FAMILY and friends have paid farewell to a much-loved family man who made a huge contribution to charities and the community.
Colin William Leonard from Hawarden died on August 6 after a long illness. He was 73.
The former accountant grew up in Chester and was a valued member for many years of Deeside Rotary Club, fundraising and also dealing with legal matters.
Fellow Rotary club member and good friend Ken Martin said Colin would be missed enormously “both as a personal friend and as a doer of things that were complex and needed perseverence”.
He said Colin was someone who shunned the limelight but worked tirelessly behind the scenes.
“I want to say sincerely what a good man he was,” he said. “When we heard that he’d died, it was a big shock to everybody.”
Colin organised charity race nights for Rotary at the Padeswood and Buckley Golf Club where he was president for a number of years.
And with his wife Jean, he also organised golf days at the club for 15 years, raising many thousands of pounds for the NSPCC, the couple being closely involved with the Hawarden branch of the charity.
The father of two will also be fondly remembered as Father Christmas to hundreds of children who visited the Broughton Park grotto.
Donning the red suit and beard for many hours over weekends running up to Christmas was something he thoroughly enjoyed, said friends and family, even though he was generally a quiet man.
Each day, Jean said Colin would enter a cafe nearby in his normal clothes and have a cup of tea before going upstairs to get changed.
“When he came down transformed, he was absolutely mobbed,” she said.
Jean and Colin met at Martins Bank in Chester, having started work there together on the same day as strangers.
And after jobs with Shell and with Chester and Leicestershire councils, Colin moved to Manweb where he stayed until his retirement almost 50 years later.
Latterly on the board of the company, Jean said her husband thoroughly enjoyed his work, particularly having being involved in the introduction of computers in the 1980s. “It was the future,” she said.
Before moving to Hawarden, the couple lived in Kinnerton where Colin acted in comedies for the amateur dramatics society. And his love of fun was something he wanted at his funeral.
Jean said a New Orleans funeral featured in a favourite James Bond film was something her husband had wanted.
And she said he would have thought the small band that played quietly in the corner of the garden was just perfect.
“He would have loved it,” she said, adding: “He had a great life. And we had loads of fun.”