Cover photo for Frank W. "Wally" Leonard's Obituary
Frank W. "Wally" Leonard Profile Photo
1925 Frank 2020

Frank W. "Wally" Leonard

April 9, 1925 — November 6, 2020

Frank Wallis Leonard, beloved educator and counselor, passed peacefully from this earth on November 6th after a short illness. He had been living independently at age 95 up until a month before his passing.

He was known as Wally and was beloved by many. How might you have known him? "F.W." "Mr. Leonard" "Uncle Wally" "Yes, Captain Wally" ?

Wally was born in Los Angeles, the son of Helen and Harry Leonard, who came to California from Harrisburg, PA. Moving from Los Angeles to Pasadena, the family finally settled in El Monte for 26 years. He has been a resident of Whittier since 1959.

In World War II, he served in the 89th Infantry Division as a weapons section messenger. At war's end he became an M.P. in Austria. His military awards included a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and two European Battle Stars.

Wally graduated from Pomona College in 1949 and from the University of Southern California in 1951, earning a master's degree in Education at the latter institution. He has touched the lives of many during his time at Whittier High School (WHS). From 1951 to 1981 he was a teacher, a tennis coach and a counselor. He set many students on their way to successful college careers - a true WHS Cardinal at heart.

His non-professional interests included gardening, golf, tennis, fishing, traveling and sailing. He traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Mexico, Sweden, England, Ireland and Hong Kong to name only a few destinations.

He was an Honorary Life Member of the Balboa Yacht club where he hosted many aboard his Cal25 recreational keel boat, The Volador.

A true global citizen, Wally took great pleasure in introducing us all to the things he held dear. There was always an opportunity to teach. Camping at Yosemite, Lone Pine or Fallen Leaf Lake in his VW Vanagon. Showing up to your home with a box of Graber Olives from Ontario, CA or a crate from Peterson Mushroom Farm. Did he offer you a scooter ride in the Whittier hills? How about his special dessert - a scoop of coffee ice cream with a shot of Myers Dark Rum poured over with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg? And then there were his jokes...

He was always there for us - for all the big life events. For the truly momentous events he would join you at Steak N Stein.

We can collectively treasure all these memories.

Wally lived his life with dignity, kindness and charm. He was able to leave this world surrounded by friends, adopted family and kind caregivers. He had no direct survivors.

A celebration of his life will be held in the future when we are once again able to gather. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wally's favored organizations: Pomona College and PIH Foundation. Due to the current health restrictions, Wally's family anticipates hosting a Celebration of Life service in the spring for family and friends to gather to memorialize his life.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank W. "Wally" Leonard, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

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