Remembering Leslie Hudak Leonard

Leslie Framed
Leslie (Hudak) Leonard 1945 - 2004

It is with great regret that I pass along news of the death of Leslie (Hudak) Leonard on Friday, February 20th, 2004. Our beloved Leslie died in a traffic accident.


Many thanks to LuAnn Sage for the photos!

Family 1977  Please e-mail your comments, remembrances, and any photos you may have of Leslie to me at
Making A Funny Face  

For more photos and other comments by LuAnn Sage, visit A Tribute to Leslie Leonard by LuAnn Sage

Reunion Picture

Record Courier On-Line Article on Leslie's Death
Image of Front Page of Saturday, February 21st., Record Courier
Image of Next Page of Article in Saturday, February 21st., Record Courier
Picture from the Akron Beacon Journal
Image of Record Courier Obituary
Many thanks to Tim and Linda DeFrange for the Newspaper Images

Here's a great Tribute Page full of photos and comments put together by LuAnn Sage. Nice job LuAnn! A Tribute to Leslie Leonard by LuAnn Sage

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Some comments about Leslie from members:

Many thanks to those who gave their input!

Greg Latta:
By far, what I remember most is the first time I ever met Leslie. When I came to my first WTP meeting I met this woman who almost attacked me with her enthusium. The result of that meeting and Leslie's enthusiam was a life long committment to We The People and to peace and justice everywhere. What an effect she had on me! Leslie, I am surely going to miss you.

Joyce Frieden Rosenthal:
When I think of Leslie, I have a series of mental snapshots. One is of the time she came to WTP practice wearing a raincoat, and then, during the part of the meeting when people made announcements, she dramatically pulled the raincoat open to reveal one of those T-shirts for pregnant women that has the word "Baby" and an arrow pointing downward. Another time, I remember her in a Green Room before a Big Show; she talked about "warm fuzzies" and "cold pricklies" and then gave each person a cotton ball representing a "warm fuzzy" -- something nice that each person had contributed to help get ready for the show. It was just one example of the way she made each person feel special. To this day, I keep a file in my workplace for people who send me positive comments about my work; I call it my "warm fuzzies" file. But more than anything, what I remember about Leslie is her big smile and her ready laugh. It was so great to be around someone who so loved everyone. Leslie, no words can say how much I will miss you.

Janet Krause Bly:
I have chills running down my spine as I write this. I was leafing through the latest issue (July, 2004) of Good Housekeeping magazine. On the very last page, they do a feature called "burning questions for..." They interviewed Donna Murphy, who is an actress that has performed on Broadway, and is going to be in the upcoming Spider-Man 2 movie. One of the questions they asked her was: Who is Your Hero? Following is her answer: "My late friend Leslie Leonard. We met years ago when her eldest daughter played my baby sister in a dinner theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. Leslie was an incredible woman who inspired me to live life to the fullest."
I just had to share this!

Mike Stanley
So, there we were again, at the service / calling hours for a friend that was taken from us unexpectedly, and again, privately, or not, regretting that we hadn't spent more time with that person or let them know we thought of them often and that they truly meant something to us. I suppose we are just going to experience this more often as we get older, but on the other hand, it's not too late to try to keep in better touch with those old friends who have slipped away from us. Just as Leslie brought so many people together in life, it seems that , at least for myself, her passing will reinforce what she brought to all of us in her enthusiasm for sharing, caring and giving. Many of us are asking how we can best honor Leslie now that we have lost her. We all regret that we didn't honor her, or just thank her before we lost her. Surely, we will come up with something, either a scholarship fund, getting her books published , an educational outreach program or something of the sort. But we can all honor her most by simply doing what she did every day of her life, and that was to get involved, keep in touch, let the people around us know that we do care, and be there to help when needed. Some of us have been very successful in life and do what we can to help others. Some keep it to themselves. Others have had tough times and can't seem to break the cycle of being on the down side. We all need to ask where we fit in that regard, and what are we doing about it. Hopefully, we can all look in the mirror and be satisfied that we are doing the right thing, but for many of us, myself included, it won't ( and didn't) take but a single thought of Leslie giving me that smile, her eyes looking strait through me, to realize that I / we aren't doing it. None of us can deny ever being busted by that smile and look in the midst of a " cop out " excuse. She could disarm us and set us strait without speaking a word. God, I'll miss that, even though it has been years since I've experienced it from her. Leslie showed me how to be a better friend to those around me, even though I don't always practice the lesson. She also made me realize that life is not a dress rehearsal, and that there are indeed enough hours in the day if what needs done is important enough. With Her passing, these life lessons have been refreshed in my life. Let's all honor Leslie by making the things that she brought to all of us count as we go on with our lives.

Kevin Dillon:
Way back in 1974, I joined We the People and met Leslie. Even though I was only in the group for two years, before I left to join the Navy, Leslie made me feel quite special. She went out of her way to make you feel like you were the most special person in the whole world. She was always available to talk to you about any subject you cared to talk about. When I was back in Kent visiting some friends, I stopped at Roosevelt to see her. She invited me to sit in her next class. It was obvious the kids in that class respected Leslie. She made easy for them to understand what she was trying to teach them. I do not know why the Lord decided it was time for Leslie to join Him. I just know her presence will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.