|Patricia Irene Leonard|
October 3, 1937 – July 8, 2012
services directed by Gering Memorial Chapel
|Patricia Irene (Tjardes) Leonard|
October 3, 1937 – July 8, 2012
Patricia Leonard entered God’s Kingdom on Sunday, July 8, 2012 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Her funeral service was July 13 at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Scottsbluff with Fr. Kelsey Hogue and Rev. Robert Manasek officiating. Burial followed at West Lawn Cemetery in Gering.
Memorials have been established to St. Francis Episcopal Church and the Panhandle Humane Society in care of Gering Memorial Chapel. Tributes of sympathy may be left at www.geringchapel.com.
Pat was born Oct. 3, 1937 at the Methodist Hospital at Scottsbluff, the daughter of Ernest and Gwendolyn (Snyder) Tjardes. She grew up in Gering and graduated from Gering High School in 1956.
After graduation, she was employed as a telephone operator from the United Telephone Co. She married Gerald “Jerry” Leonard on Aug. 10, 1957 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Gering. After their first child was born, she quit her job to become a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. Pat and Jerry raised five children. Pat became a telephone operator again in 1974 until retiring from the telephone company in 1985. After that she worked at a wedding shop for three years. Pat and Jerry lived in Scottsbluff and Gering until moving into a new home on Ramona Drive in Gering in 1965.
Pat grew up on a small acreage on M Street at the east edge of Gering. Pat’s dad raised chickens, geese, pigs and cows. Pat and her mother milked several cows each day. When Pat was about 11 or 12, she started a haystack on fire accidently. Her father said she and her friend, Deanne, could drive his old pickup as long as they did not take it out of low gear. The pickup overheated and started the fire. Pat also enjoyed making mud pies and playing house in one of the chicken houses and kicking a football from her house to her best friend Deanne’s house.
Pat enjoyed playing cards and she and Jerry belonged to a pinochle club for several years. Pat was an avid piano player and played every Christmas as her husband and children gathered around the piano to sing Christmas carols. She also enjoyed crocheting during retirement and gave many afghans to family members, to friends and to several nieces and nephews for wedding gifts. Several years ago, she entered four afghans in the county fair and won four purple ribbons. Pat also enjoyed morning coffee with her neighbor Linda and daily cokes with her dear friend Doris at Arby’s or McDonalds.
Pat and Jerry were two of the 10 parents that took over the Gering girl’s softball program from the Jay-Ce-Ems in the late ‘60s. Pat coached her daughters Jodi and Lori for several years. Pat and Jerry organized a women’s softball team called Beamers in the late ‘70s which they coached for several years, traveling to many towns, including to North Platte each year during Buffalo Bill Days. In 1980, the team was runner-up at the State Tournament in Grand Island, Neb.
Pat and her husband enjoyed attending various sporting events of their children and grandchildren. Pat was confirmed at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church on Feb. 22, 1948 and became a life-long member. Pat and Jerry were Sunday School Superintendents for five years when their children were young. Later they were co-Treasurers for 13 years. Pat and Jerry enjoyed many trips to the Black Hills and to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Most vacation trips were to Kansas, Iowa and an occasional trip to Arizona to visit children and attend their weddings.
Pat developed an early onset of dementia about 1997 at the age of 60. Jerry cared for Pat at home until on Nov. 3, 2008, when he fell from a ladder and spent eight days in the hospital. The three girls came home and on Nov. 8, 2008 admitted Pat into Heritage Estates where she has resided since. Pat received the very finest, loving care from the staff and employees of the Golden Rod area of the facility.
Survivors include her husband: Gerald “Jerry”; children: Jodi (Lee) Myers of Dodge City, Kan., Lori (Brian) McDermott of Gardner, Kan., twins: Kathi (Bob) Petersen of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Kevin (Nikole) Leonard of Gering and Ricky (Amy) Leonard of Glendale, Ariz. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and three-day-old brother: Gerald, born in 1925.