Family & friends of Tom Leonard gathered at the airport ramp yesterday afternoon to remember Tom and his contributions to the island. Amidst heartfelt sorrow there was laughter and joy as folks shared stories and "snapshots" of his life.
His partner, Ronnie, told about the time two Mormon missionaries arrived at their modest home on the edge of the village. One of the young men promptly rode his bicycle into the marsh and Tom pulled him out. On turning around Tom noticed a large spider crawling up the other one's leg, and brushed it off. Then he addressed them both with a smile: "You've come here to save me," he said, "and I've already saved you twice."
Joyce Reynolds and Ann Ehringhaus led the gathering. Ann called for a time of prayer, but people continued to share tales. Again, she said, "Let us pray." More stories followed. Finally, in a quintessential island moment, Ann announced, "Let us pray....and I mean it!"
Islanders will miss Tom and his good heart, and will remember him daily, especially as we pass by the many lawns he filled with plants, shrubs, and beautiful flowers.