Merle Lester Leonard, age 88, of Eastman

Merle Lester Leonard, age 88, of Eastman, Ga., died Tuesday, October 2, 2012.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, October 4, at Southerland Funeral Chapel, with interment in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Mr. Leonard was a First Lieutenant, a B-29 Pilot and a WWII veteran. He attended First Presbyterian Church and was a retired state fire marshall. In his retirement he built remote control airplanes and was known as "Merle The Marvel" around the Middle Georgia area for his ability to repair crashed R.C. models.

He was son of the late Florence Kelly Leonard & Elba L. Leonard and was preceded in death by a great granddaughter - Kyara Dzenis and brother - Jim Leonard.

Survivors: wife - Betty Lowery Leonard of Eastman; daughter - Dr. Ginger Leonard Boutwell (Jimmy) of Tunnel Hill, Ga.; 2 sons - Mike Leonard (Peggy) of Fayetteville, Ga. and John Leonard (Judy) of Hahira, Ga.; 8 grandchildren - Allen Leonard, Genie Dzenis, Matt Leonard, Laura Long, John Leonard, Lana Lane, Dr. Heather Kight-Isaly and Rev. Len Kight; 20 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family request contribution to the Kyara Dzenis Memorial Park Fund % Square Foot Ministries, P. O. Box 371, Fayetteville, Ga. 30214 or the Alzheimer's Association, 1925 Century Blvd. NE Suite 10, Atlanta, Ga. 30345.

Stokes-Southerland Funeral Home of Eastman has charge of the arrangements. www.stokes-southerland.com