Ed and Bella Leonard And Family
Edward (Ed) Leonard, the oldest of 7 children was born in Los Angeles and came to Monterey at an early age. Bella Pironi Leonard, the youngest of 2 girls, was born in San Francisco but raised in Monterey. Ed & Bella became sweethearts while attending San Carlos Grammar School and Junipero Memorial High School and were married in 1957 at San Carlos Cathedral. In August 2007 Ed and Bella celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and spouses: George & Greta, Francesca, Frank & Kathleen, Jennifer, Mary Anne & Luis; their grandchildren: Jimmy Donovan, Michael & Catherine Leonard and Edward Leonard; along with extended family and friends. Since their anniversary Ed and Bella have been blessed with 2 more grandchildren: Lorenzo Pironi and Carolina Lorca,
Ed & Bella have devoted much time to various church activities beginning in the 1970s fundraising for San Carlos School, with the "Fiesta de Los Padres", a chicken Bar-B-Que and various special dinners and raffles hosted by San Carlos Church and Mon. Brendon McGinnis. The grammar school was able to continue in its present state today due to these efforts. Bella taught catechism for ten years at San Carlos while working on the Santa Rosalia Queen's committee for 15 years, all while raising 5 beautiful children. Ed & Bella also volunteered for various events during their children's Catholic education, including, spaghetti and meatball dinners and Sunday morning breakfast at the Parish Hall.
The Leonard family belongs to the Italian Catholic Federation Br. 36, where they trace their roots back 5 generations. Today and for the past 11 years Ed and Bella, along with their son George, daughter-in-law Greta, daughter Jennifer, and on occasion grandson Michael and granddaughter Catherine, continue to serve in various positions for the ICF's annual Lenten Dinners and other events.
Ed was previously Branch Trustee and is currently serving as 1st Vice President for the Branch and the Central Coast Districts Board. Ed was instrumental in placing the ICF's "Clean Sports Make a Clean Town" community sign at Jack's ballpark.
Bella presently serves as Secretary to the Branch and previously served the same position on the ICF's Central Coast District committee. Currently, daughter Jennifer serves on the Central Counsel Scholarship committee and Grandson Michael designed the Branch website.
Ed learned the spirit volunteerism and community involvement from his father, George, who helped start the annual Lenten Fish Fry through the Knights of Columbus over 25 years ago. Ed and Bella's family have carried the family's tradition of giving to the communities through working with local dentist Dr. Jack Faia (a fellow Italian American) to provide free dental clinics to the poorest of Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru, and by working with Habitat for Humanity, Saint Anthony's soup kitchen in San Francisco, Dorothy's Kitchen, Relay for Life, Monterey County AIDS Walk, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Club of Monterey, coaching youth sports, working election polls and serving in Campus Ministry at St Mary's College.
Ed and Bella's family have been blessed and enjoy participating and serving within their community.