In the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, William (Bill) Allen Taylor Leonard filed his final flight plan and set off on his last journey.
Over his very productive 89 years, Bill earned the privilege of the First Captain’s seat on a never ending flight. Of course, we hope that his course crosses ours every now and then – in case we need some of his wise, no-nonsense advice.
Born in Ripley in 1930, his father was a bank manager. Bill and his four siblings grew up in the Mississauga hamlet of Cooksville. There he met – and in 1950 married – Betty, his devoted partner for 69 years. Soon he became the busy provider of electrical contracting services to many households and businesses in the Mississauga area. His children Thomas William, Patricia Ann and Morris Harvey arrived; they benefitted in immeasurable ways from their Dad’s work ethic, multiple construction and technical talents and self-sufficient, independent nature.
Bill’s lifelong Ripley connections led to years of all-season, extended family fun on the shores of Lake Huron at Point Clark. To this day, up to five generations of “Leonard” relatives have enjoyed the beach, sunshine and cottages built by Bill and Leonard family members.
But a single 50-year electrical business career was not enough! Over the past 25 years, Bill changed up his overalls and took up farming again – back in the Ripley area. Eventually Bill and Betty moved to Acton in order to shorten the drive to the farm.
Over his long lifetime, Bill was the initiator and brawn behind many construction projects, including his first home and cottage, multiple renovations, driving sheds and even furniture! Operating all manner of farm machinery brought him much enjoyment. He was an enthusiastic student if such effort would acquire the skills needed to “do it himself”. Undoubtedly the highlight of his achievement was his commercial pilot’s licence, which he maintained until the age of 85. For many of his “more senior” years, the highlight of his week would be Sunday get-togethers at the airport, and ideally some maneuvers at altitude in Whiskey Tango November.
Bill is survived and sadly missed by his wife Betty (West); sister Corrine (Lewis); son Thomas (Wendy); daughter Patricia; son Morris (Beverley); by seven grandchildren: Jenny (Jon) and Joshua (Alana), Mary, William and Neil, Timothy (Rachael) and Jean-Anne (Mark); by five great-grandchildren; and by numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place.
A celebration of his life will take place next summer at Point Clark.