(There will be a Memorial Service for James (Jim) Leonard at the Chebeague Methodist Church, Chebeague Island, Maine at 1100 AM Saturday June 18, 2005. There will be a reception for friends and family immediately following the Service at the Chebeague Island Hall. Those needing help with transportation or logistics can contact either Cap Leonard (207 846 0801) or Priscilla Ross (207 846 4072).)
CHEBEAGUE ISLAND - James B. Leonard, 66, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005. The cause was pancreatic cancer.
Jim Leonard was born on May 20, 1938 in Portland, the second child of the late Clifford Milton Leonard and Elizabeth Carrick Birdsell. The eighth generation of his family to live on Chebeague Island, Jim acquired a deeply rooted love of Island life, and of the close-knit Chebeague community, a love that was requited.
He attended island schools before preparing at Mount Hermon School, Northfield, Mass., where he graduated cum laude. When not in school, Jim worked in Leonard's Market, an Island fixture for 50 years.
Jim was admitted to Harvard University, and won an Admiral Holloway Naval ROTC scholarship. At Harvard, he studied economics, joined the Fox Club and the Hasty Pudding Institute, and rowed for Harvard's accomplished varsity crew.
Graduating cum laude in 1959, Jim married Bonnie Anne Downes, a graduate of the Winsor School and Wellesley College, and was commissioned ensign in the U.S. Navy. Jim served on the cruiser USS Macon and the battleship USS Wisconsin.
His two children, Thomas Clark Leonard and Nathan Gregory Leonard, were born during his naval service. Upon return to civilian life, Lieutenant Leonard worked at the IBM Corporation before joining the Boston Gas Company, where he rose to director of employment and compensation during a 15-year career.
Jim and Bonnie separated in 1974, divorcing in 1979. Neither remarried.
A long time student of finance and investment, Jim founded Bromfield Equity Counsel, a Boston firm providing investment advisory and portfolio management services. Jim later joined the Union Club of Boston.
Jim's Island roots informed his sense and sensibility. As a boy, he rowed the breadth of Casco Bay, Chebeague to Mark Island, and back. As a young executive, he spent his lunch hours researching and writing a treatise, A Perspective on Salt Water.
Jim cared deeply about his Leonard, Hamilton, Birdsell, and Clark family histories, and he invested many hours preserving and archiving the voluminous family documents, this with an eye to his own descendants.
In recent years, Jim traveled extensively, favoring big islands: Australia, the Caribbean, and especially Java, Indonesia, where he spent many happy months among friends in Jakarta. Wherever he was, Jim was never far from Chebeague, and upon his frequent return, he enjoyed the love and hospitality of family, especially that of cousin, Priscilla Stilphen Ross and her family.
Jim is survived by his sons, Thomas Clark Leonard of Princeton, N.J., and Nathan Gregory Leonard of Maplewood, N.J.; by his daughters-in-law, Naomi Ehrich Leonard (Princeton) and Dawn Yoselowitz (Maplewood); by his granddaughters Amara, Lucy, and Lilian Leonard; and by his brother, George E. Leonard of Yarmouth; and his sister, Helen Frey of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
A memorial service, on Chebeague Island is planned for early summer 2005.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to:
Chebeague Island Library
247 South Road
Chebeague Island, Maine 04017
James Birdsell Leonard