Maryjane F. Leonard of Spring Valley, California died peacefully in her home with her beloved husband, Jack, and her children by her side on April 19, 2023 following a courageous battle with cancer. She leaves behind an enduring legacy of love and service to others. Whether you called her Jane, Janie, Mom or Grandma you knew what defined her - Faith, Family, Flag and Friends.
Janie was born on May 23, 1945 in New York City, the third child of nine children, to US Army COL Joseph H. Felter and Mrs. Rosanne Bautz Felter. Her father's military career sent their tight-knit family across the country and on several accompanied tours to Europe until they settled in McLean, Virginia for her last two years of high school at Bishop O'Connell where she made lifelong friends. Janie was extremely proud of her family and easily took to the role of second mother to her younger siblings. When she left home to start her own family, she stayed close to all the Felters and despite the challenges of geography went to great lengths to make sure her own children knew their roots. Following high school graduation, she put college on hold and went to work at Georgetown University in the Finance Office. Not long after, her sister Patti set her up on a date with Jim Lock, a student at the University. He was an ROTC candidate in the middle of the Vietnam War. Following his graduation, they married and he shipped off to Vietnam for two years. Jane and Jim were reunited in Germany in 1967. For the next 25 years, they crisscrossed the country and the world with his military career and along the way welcomed nine children, seven daughters and two sons. Jane excelled as a military wife and mother of her ever-growing flock. Each new transfer brought its own challenges but Jane settled her family into new schools, neighborhoods, the local parish and sports leagues with grace and ease by first introducing herself and her family and then asking how she could volunteer her time and many talents. Cub Scout leader, soccer coach, PTO president, chair of too many fundraisers to list were just some of the roles Jane took on as she moved around the country. In 1978, she moved her family to Tehran, Iran for a three-year accompanied tour that ended abruptly with a late-night evacuation of her and her six children onto one of the last civilian flights to leave, just as the Islamic Revolution engulfed the country. Jim had to stay behind and Jane landed back in the States with two suitcases and six young children. She settled her family in Virginia, first McLean and then Montclair, where they lived for the next 17 years. She welcomed her last three daughters, contributed in so many ways to her beloved St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and started working as a part-time bookkeeper to help support her large family with a particular goal of sending her children to Catholic high schools. In a wonderful return to her own childhood, five of her daughters attended Bishop O'Connell High School.
Jane never gave up on her own educational goals. After family and faith, she believed education was the difference maker for the individual. When she sent her youngest off to kindergarten and with her oldest children already holding college degrees, she started night school. For five years she juggled a house full of kids, a daytime job as a bookkeeper and undergraduate course work. In 1997, she earned her college degree at the age of 52. She did not stop there. In 1997, Jane began a new chapter of life. Her first marriage had ended but she met the love of her life, Jack Leonard, a retired US Navy Captain. They moved to San Diego to start a new life together. In San Diego, Jane went on to earn an MBA at San Diego State University and then a doctorate in Education Technology from the University of San Diego. She launched a new career in government contracting first with ACS and then with Booz Allen Consulting where she would stay for the next 17 years until she finally retired at 75. Jane thrived at Booz Allen rising to become a program manager where she led teams engaged in multi-year contract implementations for the US Navy. Her closest manager described her as "model employee" fully dedicated to her clients and her teammates. She especially enjoyed her role as career manager for junior Booz Allen associates. One such associate described Jane as his Booz Allen Mom that got him through plenty of tough days. Jane embraced the Booz Allen commitment to community engagement and was involved in outreach initiatives supported by her company. She took the firm's relationship with Hoover High School in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego to a new level with hands on programming that covered areas from technology to nutrition. She was also an ardent supporter of the college scholarship program for standout students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Booz Allen presented Jane with the VIP Award, the firm's highest award recognizing an employee's outstanding contributions to client service, team development and volunteer engagement.
