Obituary of Nancy Leonhard Smith
Nancy Kathryn (Leonhard) Smith, 87, of Brick, NJ and formerly Point Pleasant Borough left her beautiful world on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 after her heart of a lioness finally gave out.
She was born in Rahway, NJ in 1931 and graduated from Rahway High School as salutatorian in 1949. After meeting the love of her life, Ralph, at a summer camp paradise "Culvermere", in Branchville, NJ where all kinds of shenanigans apparently occurred, she successfully lured him to the pulpit in 1954. Together they subsequently did the Garden State Parkway mid 50's migration to Point Pleasant in 1955. It was here that she spread her wings and made a life for her and her husband while raising two boys and three Irish Setters. She was the PTA/PTO president for Point Pleasant Schools for many, thankless years and one of the "class mothers" for both boys which always, regrettably, kept both of them in line for each class trip they ever embarked on in grade school. In the summers, up until only a few years ago, you could always find our mom on most any sunny day for most of her life on the beach of Manasquan. And not just any beach but "the last beach" or Potters. She'd proudly put on her silly bathing cap before they became fashionable that invariably embarrassed her sons and would actually swim in the ocean that seems to be a dying art. Out of high school she worked at Merck Industries before they became the conglomerate of today and proudly followed her stock in the company for the past 65 years. After she felt comfortable enough letting her boys defend for themselves when the school bell was rung she became the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church secretary for much of the 70's. At this same church she was not only a devoted congregant for seven decades, but a Trustee, an usher, and an active member in the Presbyterian Woman's EliSabeth-Verdella 'circle'.
Upon her husband's retirement in the late 80's they bought a getaway home in Dunedin and later Palm Harbor, FL. They, thereby, did the yearly ritual of becoming snowbirds and missing the winters of Jersey and everything that came with it until a few years ago. Nancy also was a devoted chef in the kitchen in which she made her annual batches of numerous Christmas Cookie recipes, concocted a killer blue crab dish made in clam shells, perfected turkey tetrazzini and was the Queen of Breakfasts of which her blueberry buckle was the pinnacle, closely followed by her Belgium waffles and big pancakes. Of course, her story would not be complete if it was not mentioned that her favorite place in the world was sitting in her porch, while reading a prolific novel and gazing out the window with a gorgeous view of the Metedeconk River and the voice of Frank Sinatra playing on the radio in the background. She also loved reading the daily newspaper, M*A*S*H, the Tampa Bay Rays, Jeopardy, Tillie, and all the criminal drama TV shows. Her biggest thrill and individual accomplishment we've saved for last. After years and years of playing Bridge with many of her friends and family she embarked on pursuing her Masters in one of the world's most popular card games. Participating in a myriad of tournaments consumed over many years she eventually garnered 500 points to achieve her Life Masters with The World Bridge Foundation.
It stands to reason Nancy was the quintessential daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and friend. She did not have a bad bone in her body and through thick and thin she was the foundation of her family. She was the consummate darling daughter to Icky and the apple of her father's eye, she was the perfect complement to her husband who she catered to like he was a prince, she was always there for her sons with love, a laugh and advice, she adored her baby brothers with undeterred affection and received it in return, she worshipped her grandchildren to a degree that seems unfathomable, she cherished her daughters-in-law that can only be described as maternal and sadly outlived the majority of her friends that she cultivated throughout her life.
If you are reading this and you are lucky enough to still have your mom living upon this sacred earth please give her a big hug each time you see her because you never know when it'll be your last.
Nancy was predeceased by her parent's Robert and Isabella Leonhard. She is survived by her loving husband Ralph of Brick, two sons and daughters-in-law, D. Scott and Carole of Brick, and Bryan and Stephanie of Brielle, two grandchildren, Shane and Summer, and two brothers, R. Douglas Leonhard and wife Patricia of San Antonio, TX and Richard Leonhard and his partner Cindy Groenhoff of Point Pleasant. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Per Nancy's wishes there will be no visitation or memorial service. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in her name be made to the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Bay and Forman Aves., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742.
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