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William J. Leonard Sr., active in community affairs April 28, 1927 -- Sept. 26, 2011

William J. Leonard Jr., active in community affairs in Buffalo's Valley neighborhood, died Monday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 84.

In 2000, Mr. Leonard was grand marshal of the Old Neighborhood St. Patrick's Day Parade, which retraces the original parade route through the Valley and Old First Ward.

Born in Buffalo, he was a lifelong resident of the Valley. He was a graduate of St. Stephen's School and attended Boys Vocational High School. During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marine aboard lake and ocean vessels delivering materials for the war effort.

After the war, he worked at Huron Cement and Bethlehem Steel, then had a 27-year career at Republic Steel, retiring in 1982.

A longtime member of St. Stephen Catholic Church, he was an altar boy and as a youth, helped his father, who was the church custodian. In the mid-1960s, he started Cub Scout Pack 190 at the church.

Mr. Leonard also served on the board of directors of the Valley Community Association and worked with the Valley Food Pantry.

His wife of 47 years, Carol Sutton Leonard, died in 1997.

Surviving are four sons, Joseph, David, Richard and William Jr.; and a daughter, Kathleen.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Clare Catholic Church, 193 Elk St.


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