2012-10-11 / Obituaries

Delbert Robert Leonard

Delbert Robert Leonard was born on Dec. 16, 1926 on Green Mountain in Mariposa County to Henry and Elizabeth Leonard. He passed away on Oct. 6, at the age of 85 in Merced.

Delbert was the youngest of six siblings and grew up in

Mariposa. There he met his wife of 57 years, Stella Vance Leonard. They had three children, Gwen, Cheryl and Bob.

A hard-working man, Delbert was a logger at a young age with his father and uncle. He also operated heavy equipment during fire seasons. Delbert moved his family to Los Angeles to help construct the gas lines for the power company. He then worked with his sister on a Bakersfield farm before settling with Stella and his children in Madera. There he worked for the City of Madera for 37 years as a heavy equipment operator.

Delbert, also known as Dutch, was a strong man in stature and character, always lending a hand to friends or family in need. He enjoyed building things and was an incredible mechanic. He could weld and manufacture his own tools and preferred to do so over buying them. Dutch could always be found working in his garage.

He enjoyed his country music and strumming his guitars. A great deal of his spare time was spent with his family in Oakhurst at their cabin on Cedar Valley Road. He enjoyed being outdoors, hunting and fishing with his brothers, son, nephews, son-in-law and friends. Delbert was of the Miwok tribe and was proud of his Native American heritage.

Delbert was preceded in death by his wife, Stella Ann Leonard; his daughter, Cheryl Mays; his parents and five siblings; Frank Leonard, Henrietta Edwards, Eldridge Leonard, Daisy Gordon, and Hazel Williams.

He is survived by his daughter, Gwen Beluardo and her husband Ron; his son, Bob Leonard; nine grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren. Delbert will be dearly missed.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. at Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera, under the direction of Jay Chapel.

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