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Luke Charles Leonard Jr.

01/27/1933
08/03/2023

On August 3rd, with a rosary in his hand, a Notre Dame shirt on his heart and surrounded by his loving family, our beloved Luke entered the Heavenly Kingdom. He was born to Winifred and Luke Leonard on January 27, 1933. He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings Ed, Winnie, Nora, Julie, and Mary. He is survived by his wife of 63 years Patricia, and children Colleen (Bill) Roth, Mike (Lisa) Leonard, Patrick (Sally) Leonard, Timothy (Heidi) Leonard, and Sarah (Bob) Nikodemski. He will be deeply missed by his grandchildren who adored him- Will, Colin, Braden and Aishlin Roth, Connor, Sean, Brendan and Molly Leonard, Eli, Luke and Flynn Leonard, Sarah and Jacqueline Leonard, and Emily, Tony, and Katie Nikodemski. He is also survived by his special friend Joe Stack, his coffee crew at Mr. Burger and many special nieces and nephews. Family was the primary focus of his life. He cherished family vacations in Grand Haven and any opportunity to be together with his wife, kids, and grandchildren.

Luke was a humble man of deep faith and lived his life with a quiet dignity. His faith formation started at St. Andrew’s Catholic School, and he was a graduate of Grand Rapids Catholic Central class of 1951. He lived his faith in word and deed. He was a confirmation sponsor for several grandchildren and welcomed the opportunity to attend daily mass with them whenever possible. He was a proud parent of 5 CC graduates and grandparent of 4 CC graduates. He could be found every Friday night in the fall cheering on his beloved Cougars (except when he was cheering on his West Catholic grandsons). He was inducted into the CC Hall of Fame in 2000. Luke enjoyed going to South Bend with family and was a diehard Notre Dame football fan. He especially enjoyed the opportunity to see the Irish win a Shamrock Series game in New York City.

Luke was an Army veteran just after the Korean War. Upon release, he worked for DTE for over 40 years. In retirement, he golfed and focused on his second career as the world’s greatest grandpa. Whether it was babysitting, chauffeuring, or just visiting, he was a constant, positive presence. Luke was a devoted fan of all his grandchildren’s athletic endeavors. He could regularly be found standing on the sidelines or sitting in the bleachers. Grandpa walking into a room was magical. Every grandchild thinks they are his favorite because he made each one feel special. This devotion to family was reciprocated as the kids became young adults. The tables turned and the grandchildren started to take care of him. When notified of his prognosis, he was enveloped with love from family everywhere. Although his 90 years doesn’t seem like enough time for us, his legacy of cherishing his family will live forever.

Funeral mass will be held Monday, August 7 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 215 Sheldon Blvd. @ 10:00am, visitation @ 9:00am, Father Mark Pryzbysz presiding. Visitation Sunday, August 6 from 5-8:00pm @ O’Brien Gerst Funeral Home, rosary @ 7:30pm. Those wishing to honor Luke can make contributions to the Catholic Central Fund, Tim & Janet Conroy Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Catholic Central Fund

Development and Alumni Relations Office

Cathedral Square Center

360 Division Ave. S.

Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4501

Tim & Janet Conroy

Legacy Scholarship Fund

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8 Responses

  1. We’re so very sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful man. Deepest condolences. Bill and Jenifer Moyer

  2. Luke was an amazing father and grandfather. I have had the pleasure of meeting him many times. The stories told by his children and grandchildren are truly amazing and makes you have the understanding of how much he loved them and how much he was loved.
    My heart is saddened for my friend and her family by the loss of such a great man but I know he will continue to look over them. Rest in Peace Mr. Leonard

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I have such good memories of him when Sarah and I were in college. He had such a great sense of humor. He will be missed, but I’m sure he’s dancing with the angels now.

  4. Our deepest sympathy to all of you. We feel blessed to have know him and loved him. Rest in peace Camper❤️🙏
    The Boyer family

  5. Colleen and family. Our most sincere sympathies to you and your entire family. Was with your parents many times at your house while helping with the quads. He was always willing to help. He was a very special Dad and Grandpa. He will be very missed by your Mom and all of you. May he rest in peace. Sending love.

  6. Condolences to all the Leonard family.What a proud tradition of family.Thank you coach Leonard for teaching me more than what most coaches teach.

  7. My family was blessed to have the Leonard’s as across-the-street-neighbors when my sisters and I grew up on Auburn Avenue NE. Mr Leonard was a sweet man. He will be missed by all. My condolences to all the family.

    Nancy Agacinski

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Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Catholic Central Fund

Development and Alumni Relations Office

Cathedral Square Center

360 Division Ave. S.

Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4501

Tim & Janet Conroy

Legacy Scholarship Fund