Mr. Beacham Leonard, 79, of South Hawthorne Road, died Saturday morning, April 5, 2003, at the Sticht Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Mr. Leonard was born Oct. 9, 1923, in Nash County to Joseph Alfred and Annie Wilder Leonard.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theatre. Mr. Leonard was among the first American soldiers into Tokyo in August 1945 to set up communications for the Army of Occupation. After the war, he attended the Capital Radio Electronics Institute in Washington, D.C. and came to Winston-Salem in 1948 as an engineer with WSJS Radio and later television, now WXII. He was with WSJS until 1969, when he left to go to work for Kirkman Electronics. In 1972, he became an electronics instructor for Piedmont Aerospace Institute, leaving there in 1974 to return to Sauratown Mountain as transmitter engineer for WUNL Channel 26, a part of the UNC Center for Public Television System. Mr. Leonard was a licensed amateur radio operator with the call sign W4RXG. In April 2001, the American Radio Relay League honored Mr. Leonard for 50 years as a ham radio operator. After his retirement in 1988, Mr. Leonard was a charter member and past president of the Golden K Kiwanis Club and enjoyed working with the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) setting up communications systems. Mr. Leonard was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for 54 years. He was also a member of the Ardmore Community Club.
On June 25, 1949, he married the former Elizabeth East, whom he met at WSJS. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard celebrated their 50th weeding anniversary June 25, 1999. Mr. Leonard is survived by his wife, Elizabeth of Polo Ridge; his son, Joseph Beacham Leonard and wife, Carol of Kennesaw, Ga.; his daughter, Melissa Leonard Hall of Winston-Salem; granddaughter, Meghan Elizabeth Leonard of Manila, Ark.; his twin brother, Kemp Battle Leonard and wife, Ernestine of Roanoke Rapids; his sister, Myra Joyce Henderson and husband, Andy of Cary; his sisters-in-law, Doris East and Nancy East, both of Winston-Salem, also survive him. Two special feline friends, Buffy and Kitty Cat brought joy into his life.
His parents, two brothers-in-law, Whit East and Bill East and his son-in-law, Luther Hall, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Jeff White and the Rev. Donna McClellan presiding. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to: Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 11361, Winston-Salem, NC 27116, SORT, 121 Polo Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27105 or First Presbyterian Church, 300 N. Cherry Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. The family would like to thank the staffs of the Sticht Center, Polo Ridge Assisted Living Center and The Nursing Center at Oak Summit for all their care. A special thanks to Dr. Franklyn Millman, Donna Brooks, R.N., and the staff of University Internal Medicine Associates for many years of good care.
Published in the Winston-Salem Journal on 4/7/2003.