On Oct. 31, 2017, Duncan Leonhardy, age 53, passed away while surrounded by the loving presence of his family. He was born in Lawton, Okla., to Frank and Lucille Leonhardy on May 3, 1964. From there, the family moved to Pullman where Duncan attended public school and, later, graduated from Washington State University in 1994, majoring in criminal justice and political science. Duncan married, moved to Moscow, and eventually found a great job working for Benchmark Research and Safety, and, with his wife, Ronda, raised three kids and adopted a fourth.
He accepted the ways of Niimiipuu. As children, Duncan and his brother followed their dad, an archaeologist/anthropologist, to the Spalding sweat house in Lapwai, Idaho. Later in life, Duncan would spend his Friday evenings or Saturday mornings at the sweat house with his Nez Perce family. Duncan served active duty in the Army for four years and in the Army National Guard for 20. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 where he served honorably in combat positions. Duncan deeply valued the more noble ideals of American democracy, though he had little tolerance for nationalistic bravado. He always felt honored by those who called him friend. As private as he was, as much as he liked to tinker in his garden in the isolation of a summer’s evening, as much as he enjoyed trekking down a forest trail or fishing a wilderness stream, he was equally filled with joy when those who stuck by him came to chat or greeted him on some sidewalk downtown or shared a stogie or a meal.
Duncan stumbled his way into Christianity, but, once there, he embraced the ideal and followed that path to the best of his ability. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Moscow and dearly loved his family of faith. He was a spectacular father who was always showering his children with love, and it is fitting that the love of his life and his children were with Duncan in his final moments, for the power of their love kept him strong and brave through to the end.
He leaves behind his beloved children, Alana, Sean, Nickolas and Adina; his life partner of 24 years, Ronda; and his brother, Galen. His mother, Lucille Leonhardy, followed Duncan, passing away the day after her son. He will always be missed and remembered for his integrity, kindness and quirky sense of humor. Dearest Duncan, we will always carry your love and beautiful memory in our hearts – God bless you.
A memorial service will be held for Duncan at the First Presbyterian Church of Moscow on Nov. 11 at 3 p.m.