Millbury- Dennis P. Leonard, 84, affectionately known as ‘Coach’, died peacefully on Friday, August 24, 2018. He was born in Worcester, and spent the majority of his adult life as a Millbury resident. Dennis is survived by his children Mark J. Leonard and his wife Tamara of Northboro, Dennis P. Leonard Jr, and his wife Sheila of North Brookfield, Michael J. Leonard and Durriyyah Leonard of Millbury and Brenda Leonard and her husband Bruce DeVault of Millbury. He leaves seven loving grandchildren, Nicole, Melissa, Drew, Taylor, McKenna, Connor and Madison and many nieces and nephews. Dennis is predeceased by his parents, Bernard and F. Madeliene (O’Malley) Leonard and his wife, the love of his life, June Ann R. (Martone) Leonard who passed in 2001. He is also predeceased by a daughter Denise M. Leonard, and three brothers, Bernard, Charles and Francis.
Dennis graduated from St. John’s High School in Worcester, and went on to earn an Associates degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Junior College followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Clark University. Dennis also continued his education with multiple graduate courses taken at Worcester State College and Assumption College. He proudly served first in the US Navy and then in the US Army during the Korean War. After returning from his military service, Dennis met his wife, June Martone, and the couple was married on July 4, 1959. Dennis started his work career at Reed Rolled Thread Die Co. and subsequently transitioned to education where he spent 24 years as a math teacher at Millbury Memorial High School. Dennis was active coaching girls JV basketball for 6 years and varsity softball at Millbury High School for 24 years. Although he retired from teaching in 1999, he continued to support the softball team as a pitching instructor until recent years. For his contribution to softball, Dennis was proudly inducted into the Millbury High School Sports Hall of Fame. Dennis also spent 25 years as a high school soccer official and was a member of the Hall of Fame committee. Dennis was extremely active in the Millbury community serving on the Millbury School Committee from 1969-1975 and chairing the school Building Needs Committee in 1972. He was selected in 1998 to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and received the Outstanding Secondary School Educator Award by Clark University.
Dennis was extremely passionate about his time with the Millbury Lions Club of which he was a life member. He coordinated the Millbury Lions Independence Day parade for 25 years and was honored as a Grand Marshall. He chaired the Peace Poster Contest, Speech Contest, All State Band, Youth Ambassador Award program and Christmas for Children program. He was very proud to be a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellow award, the highest award in Lionism. He also received the Joseph J. Camarda Fellowship Award, the International Director’s Certificate of Appreciation and the Man of the Year Award, which was presented by Governor William F. Weld in July of 1992. Dennis also served as the Cabinet Secretary Treasurer for District 33A, 1990-1991. He provided a tremendous amount of dedication and support to the Massachusetts Eye Research Sight program and was awarded for his efforts with the Eye Research Sight Award by Mass Eye Research in 2008. Dennis also received the Judith Wilkinson Humanitarian Award presented by the Millbury Democratic Town Committee in 2006. He was a member of the Millbury Veterans Council, the Devoe-Taylor American Legion Post #9 and the Charles F. Minney VFW Post all in Millbury.
Family and friends will honor and remember Dennis’s life by gathering for a time of visitation on Tuesday, Aug. 28th from 4 to 8 p.m. in Mulhane Home for Funerals, 45 N. Main Street in Millbury.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday Aug. 29th at St. Brigid Church, 59 N. Main St. in Millbury. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Worcester.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dennis P. Leonard Memorial Scholarship, in care of the Millbury Federal Credit Union, 50 Main St., Millbury, MA 01527.