In Memory of





Obituary for Muriel Josephine Leonard (Hessler)

Muriel Josephine Hessler Leonard passed away on March 24, 2024, at the Hunt Community in Nashua, NH at the amazing age of 103. She was born on July 13,1920 in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of the late Lee and Theresa Hessler. She married Milton Leonard in July 1943 who preceded her in death in 2001.

Muriel graduated from North Akron HS in 1938 and matriculated at the University of Akron. Although she started her educational college journey in 1938, she took some time off to work at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company as secretary for Wilber Shaw, the 3-time Indianapolis 500 champion. She met her husband, Milton, at Firestone. They went on to raise two sons, M. Russell Leonard and Roger F. Leonard. After many years raising her sons and supporting her husband, she returned to her own education in 1960, earning her degree in Philosophy in 1963, the same year her eldest son graduated from high school.

Her husband Milton’s job took them to various places in the world including Buenos Aires, Argentina where their second child Roger was born. They traveled to places like Paris, Hawaii, and Japan. They also lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Westfield NJ and ultimately settled in Marco Island, Florida in their retirement years. They, and their family and friends, who were always welcomed with warmth and love, enjoyed nearly 40 years of the Florida sunshine at their beloved home, notably known as the “Milton Hilton,” making memories that will last a lifetime for those who were lucky enough to spend time there.

Muriel was active in two sororities, Kappa Kappa Gamma and PEO, as well as golfing leagues and volunteer work during her time in Florida. She was a reading volunteer at Tommie Barfield elementary school in Marco Island Florida and was named volunteer of the year in 1999. She loved volunteering with the school system helping young students improve their reading skills. “When you retire you can do what you want when you want. Sometimes younger people tell us to get a life. The school has given me a life.” Muriel said of her time volunteering at the school.

Throughout her life, she was known for her beauty, intelligence, generosity toward others and thoughtful temperament. She rarely uttered a harsh word.

She is survived by, her two sons, M. Russell (Karen) Leonard and Roger (Becky) F. Leonard; 5 granddaughters, Jennifer (Mike) Buczynski, Leslie (Matt) Leonard, Kirsten (Ben) Leonard, Kara Grice, Alexis (Adam) Barelski; 5 great grandsons, 2 great granddaughters, and 1 great-great granddaughter. Family also includes her niece Judy Spitale of Ohio and her nephew John Parker of Ohio.

A memorial service will be held at the UU Church in Nashua, 58 Lowell St., on April 13th at 2:30 in the afternoon, with a reception to follow. A Burial for family will be held in Barker NY at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hunt Community Scholarship in Nashua NH.