Rose Mary Leonard was the oldest child born to Carroll Linden and Jennie June (Mackey) Higday on June 22, 1922 in Kellerton, Iowa. She passed away at the Clearview Nursing Home on February 19, 2007 at the age of 84. She was selected as "Miss Kellerton" at the age of 16 and went on to the Iowa State Fair. She also was Ringgold County Health Queen. She graduated from Kellerton High School in 1941 and then went on to Simpson College to get her teaching degree. She taught country school until her marriage to Donovan R (D.R.) Leonard on December 28, 1943 in Maryville, Missouri. Rose Mary was a homemaker for Donovan and their seven children. She was an excellent cook, always being there for the kids when they got off the school bus. In 1974, she started working as a housekeeper during the day and cook at night at the Clearview Nursing home in Clearfield, Iowa. She retired in 1991.
Family was very important to the Leonard's. D.R.'s parents Ralph and Jennie and his sister Velma, along with her husband Howard, and their children Kay and Marla were always together with Rose Mary and D.R.'s family to help paint barns, to harvest large gardens and to process chickens for good eating through the winter months. No one escaped these chores, not even the youngest grandchild. Our favorite saying was "NOT MORE CORN!" Sunday dinners were special with the homemade rolls and meringue pies. Her younger brothers and sisters spent summers at the farm as well as friends of the children. There was always room for one more plate at the table. She loved all the babies and sang to them while rocking them in the old rocking chair. She would have all the fixings for root beer floats and asked the grandkids if they wanted one and then added "while you are at it, make me one too!" She loved flowers and being outside. She had many hooks around her porch and it was customary on Mother's Day for each child to bring a hanging basket. She never forgot where each flower came from either! Rose Mary had a language all her own, some of which can't be repeated! She was also famous for her work lists for anyone who might come along. You also never had to wonder where she was because if she left the house or even went to lay down she always left a note for whoever should come by to wake her up or telling them where she was and when she planned to be back. Everyone always had a place to stay at Rose Mary's house but during the last 15 years she made sure that she had a special bed for her little man, Daniel. That same little man even had a place by her bed during the last few breaths she took.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donovan in 1989, her son Lyle, her parents, brothers Gerald and Max Higday, sisters Caryll Lou Campbell and Jeannette Higday, and brother-in-laws, Everett Fugate, Duane Campbell, Howard Lind, and Maurice Hanson.
Left to cherish her memory are children Julaine Compton, husband Dan of Clearfield, Jennie Jeanne Stephens, husband Dick of Clearfield, Linden Leonard, wife Cindy of Creston, daughter-in-law Vicky Leonard of Clearfield, Larry Leonard, wife Heather of Parker, Colorado, Ricky Leonard, wife Bess of Creston, and Ronny Leonard, wife Karen of Diagonal. Grandchildren Tammy Thomas, Mike Harrison, Daniel Compton, Scott Stephens, Darin Stephens, David Leonard, Kristen Leonard, Lance Leonard, Chris Leonard, Daniel Leonard, Jamie David, Jenny Robinson, Jordan Leonard, Justin R Leonard, Blade Martwick, Daniel Martwick, Colleen Wilcoxson, Cody Leonard, Seth Leonard, Ashley Conley, and two namesake granddaughters, Kaitlyn Rose Leonard and Rosetta Marie Leonard. Great-grandchildren Amy Brokaw, Jeremy Sobotka, Lauren Sobotka, Cheyenne Thomas, Jack Compton, Jake Compton, Taylor Compton, Janey Stephens, Noah Stephens, Gage Stephens, Emma Stephens, Ella Jo Leonard, Austen David, Caeden David, Dayna Robinson, Makenzi Martwick and one great-great grandson Aydan Brokaw. Brother Jack, wife Pat Higday, sisters Betty Jean Fugate and Linda Kay Higday, and sister-in-laws Velma Hanson and Ann Higday.