1938 Edward 2014

Edward Watson Leonard Jr.

August 9, 1938 — November 11, 2014

Ilwaco resident Edward "Ed" W. Leonard, 76, died in Portland, Oregon on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014. Ed was born August 9, 1938 in Portland to Peggy and Edward Leonard. He was raised in Winlock, Washington, a small farming community located between Portland and Seattle. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1960. He flew C-130s and Skyhook aircraft, then flew strategic reconnaissance missions from air bases in Germany, Turkey and Iran. He had over 5,000 hours in the C-130. During the height of the battle for Vietnam he flew 257 combat sorties in the Skyraider and participated in the recovery of 18 aircrew members from behind enemy lines. The second time he was shot down he was captured after three days of jungle evasion in Laos. He was released with the termination of hostilities in 1973 after five years of captivity, three and a half in solitary. He said he was with the most fascinating person he knew. After release he continued on active duty until physical disabilities forced him into retirement. His combat decorations include four Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star with V device, 21 Air Medals and two Purple Hearts. He attended law school and prosecuted as senior litigator for the state of Texas Insurance Department until moving to a private law practice in Astoria, Ore., living in Ilwaco. After retiring from law, in 2002 he was honored to serve four years as Mayor of the City of Ilwaco, the Pacific end of the Lewis and Clark Trail, a place of such incredible beauty that, Lewis and Clark "looked no further". Ed is survived by his loving wife, Suzanne of Ilwaco; daughters, Tracy Turi, Paige Matyus and Supawn Sullivan; his sister, Karen Ray; sons Marty Kaufmann and Don Forman; nieces, Joni La Fave and Bobbi Selig, seven grandchildren and many wonderful cousins. A memorial service for Ed will be held Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Peninsula Church Center in Seaview with a reception following. Interment and military services will be in the spring at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado. Ed was shot down on Memorial Day; shot up to heaven on Veterans Day; and will be remembered on Pearl Harbor Day. What a way to go Ed! Suzanne said, "It was a privilege to be married to this wonderful man. Our lives were filled with wit and wisdom, laughter and love...lots and lots of love". His guest book is available at www.penttilaschapel.com.

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