In San Diego, Jane continued to live her "service before self" ethos through her and Jack's commitment in the broader community. Together they supported many activities for the wounded warrior rehabilitation program at Balboa Naval Hospital and were consistent volunteers for STEP (Support the Enlisted Project). They were active members of their parish Santa Sophia in Spring Valley and in retirement, Jane volunteered her time as a weekly counter for the offertory collection. Not many beyond her family knew that Jane was an accomplished, self-taught, seamstress. In the early days, she made Easter dresses for her daughters, bassinet bedding for each new baby and countless costumes for Halloween or All Saints Day. As her children settled into their own homes, she would show up with her sewing machine and make window drapes, hand towels and table linens. Of all the things she sewed, baby blankets were by far her favorite and the closest to her heart. Each new grandchild was swaddled in handmade blankets from Grandma. These were delivered in person as Jane traveled to meet each of her new grandchildren and provide much needed help to the new parents. This was no small commitment as she welcomed 30 grandchildren into the world coast to coast over the last 20 years of her life. Despite the distance, she and Jack made every effort to be present for all the sacraments, graduations and major moments in their grandchildren's lives. Not a birthday or holiday went by without a gift from Grandma. Jane was an avid reader and her favorite place to do that was the beach whether in San Diego or her and Jack's beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Card games were another favorite past time. She was a consummate bridge player in the early days and later on she loved playing and besting her grandchildren at the card games they taught her. With her recent retirement, they looked forward to traveling the country for longer trips spent with grandchildren but her cancer diagnosis in October 2021 cut that short. Never losing hope, she forged ahead with a grueling treatment protocol and maximized time with family. In September 2022, she traveled to Virginia to attend the promotion ceremony of her son to brigadier general. In the context of her life lived in, around and for the military, it was an incredible moment for her and her entire family. In her last weeks and as Jane sensed her time on earth coming to end, she continued to set beautiful examples for her family. Each day she prayed, as she always did for others who she knew "needed some extra strength to face whatever is to come". With the help of her daughters, she closed out a grass-roots baby blanket making project she had started during the pandemic with fellow parishioners. Together they donated hundreds of blankets and bibs to Birthline of San Diego County.
Jane Leonard was a powerful force of good in this world. She will be deeply missed by so many but especially by her family that love her so very much. Mom, we know you are in Heaven, now our guardian angel, continuing to pray for us. Jane is preceded in death by her parents, COL and Mrs. Joseph H. Felter, and her oldest brother, COL Joseph H. Felter, Jr. She is survived by her loving husband, CAPT John A. Leonard (US Navy, Ret.), her seven siblings - Dr. Patricia A. Smith (David) of Tulsa, Ok, Dr. Robert A. Felter (Conchita) of Puerto Rico, John K. Felter, Esq. (Linda) of Cambridge, MA, Suzanne Lippe of Mahawa, NJ, Diane Maestri of McLean, VA, James M. Felter of Washington, DC and Christine Felter (Scott) of Portland, OR. She is also survived by her former husband, COL James L. Lock, Jr. US Army, Ret., (Shirley) of Fairfax, VA and their nine children and 30 grandchildren: Mary Johanna Dyer and her husband Rob of Darien, CT and their four children, Teddy, Jake, Janie and Thomas; BG Joseph G. Lock and COL Clare O'Keeffe of Fayetteville, NC and their five children, SPC Ryan Lock, Joey, Katie, Sean and Rory; COL James L. Lock, III and his wife Dr. Keri W. Lock of Crestwood, KY and their four children, Caroline, Maddie, Jimmy and Matthew; Christine D. Reynolds and her husband Jason of South Lake, TX and their three sons, Jack, Max and William; Sara Jane Hawkins and her husband Cullen of Sullivan's Island, SC and their three children Laken, Revi and Caleb; Dianne L. Goldstein and her husband CDR Geoffrey Goldstein of Steamboat, CO and their two sons Grip and Maccabee; Ann-Marie Lock and Ray Petway of Washington, DC and their two sons Jason and James; Theresa V. Stidman and her husband Mike of Norwood, CO and their four children, Lyla, Michael, Adela and Olivet; Katherine R. Kliber and her husband Matt of Fairbanks Ranch, CA and their three children Charlotte, Dolan and Madeline and Matt's children Reagan and Evan. With her marriage to Jack, Jane is survived by his three children Jay Leonard and his two children Caleb and Teagan, Michelle Leonard-Burgess (Jesse), and Janine Leonard-Lee (Danny). In July, Jane's family will welcome her first great-grandson.
A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Santa Sophia Catholic Church in Spring Valley, CA. The funeral mass will begin at 11am, with the Rosary and Words of Remembrance commencing at 10:30am. A memorial service for Jane's burial at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, Jane's family encourages gifts in her memory to Hoover High School and Birthline of San Diego County.
Hoover High School
Checks payable to: "Hoover Foundation-Maryjane Leonard AOIT Memorial Fund"
Hoover High School
Attn: Maryjane Leonard AOIT Memorial Fund/Ellen Towers
4474 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115
Birthline of San Diego County
Birthline of San Diego County, Inc.
Attn: Michelle Twardowski, In memory of Maryjane Leonard
P.O. Box 178421, San Diego, CA 92177
Contact: Michelle Twardowski - email@example.com