Lucille A. “Sam” Leonhardy, who lived in Moscow, Idaho, and worked for WSU Pullman from December 1975 to October 1997, died Nov. 1, 2017.
Leonhardy was born on Dec. 3, 1935, to Mildred and Nick Hughes, a sergeant major in the U.S. Army. As an “army brat,” she lived in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, and several other places, graduating from high school in Honolulu, Hawaii, before heading off to the University of Oregon, where she earned a degree in sociology. Later, she earned a master’s degree in adult education from Washington State University.
Her husband, Frank Leonhardy, a Washington State University and University of Idaho professor of anthropology, died in 1991. Frank and Sam raised two sons in Pullman, Galen and Duncan, who graduated from Pullman High School in 1981 and 1983, respectively. Sam enjoyed homemaking as well as working outside the home, and held a variety of positions at WSU — the last as an administrative assistant with the College of Pharmacy. She especially enjoyed and took pride in her position as associate editor in the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory.
Though Sam retired from WSU, she never seemed to stop working. Through work, travel and other interests, she developed and nurtured many lifelong friendships.
Ever giving and committed to helping others, Sam further enhanced her abilities, earning certification as a substance abuse counselor. She was foster mother for several children, volunteered with Latah County United Way, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, and served on the board of Meals on Wheels of Latah County in Moscow.
She also was fond of animals, gardening and country living. In 1991, she moved to the countryside outside of Moscow, where she shared a home with Jodean Moore and a succession of dogs, cats, cows and goats. Deer, elk, coyotes and occasional moose or bear were always welcome, though she did put up a fence to keep the critters out of her garden. She always had a garden and flowers.
Sam was well known among friends and family for her cooking skills. She enjoyed holiday traditions, especially assembling meals for Thanksgiving feasts. There was always room for people with nowhere else to go, visitors from other parts of the world and lots of friends.
She loved to read and shared that love with her sons and grandchildren by reading to them until they were reading on their own.
Sam Leonhardy lived a long and beautiful life, one characterized by ups and downs, joys and challenges and much adventure. She and Jodean accompanied and supported Sam’s younger son, Duncan, through his final, devastating illness. Sam left this world the day after his death.
She is survived by her dearest friend, Jodean Moore; her older son, Galen; her daughters-in-law Ronda and Lea; and her grandchildren: Sarah and Hallie, Alana, Sean, Nikolas and Adina.
To honor Sam, the family suggests donations to the Latah Recovery Center, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Gritman Foundation, or Nimiipuu Health Center, Lapwai.