Fred B. Leonard was born on October 7, 1935, in Bentonville, Arkansas, to John and Mildred Leonard and he passed away on April 8, 2022, at his residence southeast of Skiatook. He received his early education in Arkansas and graduated from Central High School in Tulsa with the class of 1954. To meet a pretty young lady, he agreed to attend church with a friend. It was the Northside Free Will Baptist Church. He said, “Sure, how bad can it be, Free Will Baptist, you can do what you want. Right?” So he went to church and met two people there: the Lord Jesus Christ and Claudia Smith. He and Claudia were married on September 5, 1958, moving to the Skiatook area in 1960. This marriage lasted 62 years and 11 months.
In July 1960, Lynne was born, and then Carla joined them in 1964. Mike and Mitch completed the family in 1966. Daddy, with Mama by his side, served the Lord for the rest of the days of his life serving as a deacon at both the Northside Free Will Baptist Church and the Skiatook Free Will Baptist Church. He was a gifted Adult Sunday School teacher at both of those churches.
He was a great mechanic, working and rebuilding many cars throughout the years. He also enjoyed raising animals on his acreage and messing with his tractors and old equipment, but he couldn’t care less about fishing, hunting, or sports.
He began working for the United States Postal Service around 1959 and worked there for over 30 years, retiring in 1990. After his retirement he began working with his two good friends, Floyd Hudson and Dillard Ridenour, doing various projects to help those in need. He stayed involved helping us kids as we built our homes and all of the different projects we were working on.
He was so proud of, and dearly loved, his 35 Grandkids, 25 Great Grandkids, and the four who are on the way.
Daddy was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Aron, and his wife, Claudia, who died just last August. He is survived by his children, Lynne and David Graves of Barnsdall, Carla and Bob Jones also of Barnsdall, Mike and Michelle Leonard of Avant, and Mitch and Rachel Leonard of Skiatook, and all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Bernice Malone of Sapulpa, Beverly Yenter of Glenpool, and his sister-in-law Joyce Forrester of Sand Springs. He is also survived by many nephews, nieces, and many dear friends. He has battled dementia for the last several years, but he was always kind and pleasant to everyone he encountered. God used the last few months to allow us, his children, to get to know him so much better and love him more deeply. Daddy was healed last Friday morning when Jesus welcomed him home. He was loved by many and will be missed by us all.
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