Statesman Examiner

Thomas W. Leonard


Thomas W. Leonard, 73, passed away in the early morning hours on December 18, 2022, from complicati­ons of heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic/ St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Tom was able to spend his final days with his family by his side, who were all able to hug him and share with him how much he was loved during our life together.

Tom was born on April 27, 1949, in Seattle to Arthur and Ruby Leonard. His childhood was spent on the shores of Puget Sound with his brother, John, and his sister, Kathy. Following graduation from high school, Tom enlisted in the U. S. Navy, serving on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war. After returning home, he began a career in the HVAC industry. In 1974, Tom met Jean at a Christmas party. It was love at first sight and they married in April 1975. Together, they raised their three children, Ryan, Heather, & Katy, in Manchester and Port Orchard, where he spent many years fishing, walking on the beach, boating, golfing, and photograph­ing Seattle sunrises. After several years working as an installer, he opened his own HVAC business in Bremerton, Washington. Eventually, Tom sold his company, and they migrated east of the Cascades where Tom and Jean purchased Norstar Heating in Colville. They ran Norstar for 14 years before selling the company in 2008, when they retired and moved to Spokane. Tom had many interests and passions in life, and some might say he never found a hobby he would not try. His activities varied from collecting old steam engines, boating, flying as a private pilot, to riding his Harley to Sturgis. However, his love of golf remained steadfast throughout his life, which was probably helped by the fact that he was a very skilled golfer. He had a lifelong love of fishing, especially at the family cabin in Canada, where he reeled in a lot of salmon. He also enjoyed his many fly- fishing trips on the St. Joe River. In retirement, he began collecting and restoring old cars. His attention to detail and love of the process shined through every car he restored. He loved his vacations with Jean, to Hawaii and the southwest deserts. In his journey through life, Tom met many people who became lifelong friends. He was a friendly guy with a contagious smile and easy laugh. He will be especially missed by his golf buddies and his friends in the Vipers Car Club.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Art & Ruby Leonard; Jean’s parents, Carl & Bernice Garber; and his good friend and brother- in- law, John Garber. Left behind are his wife, Jean of Spokane, his son, Ryan (Cindy) of Reardan; his daughter Heather (Mike) Roy of Issaquah; his daughter Katy (Dallas) Summers of Spokane. Also left behind are his eight grandchild­ren and two great- grandchild­ren; his brother, John (Nanci) Leonard; his sister, Kathy (Dick) Lewis; his sister- inlaw, Molly Merrill; and several nieces and nephews.

Tom was loved and respected in his life, and he loved his life. We will all miss him more than we can say in words. A memorial service for Tom was held on Saturday, January 7, 2023.

In Tom’s memory, please consider a donation to Washington Golf Youth on Course, an organizati­on that encourages and provides youth with access to affordable golf.

https:// support- washington- golfyouth- on- course

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