were held on Monday, February 2, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at Bland-Hackleman Chapel. Rev. James Coleman and Rev. Joe Dodson officiated. Music selections were from Bob and Rowena Clouse and Larry Oehring. Burial followed in Brush Creek Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were: Trenton Leonard, Kyler Leonard, Brandon Leonard, Jonathan Leonard, Nolan Davis, and Jim Davis. Honorary pallbearers were: Russell Marquis, Van Baker, Ted Brown, Mervin Cargill, Dwain Witt, and Kevin Bland.