Pastor Howard Dean Leonard, of Onaway, went to his heavenly home with Jesus on December 11, 2018. Howard was born in Eureka, Montana on October 18, 1928 to Ed Leonard and Eva (Hellinga) Leonard. He grew up helping care for the family homestead on Deep Creek near Fortine, Montana with his younger brother and five sisters. Howard attended elementary school in Fortine, MT and graduated from Lincoln County High School in Eureka, MT. In 1950, Howard married his wife of 68 years, Mary Flaget.
Howard logged from the time he was in high school and worked at sawmills with his father and other family members. He worked a variety of jobs as a truck driver, a boxcar loader, excavation worker, head sawyer to provide for his family. He also worked in the Christmas tree industry near Eureka. He loved the mountains of western Montana and often bragged of the Big Sky country having bigger fish, bigger huckleberries, higher mountains…pretty much everything! Howard was a storyteller who enjoyed sharing about his fishing exploits and encounters with wildlife. He also spoke often of his pride in the accomplishments of his grandchildren!
Howard once had a skidder roll over him on a steep hillside and also had a leg crushed when a log hit him. He went back to work at the mill where they built accommodation for him to continue working on the greenchain while he recovered from the serious leg injury. He was slated by doctors for amputation of his injured leg when God miraculously healed him. He was always very shy about speaking in front of people until he started sharing the healing experience. He decided to accept a calling into the ministry.
Howard moved his family from a home he’d built on Deep Creek to the Palouse Country of Washington. The family first lived in Palouse for nine years, then moved to Potlatch in 1974. Howard and Mary purchased a home in Onaway and moved over the hill in 1984. When first moving from Montana, he worked a variety of other jobs that included WSU custodian, school bus driver, snowplow driver, and rural route milkman to supplement their income while in the ministry. Howard carried out his ministry of 42 years as a pastor from 1966 - 2008, as one called to tend and care for the community that he loved. He performed well over 80 weddings and both ministered and sang for funerals in the area. He was an ordained minister of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International and served on their board starting in 1968; he joined a local minister’s fellowship in the early 70s.
Howard is survived by his wife, Mary, at their home in Onaway; a daughter, Linda Muck and her husband Darrell of Kimberly; a daughter, Darla Nicholson and her husband Lee of Potlatch; a daughter, Brenda Helbling and her husband Bob of Moscow; eleven grandchildren; twenty-five great grandchildren; one brother, Ralph Leonard and his wife Linda of Boring, OR; four sisters, Yvonne Quilling, LaDonna Goff and her husband Dan, Geraldine Van Bemel and her husband Abe of Eureka, MT; and Joan McNutt and her husband Charlie of British Columbia. He was preceeded in death by his beloved son, Robert Glen Leonard, and an infant daughter, Helen Jo Leonard, as well one sister, Joyce Herrick of Nebraska.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018, 11:00 A.M. at the Faith Church, 401 Third Street, Onaway, Idaho.
Memorials may be given to Faith Church (Missions) Box 208, Potlatch, ID 83855 or to the Potlatch Fire Department, Box 63, Potlatch, ID. 83855
Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse, is caring for the family. You are invited to leave online condolences and order flowers for the family at www.kramercares.com.
401 THIRD STREET, ONAWAY ID 83855
BOX 63, POTLATCH ID 83855