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Died June 12, 2009

NEW BERN -- William Henry "Bill" Leonard III died peacefully at Carolina East Medical Center Friday at the age of 83.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 320 Pollock St., New Bern, Wednesday at 1 p.m. Inurnment will be in the courtyard of Christ Church.

He was born in Salisbury. He graduated from Boyden High School in Salisbury and Georgia Military Academy in Atlanta, Ga., and attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Bill entered the United States Air Force during World War II, was trained as an intelligence officer and served in the Occupation Forces in Germany.

Bill worked in one of his father's jewelry stores, Leonard's Jeweler's of Statesville, for 10 years. In 1958 he joined Drexel-Heritage Furniture Mfg. Co. Inc.

In 1960, the family moved to Lafayette, Calif., where he was the northern California salesman. He was promoted to western regional sales manager in 1962.

After returning to Morganton in 1965, he was hired by Kemp Furniture Co. in Goldsboro as vice-president of sales and marketing. He was associated with Kemp Furniture until the late 1980s, when Kemp was purchased by Universal Furniture Inc.

Bill was also the past president-marketing division of the Southern Furniture Manufacturer's Association. He achieved numerous other accolades during his career in the furniture industry. Bill retired in New Bern with his wife, Fair, in 1992.

Bill had a lifetime love of golf with many trophies and honors. His golf swing emulated Sam Snead's, his boyhood golf hero. He was active in the Episcopal Church in Goldsboro and New Bern. He was a vestry member, Stephen minister and did volunteer work as well.

Bill is survived by his wife of 61 years, Fair Miller Leonard. She was his childhood sweetheart in Salisbury.

Survivors also include a brother, Alfred Cross Leonard of Lake Norman; William Wiley Leonard and wife, Margaret Ann, of Goldsboro; Mark Christian Leonard and wife, Cynthia, of Farmville; Fair Marie Strally and husband, Michael, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; grandchildren, Nathan Henry Leonard, William Jason Leonard, Alison Leonard Hoyme and husband, Matthew, Matthew Starkey Leonard and wife, Joy, Jacob Daniel Leonard and Margaret Miller Leonard.

He was the son of the late William Henry Leonard Jr. and the late Marie White Morgan.

Preceding him in death was a son, William Henry Leonard IV, and a grandson, Jacob Wiley Leonard.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Alzheimer's Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter, 400 Oberlin Road, Ste. 200, Raleigh, NC, 27605, or to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. Online condolences at www.cremnc.com.


Published in Obituaries on June 16, 2009 1:47 PM