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In Memory of Bruce Leonard


5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday February 15, 2020
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Visitation Prior to Service

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday February 16, 2020
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Funeral Service

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Sunday February 16, 2020
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Bruce William Leonard, 71, died peacefully on February 6th 2020 after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Bruce is survived by the love of his life Donna (nee Taibain), cherished sons Andrew (Fiancée Angie Herbst) and Michael (Samantha), fond brother of Debra Klein (Mark), nephew Christopher Klein, two labradoodles, Stanley and Gibson, and many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Bruce was born June 1, 1948 and raised in the Brainerd neighborhood of Chicago. He was the son of the late William and Mabel Leonard (nee Clark). He relocated to North Western Wisconsin in 1996 and moved from Hudson to New Richmond in 2018. Bruce was educated in the Chicago public school system (Calumet High School grad 1966). He received a BS in business and economics from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1970 and MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in 1976. Bruce spent over 35 successful years in Human Resource management positions including founding an HR consulting company. He also worked part time for over 17 years at an adjunct instructor for WITC in New Richmond. He enjoyed volunteering which included being an elected school board member for Matteson-Richton Park 159 School District in Matteson, IL, Blue Island Area Chamber of Commerce officer, Cub Scout Pack den leader in Hudson, and an officer with SCORE. Bruce was an avid Chicago sports fan his whole life and liked reading mafia books, but what Bruce really loved was spending time with his family and going to the casino and traveling on cruises with his wife Donna, and together went on 29 Princess Cruises.

A funeral service for Bruce will be on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 2pm at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. Visitation will be the night prior on Saturday from 5pm – 8pm also at O’Connell’s, and one hour prior to the service on Sunday. The family wants to thank the outstanding medical treatment from the staffs of Regions Hospital ENT and Cardiology Dept.’s, Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin, Hudson Specialty Clinics, and Hudson Hospital.

A special thanks to Dr. Derek Schmidt for the wonderful care he provided to Bruce. His compassion, knowledge, candor and sense of humor made the struggle so much easier. Memorials can be made to The Poor Clare Monastery at 1175 N 300 W Kokomo, IN 46901-1799 or the St. Patrick Church in Hudson.

“Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”

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Bruce's Tribute Wall

Tributes (12):

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    • I had the great honor and pleasure of having this amazing man as my boss and mentor for 14 years. Bruce and I were in human resources at a manufacturing company in Fridley, MN. Not only was he the best boss I will ever have, but he was a dear friend. Bruce and I would sit in his office for hours talking about family, all of the stories he had from his past, his cruise adventures with the love of his life and hilarious stories about his two sons who he adored and his favorite mother-in-law, Grandma Lil. During my time with him I got married, had two babies and built two houses and he was so supportive of me during the most important times in my life. He was just so good to me. Bruce was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known in my life and he would do anything for anyone. His sense of humor was unlike anyone who I’ve ever met. He was absolutely hilarious. I was so saddened by the news of his passing. The world isn’t as good of a place without Bruce in it. He adored his family. I pray for each of you that you will be comforted by the memories you have with him and know that he is now your guardian angel. Rest in peace BWL…….

    • I met Bruce through our professional relationship some 20-plus years ago. An introduction led to appointments, which led to meetings, which led to business lunches (usually at Acapulco), which led to personal lunches—with Bruce and then Donna too—which led to visits (with refreshments, of course) at their home on our way up north every summer or fall. I will miss him but never forget him. He was my friend and, as he would often say, “Oh yeaaaaah!” -J.


    • I don’t have the words to express what Bruce meant to me. Our family vacations when we were teenagers forged a life long closeness that I treasure. I just loved him to pieces and I miss him being in the world. I delight that he is in paradise today, in his perfect body and hobnobbing with so many waiting there for him. Donna, you were the best and he knew it and loved you. Yours was a true love story…..May God bless you and the family.
      Love, Cindy

    • My heart is hurting for your heartbreak. Let the tears you shed stand witness to your love for your husband and father and to the depth of your thanksgiving for the gift of his life.

      Eternal Rest Grant Unto Bruce O’ Lord. And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him. May He Rest In Peace.

      The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

      You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Dear Donna Leonard
      Thanks to God’s support we had a possibility to meet with you. I’m writing this tribute from Poland, where there are your Polish roots. I’ve never met Bruce but had the possibility to meet you. You’ve told me a lot about Bruce. Please accept our deepest condolences.

      Dominik and your Polish family.

    • Although it’s been decades since I last saw him, Debbie and Bruce and their parents were my second family for all my childhood. I’m beyond grateful for the the Leonards played in my growing up. There isahole in my heart. Debbie, you were always my best friend and my thoughts are with you. Love you always. Lyn

    • It was my honor to meet you, Bruce, at the LHS reunion in 2018. Your humor and goodness was contagious and I am so pleased you were able to join us that Friday evening. Don’t worry, we will all look after Donna and make sure she doesn’t overspend at the casinos. Heaven awaits you, my friend. ✌️❤️, Faith

    • Although we have only known Bruce for a year, it seems like much longer. His smile, hugs, and friendly waves warmed our hearts and welcomed us to our new lives here in Wisconsin. We will continue to pray for you, Donna and your family.

      With much love in Christ, Alberto, Ilga, Heidi & Patrick Melo

    • How fortunate Judy and I, along with Chris Mueller, were to visit with Bruce, Donna, Andrew, Mike and Samantha (along with their two furry “children” last weekend. Don’t really know why we felt it necessary to choose that time to fly to the frosty north from Arlanta, but something just told us we have to go. Bruce seemed “up and about” when we got there, better than we thought he’d be, but now we know differently. Seeing what he (and his family) had to go through evert day made our hearts ache somewhat, but he had the attitude of “if there’s life, there’s hope.” My last words to him were “I love you” and he said “I know you do and I love you too.” I could not imagine better works to leave him with. Donna, the same goes to you and the rest of the family, there are no better words.

    • You know a man is exceptional when he has made an impression on even his lowly contractors!
      Bruce came into our life 4 years ago and we could never let him go. His disposition, attitude, and humor should be an example for us all.
      For us, he was so much more than a favorite client. He was a friend, a mentor, an avid encourager, one we considered a part of our family.
      We miss you now Bruce and can’t wait to laugh with you again when we come home too. We love you!

    • Oh you guy’s, I was so very saddened by this when I opened up my emails this morning. You know how much I loved Bruce, and how well we got along !!! I’m certainly going to miss his great sense of humor and wonderful stories of Chicago…he was an exceptional man, with outstanding qualities that carried right on through to the kids. This is a horrible loss for all, and I’m sorry. I’m offering my prayers to him and you and the kids Donna to help you get through this.
      May God bless him and Mary keep him~ 😔💔🙏

      All my love Ann*