Leonard Howard, age 86 passed surrounded by family at The Journey Home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
Leonard is one of six children born to Ansel and Ethena (Holeman) Howard in rural Coffeyville in the family home on January 27, 1937. Leonard grew up exploring the countryside and attended school in Coffeyville where he completed his education. On his 19th birthday he enlisted in the US Air Force where he served 4 years and 3 months before receiving his honorable discharge.
Upon returning home he pursued being an entrepreneur, building and opening Lenn's Drive In at 1411 W. 8th Street in Coffeyville and later relocating at 1103 W. 11th until closing in 1975. Many blessings came from owning Lenn's Drive In, but the biggest blessing was working side by side with his wife, Carolyn. The couple were married on August 2, 1965, and shared 51 years of marriage together and raised four children. Carolyn passed exactly seven years prior to Leonard on November 8, 2016.
After closing Lenn's Drive In, Leonard pursued a course of study in Industrial Electronics from SEK Vo-Tec while working at Jensen International from 1987 to 1992. He managed all this along with purchasing homes for property management and opening Howard Video Games, leasing out arcade gaming machines of all the popular games of the 1980's. If that was not enough, he also completed heating and refrigeration courses to become certified in Heat and Air installation and repair. He then opened the fourth business, Howard's Heat and Refrigeration. He was very handy in building and designing mechanical operating devices. Such as the design and engineering of a towering unicycle and motorized bicycle with a unique motor component. His mechanical and building skills allowed him to make most repairs to the homes he owned and to the arcade games. He also enjoyed leather tooling and making wallets. His daughter Wendy remembers thinking when she was younger that all dads could fix anything. As an adult she realized just how lucky they all were that their dad was so talented. He was a jack of all trades.
As a young boy Leonard attended church at the First Assembly of Coffeyville where he alongside his family and others worked on the construction of the new building. He recently shared the story that his job was to bolt the chairs to the floor in the sanctuary.
Leonard was a giving man, he showed love and grace to many people beyond his family that he treasured and loved deeply. He was generous to a fault.
In addition to his God gifted talents and interest, Leonard loved a good game of chess. He was the president of the Coffeyville Chess club and enjoying good competition against fellow players. His son Vincent never lost to his dad, primarily because he won the only game, he ever played against him. Vincent wanted to maintain his bragging rights.
Leonard's greatest passion was spending quality time with his family; he cherished his wife Carolyn up to death did them part. The love for his children Vincent Howard, Preston Howard, Debra Axon and Wendy and her husband Emmet Riley was immeasurable; grandchildren he adored Sherri Riley, Courtney Riley, Erica Beck, Meghan Riley, MaeJaun Sutton, Kodi Howard, Katie Axon, Christine Axon and Kari Sinclair; his great grandchildren were very dear to him, Allison Gailey, Katy Risley, Stella Riley and Mason Beck; his loving sister, Margaret Higgins and brothers-in-law Robert Crites and John Dake who he loved and respected and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family members.
In addition to his wife, and his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Harry Howard, James "Jim" Howard, Mary Crites, and Helen Dake.
The family has asked that you join them on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Ave., Coffeyville at 2 pm to Celebrate Leonard's life. Visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com to leave an online condolence, share a memory or view services.