Rev. Richard C. Leonard


Gerry – Rev. Richard C. Leonard, age 92, a resident of Gerry, NY and former resident of Mountain Road Mayfield NY was welcomed into the everlasting arms of Jesus on Monday June 27, 2022 in Jamestown Hospital. He was born in North Chili, NY on September 25, 1929, the son of the late Benjamin and Blanche Barney Leonard.
He attended North Chili NY Grammar School in his formative years, graduating from Gloversville NY High School in 1948. He then completed ministerial studies through Roberts Wesleyan College/Chesbro Seminary and was employed as an Ordained Minister in the Free Methodist Church of North America for his full career.
His first pastoral appointment was to Franklin/Hill Center New Hampshire (1950-1956) followed by 14 years in Herkimer NY. He was elected Superintendent of the (FMC) Centenary Conference in 1968, a position held while stationed in Saratoga Springs NY until his first retirement in 1995. He returned to ministry in 1998 in Warrensburg FMC, retiring at the age of 81. Other supply pastorates while active in the Superintendency, include Burlington VT, Glens Falls NY, Watertown NY. Oversight of the FMC New England Extension of Hispanic and Haitian Churches was added in 1970.
During his ministry he also served as Saratoga Pine Grove Camp Director for many years, Gerry Homes Board of Directors in various capacities for 30 years receiving NYAHSA Trustee of the Year award in 1999; also Roberts Wesleyan College Board of Trustees for 14 years, the General FMC Church BOA including the Commission on Missions and Council on Ethnic Affairs (1979-1989). He traveled to the Dominican Republic and 5 countries in South America to help establish churches in that region. He was involved in many building and expansion projects throughout his assignments. He is survived by: 5 daughters Linda (Don) Waltermire of Rushville NY,, Rachel (Robert) Ratliff of North Carolina, Martha (Randy) Phillips of Oneida NY, Nancy (Charlie) Appel of Canton GA, and Leora Jean (Randy) Krull of Bermuda Run North Carolina. Grandchildren Rebecca (Lee) Gang, Dan (Deborah) Waltermire, Meredith (Jamie) Rochon, Sarah Phillips, Andrew (Kendra) Phillips, Buddy (Jen) Appel, Niki (Matt) Orcutt, Jordan Appel, Ben Powell, Matt Powell, Emily (Landon) Hodges. Great grandchildren Katherine, Emma, Hannah, Megan Gang, Ethan, Timothy, and McKenzie Waltermire, Abey Phelps, Malachi Kraus, and Charlotte Smith, James, Jonathan, Jordan Perna, Cameron and Colin Rochon, Sydney, Sullivan Phillips. And many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his loving wife of 72 years Ruth Jordan Leonard on June 19, 2020. Wherever they were appointed, ‘she played the organ, and he did the preaching.’ They married on September 25th 1948 at the FMC in Warrensburg NY.
Special thanks to a trusted caregiver Robbin Durow and family.
Also predeceased by his parents, and sisters, Marie (Calvin) Pratt, Jeanette Stiles, and Betty (Art) Ginter.
He was known for his love for God, his family, cars and people, often going out of his way to care for the sick, and hurting children in need. He was a true Shepherd to the people in the New York and New England region. His sense of humor has left an indelible mark on many. He was a life learner with an incredible memory for church history dates and events. He leaves over 65,000 pictures to document his life adventures.
Family and friends are invited to visitation on Tuesday July 12, 2022 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Oak Ridge Free Methodist Church, 838 W German St, Herkimer, NY 13350 where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow the church service with a burial service to follow at 4:30 p.m. at the King Cemetery, 394 County Highway 152, Mayfield, NY, Town of Northampton. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Northville Funeral Home. Condolences may be made to the family online at
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Richard’s name may be sent to The Marston Memorial Historical Center of the Free Methodist Church and/or the Free Methodist World Missions, P.O. Box 535002, Indianapolis, IN 46253-5002 (both organizations share this address).

By LH Staff

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