Floral 22
Official Obituary of

Marguerite Ann Leonard

January 5, 1930 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Marguerite Leonard Obituary

A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Marguerite Ann Leonard (née Gleason) was born on January 5, 1930. During the Great Depression, the Gleason family moved to Washington, D.C., where Marguerite, the youngest of three children of her parents, Frederick J. and Helen O’Donnell Gleason, grew up on the District-side of the parish neighborhood of St. James Parish, Mount Rainier, Maryland. Marguerite attended St. James School and later St. Paul’s Academy (which eventually became Mackin Catholic High School, Washington, D.C.). Following her 1948 high school graduation, Marguerite began working at The Catholic University of America in the Department of Psychology, where she witnessed from her office in CUA’s McMahon Hall, the construction throughout the 1950s of the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Marguerite went on to become a congressional staffer on Capitol Hill for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but also in these years, she was an avid tennis player, an equestrian, and a pilgrim to Catholic shrines and holy sites around the world. In the early 1960s, she moved to Sacramento, California to manage the congressional home office. There, she became a member of the Legion of Mary, a decision that would profoundly change the course of her life and deepen her already strong Catholic faith. Upon her return to Washington, D.C., she became an active member of the local Legion of Mary, the lay Catholic organization in which she would meet her future husband, Edward F. Leonard, a transplant to the D.C. area from his cherished hometown of Bradford, Pennsylvania. They married on August 27, 1966, and happily raised their three children, Maureen, Mary Lee and Edward, Jr. in Kensington, Maryland, amidst beloved extended family members and dear neighbors.

Throughout these years, Marguerite was a devoted homemaker, who lovingly cared for her family, but also created a home office in her kitchen, where after dinnertime, she worked remotely for the Hoover Reporting Company, Inc. on Capitol Hill.  A skilled typist of nearly 100 words a minute, she transcribed audio of hundreds of court cases of the U.S. District Court for D.C., as well as some well-known cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, a 1978 landmark case involving affirmative action in the United States. In her spare time, she took on typing projects for family and friends - everything from high school or college term papers to master’s degree theses to book manuscripts. Many of those for whom she came to the aid of in this area commented that they were convinced Marguerite’s on-the-spot editing, her dedication to proper grammar usage, impeccable spelling and attention to detail helped to perfect their works. Also, during this time of her life, which coincided with her children’s early elementary school years, Marguerite became a founding member along with several other area Catholic parents of a traditional homeschool cooperative, Our Lady of Ransom, which was located in Bethesda, Md., from 1975 to 1980.

In 1980, Marguerite returned to U.S. federal government service when she began working for the Office of Public Affairs at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. She retired in 1993 from NIH, and not long afterward, Marguerite came back to work full time at Catholic University of America – this time for the university’s publishing division - The Catholic University of America Press. She loved every day of her second career at CUA’s campus in Brookland, D.C., where during her workweek, she was blessed to be a daily communicant at the National Shrine.

In 2000, the welcome duties of being a first-time grandmother arrived and she relished her new role as a full-time “Grandma” to her grandson, Daniel Michael, followed by John Edward (Jack) in 2001 and Bridgid Mary Jacqueline (Bridgie) in 2004. For the next nearly 24 years, she enjoyed precious time spent with family, friends and her dear grandchildren. She had the pleasure of attending all her grandchildren’s milestone school and sacramental events, sports games, plays and recitals. Marguerite was very well-known for several tried-and-true old family recipes, such as chicken soup, Irish stew, gingerbread, and most famously, her delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies – always fresh out of the oven and at the ready for her grandchildren and guests.

During recent years, Marguerite continued to practice her beloved Catholic faith with steadfast and unwavering devotion and in a contemplative manner through Mass attendance, her faithful recitation of the daily rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, continuing to fulfill the requests of Our Lady of Fatima - penance, prayer and dedication to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, as well as praying unceasingly for all her family members both living and deceased.

This past December 2023, Marguerite suffered a broken hip and other serious health complications. Her children, son-in-law, Kevin Boyle, her grandchildren, her great-niece, Daly-Anne Leonard Morano, and dear family friend, Maria Corrigan, all took turns lovingly caring for Marguerite and keeping a nearly round-the-clock vigil of comfort and prayer by her bedside, firstly at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, and then later at the Hebrew Home in Rockville, where on the morning of February 26, 2024, Marguerite passed into eternal life.

Marguerite is survived by her three children, Maureen Boyle (Kevin), Mary Lee Leonard and Edward F. Leonard, Jr.; three grandchildren, Daniel, John and Bridgid; as well as several beloved nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband of 44 years, Edward F. Leonard; her brother, Frederick; her sister, Jacqueline; and her parents, Frederick and Helen Gleason.

Marguerite’s funeral took place on Monday, March 11, and began with a visitation at 10 am and Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am celebrated at St. Bernadette Parish, 70 University Boulevard East, Silver Spring, Md. 20901. Interment was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Silver Spring, followed by a repast held at The Avalon School, 11811 Claridge Road, Wheaton, Md. 20902.

Donations in Marguerite’s memory may be sent to The Avalon School (details below).  

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March 11, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Bernadette Catholic Church
70 University Blvd E
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Mass of Christian Burial
March 11, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Bernadette Catholic Church
70 University Blvd E
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Interment following funeral service
March 11, 2024

Gate of Heaven Cemetery
13801 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20906

Repast following interment
March 11, 2024

The Avalon School
11811 Claridge Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20902


The Avalon School
11811 Claridge Road, Wheaton MD 20902
Web: https://www.avalonschools.org/donate.html


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