Marjorie Louise Gardner Leonard loved the land of her family farm and the good life it provided. The first girl in her family to attend college, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and Science from East Carolina University and a master’s degree from UNC-Greensboro, where she also completed her PhD coursework. Her greatest love was the land and the people of her family’s farm, the Leonard Farm, an enterprise she managed and operated from 1996 until her death in 2012.
Marjorie’s motto was “I will do my part” and her life-long goal was to learn something new every day. She lived her values through decades of guiding and educating others at Vance-Granville Community College, Louisburg High School, and W.R. Mills High School while doing the difficult and challenging work of farm life all while holding fast to her commitment to the principles she believed in. Marjorie was a firm believer of equal rights for all, and active in her communities of Mapleville and Louisburg on local issues. She was a true pioneer who would speak up for equal pay and treatment for women in the workplace. Mrs. Leonard was active in many professional organizations, serving as President and as district and state adviser for the Future Homemakers Association and as an officer in many other organizations. She loved good, fresh, local foods and supported many efforts to educate others—young and old—about the benefits and importance of naturally raised foods and local farms.