This page is a loving memoriam to Thomas Matthew Leonard. Tom was 47 years old when he died February 7, 2005. Although Tom grew up in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, he resided in Maryland for all of his adult life. He was a 1976 graduate of Conestoga High School in Berwyn. In 1978, Tom graduated George Washington Hospital Center's School of Radiology, in Washington, DC. He earned an RT, and then was certified in MRI. Tom worked for 15 years at Anne Arundel Medical Center's MRI Unit, in Annapolis, MD.
He was a valued and compassionate employee.
Tom is greatly missed by his family, family friends, co-workers, as well as Stillpond and Chestertown, MD neighbors and friends. He is remembered for his charming, friendly, and helpful manner. Tom was also a sensitive artist and poet, a talented craftsman, and a gifted teacher. In 1976, Tom was the Water Skiing Director at YMCA Camp Tockwogh. He continued to teach sailing and water skiing to students for the rest of his life. He also loved to fish, and used the time on the water to re-new old friendships, as well as make new ones.
Any time he could "Get some air," Tom was on his sailboard. He tracked and followed storms and hurricanes on the East Coast, pushing this sport to extreme limits. In August 2004, Tom went to the Baha peninsula for a few weeks to windsurf with his younger brother, James. They had a memorable time and Jamie is grateful to have had that good experience. "Tommy and Jamie" were familiar faces at any board sailing event, as well as most Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland beaches.
NASCAR was another great interest of Tom's. He owned a Datsun 510 which he restored, raced, and carefully maintained. He was active in the "Dime Quarterly" which joined together other Datsun 510 enthusiasts. This group has a website and a newsletter.
Tom shared with his father a love of baseball, and they watched many memorable games together - in the stands, and sometimes from rooftops and fences. He also, like his father, loved music. He managed a small band in high school and never stopped playing. He had an extensive collection of vinyl, cd's and old tapes of everything from Hendrix to New Wave, traditional Rock and Roll to Fusion and Jazz.
He was a leader. Tom was at his very best when he was helping others. A Memorial Period was held during the regular service on Sunday, Feb. 13th, at the Chester River Unitarian Church in Chestertown, MD. Tom was attending regular services at this church during the last several months he was alive. He had stopped using alcohol altogether, opened his eyes, and became a very spiritual person before his death. He found great comfort in the congregation and minister during his painful time of awareness and transition. As they are in the process of building a church, we are gathering donations for that cause.
Memorial Donations may be made, in Tom's name, to
Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River
914 Gateway Drive
The Leonard Family asks for your prayers for Tom, our family, and for all survivors of suicide. Every 17 minutes a person dies by suicide.
We urge education and straight forward talk about this serious and most preventable epidemic.
Tom Leonard left behind a kindly suicide note, with a loving paragraph for each of his family members. In his note, he took pride in the accomplishments of his life, shouldered all the responsibility for the failed marriage, and gave explanation for his unexpected and shocking suicide. His last written words were, "God help me, Tom." We thank the congregation at the Unitarian Church in Chestertown, Maryland, and the many heroic efforts of best friends and neighbors who reached out and helped Tom during his pain. We know God would never turn away someone who has asked for help. Tom Leonard had helped so many people in his lifetime. Now we believe he is enfolded in the loving arms of our Creator, watching over us.
Tom had no children of his own. He is survived by Barbara Burr, and her son Patrick, and Patrick's son. Tom loved his married family very much. In his last letter he wrote that he wished Patrick had been his son.
Words simply cannot express our deep feelings about the loss of Tom Leonard. He is dearly missed by his mother, of Berwyn PA and Deltona, FL; his two sisters, Elizabeth A. Leonard of Philadelphia, PA, and Martha J. Leonard of Tampa, FL, and his brother and sister (in law), James C. Leonard and Ann Martinez Leonard of Hammonton, NJ. Tom had two nieces and three nephews who loved him. Charles V. Leonard, Tom's father, died on June 28, 2007.
The Leonard family deeply thanks all those who came to Tom's funeral service at the Shrewsbury Church on February 12, 2005. Your support during that terrible time was/is pivitol in our spiritual recovery.