Paul Leonard went to the next event Friday afternoon, May 21. He had recently turned 95. Service: A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am Wednesday at Christ Chapel Bible Church, 3701 Birchman Avenue, followed by a reception at the church. The service will be livestreamed at http://Ccbcfamily.org/memorials. Paul wanted a joyful celebration, so please wear bright colored clothes! He will be laid to rest privately in Greenwood Memorial Park. Bearers are his grandsons, Matthew Keffler, Jack Keffler, John Marvin Leonard, Raleigh Hallum and Obie Hallum. Honorary Bearers are the members of the Exchange Club of Fort Worth. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to Christ Chapel Bible Church, Local Outreach or Missions, 3701 Birchman Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76107; Bible Study Fellowship, Global Headquarters, 19001 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX 78258-4019; Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, P. O. Box 1957, Fort Worth, TX 76101-1957; or a charity of your choice, in his memory, is suggested. Obie Paul Leonard, Jr. was born on May 16, 1926, the eldest of four children born to O. P. and Margery Wooldridge Leonard. Paul was a lifelong resident of Fort Worth. He attended Fort Worth public schools, graduating from R. L. Paschal High School in 1942. He went on to attend college at Washington and Lee, TCU and SMU, graduating from SMU in 1948. His college years were interrupted by a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy. While at SMU, he met the love of his life, Nancy Alice Powell. They met at a party, where he described seeing her across the room and told a friend, “I believe there’s a young lady over there that needs my attention!” Paul described it as love at first sight. They married May 12, 1948 after two years of dating. They raised five children and were blessed to enjoy 73 years of marriage. People would not say Paul or Nancy, they would say Paul and Nancy. All of Paul’s working life was spent in his family’s business, which began as Leonard Brothers Department Store in 1918. At an early age, he spent time going to the office with his father. He had a close bond with his parents and deeply admired his Uncle Marvin as well. Paul was President of Leonard’s for many years. During his professional career, he was involved in commercial real estate, recreational developments, golf courses, oil and gas investments, zeolite mining and pecan farming. His orchard, Big Valley Farm in Mills and San Saba Counties, is one of the largest in the southwest. Paul applied a scientific practice in growing pecans, working with universities and fellow growers to advance production, quality and marketing. He was never satisfied with the status quo, always trying to improve through experimentation and use of water resources. Sometimes, Paul would plan a trip to the ranch on just two hours’ notice with the words, “Pancho, get the car ready!” With Nancy’s meals to go, they traveled to the ranch as much as possible, giving pecan orchard tours to any guests that visited. One friend called it the “Enchanted Forest.” As he gave back to the land, it gave back to him. His legacy will continue on to third, fourth and fifth generations. Until the last year, he rarely missed going to the office. His employees were like family to him. Nancy often brought lunch to the office for him in order the share a few moments with him during a busy day. He was active in civic and professional groups, serving as a director of Texas American Bancshares, Texas Utilities, National Retail Merchants Association, Exchange Club, Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fort Worth Association, MHMR, Shady Oaks Country Club, Starr Hollow Golf Club, Boy Scouts of America (Silver Beaver Recipient), and a founding member of the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth. He was also a founding board member of Fort Worth Country Day School. Paul was a passionate believer in God’s word. He was active in Bible Study Fellowship as a leader and recruiter. He was an active member of Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, where his friends called him a “Fisher of Men.” He participated in Monday with the Masters and Sages Sunday School Class, led by Dr. Ben McWillams. When he and Nancy were able to attend church, they sat in the same pew every Sunday, surrounded by friends. As Paul’s health declined, they watched church services on television. His favorite hobbies included hunting, fishing, traveling and golf. He fished and hunted in North and South America, Canada, Iceland, Africa, and New Zealand, often with his brother, Bob, and mutual friends. He had multiple hunting dogs over the years and traveled with them when he could. Paul was an avid reader and had quite a large library at home filled with Christian books, novels, and history books. His greatest love was spending time with his family. He cherished every day with Nancy, beginning each morning with coffee and Bible time. Summer camps at the family ranch for the children and grandchildren were special times for Paul and Nancy, with swimming and crafts, raising the flag to mark the beginning of each day. He was affectionately called “Daddy Paul” and “PeePaw” by his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family would like to extend they’re thanks to Dr. Chris Ewin, Dr. Bruce Mickey, Dr. Jay Lohrey, Dr. Patricio Polanco, Kelli and Stormi and all of the caregivers from Comfort Keepers and VITAS Hospice. Special thanks go to Rosa Castrejon and Francisco “Pancho” Orosio, loyal, long-term, in-home caregivers and companions. Paul was preceded in death by his daughter, Laura; parents; Robert W. Leonard, and sister and brother-in-law, Margery Ann and Leland Hodges. In addition to his sweetheart of 73 years, Nancy, Paul is survived by his children, four of whom survive, son, Paul III and his wife, Cindy, Daniel and his wife, Donna, David and his wife, Nena, and Louise and her husband, Rob Keffler; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Leigh Ann Stull and her husband, Stephen, and their children, Emerson and Leonard; Lauren Leonard, John Marvin Leonard and his wife, Amanda, Jennifer Jean, her husband, Brandon, and their children, Talon Ann, Preston, Tucker and Wade, Ashley Christian and her husband, Chad, and their children, Jacqueline and Luke; Kristen Atnipp and her husband, Stuart and, their children, Grady, Hugh, and Baby Girl, Bessie Mae, due this summer, Lindsay Miller and her children, Mackenzie Phillips, Hayden and Grayson Sowards, and granddaughter, Zoey Cassell, Nancy Herren and her husband, Hunter, and their children, Jack Henry, George, Peter and Lucy, Martha Motheral and her husband, Paxton, and their children, Margery, Eleanor and Paxton, Matthew Keffler, Jack Keffler, Adelaide Hallum Church and her husband, Dana, and their children, Daniel and Laura, Raleigh Hallum, and Obie Hallum and his wife, Chandler, and their son, Charles. Survivors also include Paul’s sister, Martha Jane Anthony and her husband, Jim; sister-in-law, Virginia Leonard; cousins, Miranda Leonard, Marty Leonard and Madelon Bradshaw, niece Ann Hayslett; many additional nieces and nephews and their families; and a host of friends. Paul never met a stranger!
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