Despite being the son of a successful farmer, he knew he wanted to be a doctor. That dream was almost thwarted when his mother gave him a set of golf clubs and said he need to learn how to play golf. He gave her the clubs back and said he no longer wanted to be a doctor. Fortunately for both him and the City of Lafayette, he didn’t let the idea of golfing change his dream.
He was a graduate of Westminster College and had received his M.D. from Tulane University; where upon this past spring he celebrated his 50th anniversary. During his residency, Lee was a member of the United States Air Force in Wichita Falls, Texas. He started practicing Orthopedics in 1973 and to this current day, has never officially retired. Lee received numerous honors and awards from the Herodicus Society, International Society of the Knee and International Arthroscopy Society. Locally, he was inducted into the Ragin’ Cajuns Hall of Fame for 40 years of service as the team Doctor.
Lafayette was a seasonal paradise for Lee; the two most important seasons being Fall and Spring. Fall meant cooler temperatures and hunting at the camp with his friends and family. Spring was reserved for Mardi Gras in which he was very active and reigned as King Gabriel the 58th. When not traveling abroad, he enjoyed the supper club dinners with his friends in Lafayette.
Lee is survived by his children, Jesse Lee Leonard IV and his wife, Christine and their children, Jesse Lee Leonard V, Christian Leonard and Madison Leonard all of Lafayette, Lacey Elizabeth Leonard Rubin and her husband, Richard of Fayetteville, AR, Mae Leonard and her daughter, Ava Leonard, both of New Orleans, Robert Evan Leonard of Lafayette and Camille Leonard and Jill Hennelly of Hoboken, NJ; two sisters, Kay Jorgenson and her husband, Jim of Prospect, KY and Sue Leonard of Parker, CO and numerous dear nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Lee Leonard II and Elizabeth Jane Kent; his wife, Jennie Leonard and his sister, Ann Miller. The family wishes to thank everyone for the compassionate care given to Lee and his family. A Memorial Service was celebrated Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 11:00 am at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home in Lafayette.