Elizabeth "Betty" J. Leonard
Did you know Elizabeth? Please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page!
Elizabeth J. "Betty" (VanVliet) Leonard, 87, of Pelham, NH, passed away on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.
Betty was born on December 26, 1933, to the late Martin and Marion (Rowell) VanVliet in Manchester, NH, where she was also raised and educated. She attended Bates College in Maine and was capped as a nursing student. She graduated from Keene Teachers College with a degree in education. Returning to Manchester, Betty taught elementary school and was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star until she enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant and served briefly until her honorable medical discharge. Passing the Civil Service Exam, Betty served in the Social Security Administration as a claims representative in North Carolina until 1960.
Betty returned to New England in the Fall of 1960 where she became engaged to Russell Leonard and married on December 10, 1960.
Following their marriage, Betty returned to her passion for teaching and taught in Litchfield and Nashua for several years before she stayed home to care for her growing family.
In addition to raising their family, Betty meticulously maintained the bookkeeping and payroll for the family businesses which she took great joy and pride in doing.
Betty was a life-long beach lover - from her early years at Hampton and Rye Beaches to building a vacation home in York, Maine.
Following the sale of the family school bus business, Betty enjoyed tending to her outdoor plantings of annuals and perennials around her home. Hanging baskets, planters and creative urns always adorned her porch. Although her early years saw Betty playing the accordion, her later years she enjoyed playing in the English Handbell Choir at the First Congregational Church of Pelham, NH with many or her friends.
In past years on Friday's, she'd gather with some of her best friends that called themselves "The Breakfast Club" and enjoy each other's company. She and Russell also enjoyed many bus trips, tours, and activities with the Pelham Senior Citizens group and the Red Hats. She was also a frequent flyer to Foxwoods Casino for some recreational slot machine fun.
Betty lovingly cared for their daughter Susan in their home until earlier this year.
Betty is survived by her husband of 61 years: Russell Leonard of Pelham, NH, Children: Jane and Peter Gauthier, of Lyndeborough, NH; Susan C. Leonard, of Londonderry, NH; Paul and Linda Leonard, of Pelham, NH; and Holly and Brian Howe, of Pelham, NH, Grandchildren: Brian, Katie, Matt, Lizzy, Russell, Ben, Hannah, and Grace, Great Grandchildren: Kyleigh, Deegan, Easton, and Brox
Friends and family are invited to attend calling hours for Betty on Sunday, October 17, 2021, from 1-4 PM at the Carrier Family Funeral Home, 38 Range Rd, Windham, NH. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM, at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Gibson Cemetery, Pelham, NH.
Betty enjoyed flowers immensely, so for family and friends who like to send flowers in her memory, that is a lovely sentiment that she would appreciate. In addition, she felt blessed by the care she received at The Cancer Center at St. Joseph's. Donations to the center would be equally cherished.
For directions or to send a message of condolence to the family, please visit www.carrierfuneralhome.com