Lola Jeanne Leonard

lola leonard
Lola Jeanne Leonard (nee Ahern) was born on June 7, 1936, in Framingham, MA, and left this earth on February 2, 2023. The third of six children, she moved to Greenfield, MA, as a sophomore and graduated from Greenfield High School in 1954. She passed away in her long-time hometown of Vienna, VA.

Lola met her husband of 64 years, Captain Edward Paul Leonard, DDS, PhD (USN Ret.) at her parents' home in Greenfield and they were married on September 6, 1958, at Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield. Her life was long and her travels were many: Mrs. Leonard traveled a great deal with her husband, a thirty-year Navy veteran, living abroad in Subic Bay, Philippines and domestically in Illinois, South Carolina, California, Maryland and Virginia. Over the years, there were many other adventures around the world - from Italy, to Thailand, to Japan.

Lola was big on family and loved nothing more than having her many grandchildren around her. Her "grands", as she called them, were her shining triumph, as there are nine of them - and she wore their birthstones on a lovingly polished necklace until she passed. At this time, she changed her name, she said with a twinkle in her eye, from "Lola the Queen" (distinguishing her from her granddaughter also named Lola) to "Lola the Great".

Some of the older grandchildren were sent to Lola's house every summer when they were small for "Grandma's Boot Camp", where they baked, did chores, went to church, had to have proper manners, were counseled against naughtiness, crafted, went to see D.C. sights, and had fun with Lola and their Papa Edward, aka "Red". Her youngest grandchildren, Lola Jane and Julian, still got quite a few good years of Grandma's love, good humor, baking sessions and laughter.

Lola was immensely proud and bragged of her four children for their natural gifts - Lisa Koger, Jeffrey Leonard, the late Julie Leonard Firr, and her youngest, Larry. Behind the scenes, often with a dose of tough Irish love, Lola pushed and supported her children's interests as she saw them.

Lola, at least in her later years, was a night owl, and many marveled how she would go to bed after everyone visiting, toil in the kitchen until everything was spotless, do midnight laundry, bake several trays of "Scotch Bars", and still be up before the children in the morning. She loved her "stories" (soap operas), movies, basketball, staying up late telling family history, and a good joke. An excellent seamstress with an extensive sewing room, Lola could fix anything torn but a broken heart - though she might try.

She often lamented that after having a number of daughters, her father, Charles F. Ahern Sr. was thrilled to have boys, and Lola was annoyed she did not have had the opportunity to attend college as the men did. Not surprisingly, she decided mid-life to enroll in college courses while enjoying great success as a realtor ("number one!" as she would say) - about which she was most proud. She had a big smile, a hearty laugh - and no surprise, could probably sell you a bridge.

Prickly to many and stubborn as anything, Lola was fiercely protective of everyone she loved. She was also funny, kind and surprising. She loved visiting other cultures and was accepting of all people. In the same breath, however, Lola might use outmoded, off-color terms that raised eyebrows - not meaning offense. Many things about Lola were a study in contrast, if you paid attention.

Lola was the life of every party, and quickly became the "mayor" of any community or organization, managing the lawn service and clubhouse of her over-55 Florida neighborhood Parry Village, for years. And boy, did Lola love to dance. She would throw up her hands with a big "Ohhh, yes!" when she heard Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valli or The Beach Boys, and could outlast anyone on the dance floor years her junior. Lola took weekly aerobics classes into her early 80s and her stamina was unmatched.

Lola left this earth on February 2, 2023, after a severe stroke, when she of usually tireless energy was left without possibility. She is survived by her children Lisa Koger, Jeffrey Leonard, Larry Leonard, sons and daughters-in-law Kenneth Koger, Cynthia Stokes Leonard, Terry Firr and Allison Joseph Leonard; nine grandchildren - Caroline Leigh (Carleigh), Logan, Lauren, Coleman, Nicholas, Jeffrey, Molly, Lola Jane and Julian - and one great granddaughter, Blakely Firr. Mrs. Leonard is also survived by siblings Carole Smith and Charles Ahern II. Sadly, she was predeceased by her daughter Julie Leonard Firr, brother Brian Ahern, sister Anne Marie Pederson, and nearly so by brother Michael Ahern, who joined her in heaven last week. She leaves behind countless nephews, nieces, cousins and friends, all of whom loved her energy, spunk and heart.

A Catholic mass will be held on February 24th at 11 am EST, OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL CHURCH, 8601 WOLFTRAP ROAD VIENNA, VA 22182. Flowers may be sent to this location, or donations in Lola's name made to MD Anderson Cancer Center or the Navy Wives Club of America. The family has deep gratitude for your condolences and love.

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Memories Timeline


  1. My first memory of this awesome lady I was a mere child and my parents left me at her house alone to hang out with my cousins. I was so jealous of Lisa, who had this awesome play kitchen. Then again. I flew a home to New Jersey, alone at age 12! Aunt Lola was this awesome person who always told me she loved me. When my brother, Bob turned 50, he flew all of us to Green Turtle Cay. Lola said. we died, right? This is heaven? I loved this lady fiercely. And yes, I saw a little of my Mother in her. When I retired and moved to Florida, she promised me that I would never spend a holiday alone. This is who she was! Lola will be missed!

  2. I have fond memories of Lola’s laugh, quick wit and smile. I loved going to the Greenfield house as a child. It was always an adventure with the Ahern clan. She will be missed.

  3. So sorry to hear of Lola’s passing. She and Ed brightened so many days with their warm greeting and conversation . Enjoyed so many Florida stories. I was blessed to serve as their mail carrier for many years in Vienna. With deepest sympathy and prayers. Bryan Fritts

  4. I am Lola’s cousin Pam, daughter of her Uncle Bunny, her Mom’s youngest brother, and Aunt Ginny. I was very fortunate that my Dad was very diligent in keeping in touch with his sisters and brothers. We spent many Sundays visiting and getting to know our cousins. It was always most fun to visit the Ahern family and I was in awe of my older cousins Ann Marie, Lola and Carole. Through the years I came think of Lola as the Auntie Mame of the family. She was a very big presence whenever she entered a room. Fun loving and outspoken, you definitely knew she had arrived. I am sure that she will be greatly missed by all who knew her especially her children and grandchildren. Hopefully in time the wonderful memories they shared will bring them comfort and a feeling that she will always be with them. Blessings for peace in their hearts. Sending much love to all from Cousin Pammy, as I was always known to Lola.

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