LaVerne “Jake” Chester Leonard

At age 96, passed away Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Chelsea Retirement Community. He was born August 8, 1922 in Saline, Michigan, the son of Chester and Marie (Vedder) Leonard.  LaVerne was a farmer most of his life.  He loved fishing, playing horseshoes, and making stained glass.

On March 21, 1945, he married Mary J Zurlinden, and she preceded him in death on January 15, 2000. Survivors include three children, Gary (Linda) Leonard of Grass Lake, Judy (Dennis) Chambers of Grand Coulee, WA, Terry (Belinda) Leonard of Gladwyne, PA; six grandchildren, Craig (Lisa) Leonard, Kevin (Jen) Chambers, Kristi (Jolene Smyth) Chambers, Brianne (Michael) Grubbs, Neal Leonard, Chelsea Leonard; eight great-grandchildren, Olivia Leonard, Mikaila Leonard, Emma Leonard, Jasmine Smitko, Landon Smitko, Maximus Smitko, Nolan Leonard, Tyson Smyth-Chambers.

He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, and special friend, Dorothy Gray.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, July 13 , 1:00 pm at Main Street Church, 320 N Main Street in Chelsea, with Pastor Mark Murphy officiating.   Memorial contributions may be made to Chelsea Senior Center or Chelsea Meals on Wheels.

Arrangements were entrusted to Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea.


Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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