Leonard, Mary Elizabeth Southern

OCALA, FL December 3, 1916 - November 8, 2017 Mary Elizabeth Southern Leonard, 100, formerly of Winston-Salem, died November 8, 2017, in Ocala, Florida, where she had moved to be near her daughter and granddaughter. She was born in Winston-Salem on December 3, 1916, to Nealie Z. Southern and B. F. Southern and had one older brother, Willard Z. Southern. She graduated from R. J. Reynolds High School in 1933. She joined First Christian Church at age 16 where she remained a loyal member for 85 years. Mary married E. L. (Len) Leonard on June 17, 1939. They had two children, Robert W. Leonard (Bob) and Barbara Lynn Leonard. Upon Len's death in 1955, she assumed his responsibilities as an agent for New York Life Insurance Company until she retired in the 1970s. She lived in Winston-Salem for 94 years until she required nursing care in 2010, moving to Charlotte where her daughter lived. She is pre-deceased by her husband, her parents, her brother, her son, one grandson Robert W. Leonard, Jr., and son-in-law Jerry Whitt. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara L Whitt; grandchildren (Jim Bentley and his husband Nathan Bell of Raleigh, NC; Amy Bentley Johnson and her husband Tommy of Ocala, FL; and David Bentley and his wife Ashley of Indian Land, SC); and great-grandchildren (Zachary, Alex, Bentley, and Camryn Johnson; and James and Lee Bentley). Mary was a pioneer, blazing her own trail with purpose. She lived her life for the betterment of others. Achieving great feats uncommon for a woman of her generation, she rose to prominence in this city she so deeply loved. Never seeking credit or the limelight, she worked tirelessly for her ideals and causes, nurturing them to a strength where they spoke for themselves. In that same vein, we leave them to continue speaking without our mention. A graveside service to celebrate the life of Mary S. Leonard will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 2 (one day before her 101st birthday), at Forsyth Memorial Park in Winston-Salem. It will be open to all who would like to attend. The Reverend Bruce Baker-Rooks of SouthPark Christian Church in Charlotte, NC, will be officiating. The family will receive friends at the gravesite immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Senior Services of Winston-Salem.

Source : http://www.journalnow.com/obituaries/leonard-mary-elizabeth-southern/article_8f41b4fa-bf6b-54cd-a00a-569b05d5e6f7.html

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