Edward J. Leonard

Edward Joseph Leonard, truly loved husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather, died Saturday, December 28, at his home in Maryland. He was 87. His wife, Ann, children and grandchildren were with him. We miss him greatly, while remembering he had a long and good life filled with adventure, love, family, and science. We remember his strength, his loyalty, his dedication to family, his determination and focus, the life he opened up for us in a multitude of ways.

Edward’s pleasures included a love for travel and new places. His last overseas adventure, despite his advancing Parkinson’s, was a trip to Ethiopia with his son, David. At home in Maryland, the garden, his compost pile, his gooseberries, fixing all and sundry in the house and yard, tending his bees filled his free time. Summers on the Vineyard were spent bushwhacking through the brush in Gay Head, canoeing in Vineyard Sound, spearfishing for tautog, and listening to long tales from his children. A Master Gardener, his care for and interest in flora was an abiding part of his life.

A graduate of Boston Public Latin School, Harvard College, and Harvard Medical School, he also served in the U.S. Army.

Edward was one of the original Clinical Fellows at the National Institutes of Health. He retired from a 49-year career at the NIH where he was Director of the Immunopathology Section in the Laboratory of Immunobiology of the National Cancer Institute. His research focused on macrophages and neutrophils with identification of key chemo-attractant factors. His scientific accomplishments were complemented by an equal commitment to his devoted mentoring of Post Doctoral Fellows.

Most importantly, his real love was his family and friends, friendships that flourished for a lifetime. He leaves behind his wife, Ann; his children, Michael, Julie, David, Claudia, and Ethan; his children-in-law Meg, Joel, Kim, and Amanda; and 11 grandchildren.

A memorial will be held at a yet to be determined date in Aquinnah.

Gestures of sympathy may be directed to Sheriffs Meadow Foundation on Martha’s Vineyard, or Physicians for a National Health Program.