Celebrating Saints

Ralph “Rocket” Leonard 12/23/41 – 10/8/22

Ralph Adelbert Leonard III

Ralph Leonard

Ralph Adelbert Leonard III Obituary

Ralph Adelbert Leonard III, 80, of Babcock Ranch, Florida passed away on October 8, 2022 from coronary artery disease.

Ralph was born December 23, 1941 in Bay City, Texas to Alice and Ralph Leonard II into a family whose roots date back to colonization at Plymouth Rock.

Ralph graduated from Palm Beach High School in 1960 where he played football, both offensive and defensive half back, and upon graduating, immediately entering the U.S. Navy.

He served his Country with honor and distinction from 1960-64 on both Destroyer USS Frank Knox (DDR-742) and Submarine USS Sea Leopard (SS-483) where his specialty was both radar and sonar, with duty including the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Upon leaving the Navy, Ralph attended Palm Beach Junior College where he was a member of their private fraternity, Chi Sig before transferring to Florida State University and graduated in 1967. 

He then began working as a Certified Public Accountant for various companies. Ralph would eventually rise to Chief Financial Officer for Florida Heat Pump, where he worked until retiring in 1997.

In retirement, Ralph then got his Real Estate Broker license and practiced in both North Carolina and Virginia for a number of years.

Ralph was married to the love of his life, Eileen on January 1, 1993 and was a devoted partner in life and love until his passing.

Ralph was a loving father of and is survived by three children from his previous marriage; Laurie Edgar of Boca Raton, FL, Ralph Leonard of Boiling Springs, SC. and Scott Leonard of Naples, FL, as well as two step-children, Kelly Tarr of Okeechobee, FL, and K. Patrick Brennan of Seattle, WA, and three grand-children, Garrett and Courtney Leonard, and Mason Tarr.

He was proceeded in death by his brother, Donald, who was the topic of the book Ralph wrote, “Against the Stream.”

Ralph was above all a true patriot, who loved his Country, family and community and gave generously to all.

Ralph was an adventurer, avid reader, biker, hiker, loved watching golf on TV and “played at golf” (his words) was an author.

He had a love of Harley Davidson motorcycles. and loved fine dining as well as a variety of music.

He had a huge fondness for the sport of pickleball and played it often, earning the nicknamed “Rocket” – which explained how he approached the game.

He was an eternal optimist and the motto he lived by, taught to him by his mother was, “If you don’t have something good to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

Ralph was also a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed over 30 years ago. He never let this slow him down, as he was known for doing 50 push-ups a day right up to his passing.

Ralph and Eileen spent the last four years of their life at the forward-thinking community of Babcock Ranch as some of the original pioneers. Here they spent much of their time helping to create a robust community for residents, participating in the multiple civic and volunteer endeavors at “the Ranch.”

Ralph was a beloved and welcoming friend to hundreds of Babcock Ranch residents, and honestly, never met a person he didn’t like.

He was also one of the original members of Babcock Ranch American Legion Post, 415.

A Celebration of Life with military honors will be held at Founder’s Square Pavilion, Babcock Ranch on Sunday afternoon November 13 from 3:00 PM, followed immediately by a pot luck reception for friends and family.

All who knew Ralph are welcome to attend and encouraged to share comments at the event and please feel free to bring a lawn chair.

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