August 20, 2013

Robert E. Leonard


---- — Robert E. Leonard

Robert E. Leonard, 82, South Bend, passed away at 6:53 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12, 1213, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka.

He was born on Dec. 21, 1930, in Logansport to the late George and Mae (Bush) Leonard.

Robert married Lillian Bea (McBride) DeSimone on July 2, 1950, in Logansport. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Air Force moving with his new wife to serve as a Jet Mechanic instructor in Amarillo, Texas. It was at the Amarillo Air Force base that their oldest child, the late Belinda Leonard Morris was born.

Upon being honorably discharged from the Air Force after four years with the rank of First Sergeant, Lillian and Robert came to South Bend when Bendix recruited him for the Aerospace division. In South Bend his family expanded, welcoming a son, Robert J and daughter Sally. He dedicated 32 years to Bendix/Allied Signal as a liaison to the U.S. military in the fuel control division.

Robert traveled extensively for the company to various military bases. He enjoyed his job and was respected in his field. He made many friends in various branches of the military. But, his heart and loyalty remained with the U.S. Air Force. He continued that love of airplanes going to air shows and museums on his cross-country retirement trip. Of course that trip also included visiting baseball parks and watching as many games as possible. At a later date he also traveled to Arizona for the Silver Hawks spring training.

Robert was a season ticket holder walking the stands of the park before it was completed to pick just the right seat that he held season tickets for until he was unable to attend. He was a founding member of the Booster Club and particularly enjoyed raising funds for the college scholarship they awarded to a local high school athlete each year. He enjoyed the park and stayed very involved in its progress. He was delighted at the expansion that gave more people the opportunity to “enjoy a good game at a nice park.”

Robert found joy in being a grandfather to his granddaughter Amanda. He was very proud of her and her superior skill with horses. He traveled with her on her journey to become the AQHA Rookie of the Year. He shared his pride telling anyone and every one of her accomplishments.

Robert was also a proud third generation member of the Masons. He joined his father and grandfather as a Mason in 1969 in South Bend. He proceeded to the level of Scottish Rite at the Masonic Temple in South Bend. He was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star, St. Joseph Chapter #569.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, George Leonard Jr. and Mae (Bush) Leonard; sister, Sue Leonard Sickman and his beloved daughter, Belinda Leonard Morris.

Robert is survived by his son, Bob (Jessica) Leonard; daughter, Sally Leonard; friend and wife of 30 years, Lillian Bea Leonard DeSimone; granddaughter, Amanda (Matt) Morris-Rambo; son-in-law, Mike Morris; sister, Nancy Leonard Nulf; four nieces, three nephews and various grand dogs, horses and cats. He was a dedicated grandfather, father and friend. He will be greatly missed.

A memorial service is schedule for Saturday at the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, South Bend. Visitation will be 2 to 4 p.m., followed by the Ceremony of the Scottish Rite. A Military Burial will follow at a later date in Honor Park in Mount Hope Cemetery, Logansport.

Contributions in memory of Robert E. Leonard may be offered to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN 46637 or to the Humane Society. Online condolences may be sent to