John Carlton Leonard was born in Anacoco, Louisiana, on June 13, 1932, to Horace C. and Oza Lee (Brown) Leonard. He attended Anacoco schools, but enlisted in the Army National Guard at age 17 and was called to active duty in the Korean War in 1950, completed training at Fort Benning, GA and Fort Knox, KY, and was promoted to Corporal and squad leader in the 773rd Tank Battalion, company A. The sudden death of his father called him home to the piney woods to help care for his widowed mother and little sister, Rebecca Ann. A few years later, his uncle, Sylvanus Leonard, called him to work on a pipeline near Buffalo, Oklahoma, where John C. met and married Carolyn Branch on April 15, 1956. They became parents of two children, James Carlton and Judith Gail, raised two foster children, Jay Colten and Cathy Kuddlemeyer, and often provided a home for nieces and nephews. John and Carolyn owned and operated the Phillips 66 Station in Buffalo for a few years, before he went to work in the oil field then booming around Harper County. Later he purchased a combine and worked for Glen Beck following the wheat harvest north and working in Beck's shop, GI Implement, in the winter. He also worked at the Gaston-Gillenwaters Phillips 66 Service Station where many, many memories were created. In 1976 he announced his candidacy for Harper County Sheriff and was elected with Travis Elliott, undersheriff. Those years developed many memories as well. In 1979, Johnny resigned from office and went to work with C. D. Clark Welding which took him to Illinois, Pennsylvania, and other states. Johnny moved back to Louisiana and married Bobbie Goins. Later returning to Oklahoma, he shared life with his companion, Anna Lou Snider until her death in 2003.
Johnny passed away in his sleep in the early morning of June 4, 2014. He was one week short of 82 years of age. He is survived by his sister, Ann Anderson of DeRidder, Louisiana; his children Judi and her husband George Mills of Sapulpa, James Leonard of Buffalo, and Jay Colten and wife Cindy of Jones, Ok; five grandchildren Kinzi Leonard of Yukon, Kadi Leonard of Alva, Ori-Aunna Humig of El Dorado, Kansas, Jerry Colten and Holly of Choctaw, and Jamie Colten of Jones, four Great grandchildren, twelve Nieces and Nephews, thirty-seven Great Nieces and Nephews, six Great-Great Nieces and Nephews all of Louisiana and Oklahoma, and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter Kara Lyn Nicholson; and companion, Anna Lou. Memorial services will be 10:00 am Saturday June 7, at the Buffalo First United Methodist church followed by burial at High Point Cemetery with a flag service provided by the American Legion. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations could be sent to the Buffalo Community Foundation, P.O. Box 27, Buffalo, 73834.