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James J. Leonard

Obituary for James J. Leonard

January 29, 2014
Somers Point, New Jersey


James J. Leonard, 79, of Somers Point, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Jim was born in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School. Upon graduation, he entered the US Navy and proudly served his country during the Korean Conflict. In 1956, when his service was completed, he joined the Philadelphia Fire Department, his true vocation, for 30 years. He loved his job and put in countless hours studying for promotions. Jim earned his Bachelor's degree from Holy Family University, and his Master's from St. Joseph's University while working full time. He retired as a Battalion Chief in 1986. After his retirement, he worked for SEPTA for 10 years in their Systems Safety department as a Fire Marshall.

Jim was an accomplished photographer. It was difficult to find a picture of him, as he was always the one behind the camera. Jim provided family and friends with fond memories of their wedding day by offering the pictures as a gift. Jim was an avid runner, competing in the Run for Bud Kern race every year, as well as the Broad Street Run, the Sea Isle Half Marathon, and the Fireman's Memorial Run. He also enjoyed golf and worked as a Ranger at Greate Bay Country Club. Jim thoroughly enjoyed cheering on the Ocean City High School Boys Soccer team under the direction of his son in law, Michael. He spent many years on the sidelines along with his wife, daughter, and grandchildren watching the team play. When his grandchildren began playing, he did his best to attend as many Mainland United games as he could. What Jim loved most, was spending time with his family. Birthday parties, back yard cook-outs, and holidays, were his favorite venues where he could be heard singing an occasional Irish tune or two.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Kathleen (nee Landy), his daughters, Mary Kate Pellegrino (Michael) and Colleen Leonard. His is also survived by his grandchildren, Ryan and Meghan Pellegrino, his sisters, Theresa Scheid, Mary Mauro and his brother, Joseph Leonard, any many loving nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sisters, Patricia Burns and Rose Bethel.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Jim's Life Celebration on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 from 9:30 until the start of the Memorial Mass at 11:00am at St. Joseph's Church, Shore Road, in Somers Point.

Interment Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery, Estell Manor. To share your fondest memory of Jim please visit The family requests, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Road, Suite 200 Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

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Jeffries & Keates Funeral Home

228 Infield Avenue
Northfield, NJ 08225
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