Leonard Reynolds, Sr., 88, passed away into eternal rest on July 12, 2018, after living a full and active life. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 23, 1929, five days before Thanksgiving, he was the special gift of love to his parents, Arthur and Amy Reynolds. Leonard spent his childhood and school years living between New York City and Ocala, Florida. After graduating from Howard Academy of Ocala in 1948, he joined the U.S. Navy “to see the world.” When he left the Navy, he became a Merchant Marine who circled the globe three and a half times before marrying the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Davis in New York.
They married 3 days after Christmas in 1952 and have been inseparable ever since. Together, they forged a life few people could emulate. In 1959, Mr. Reynolds relocated from New York to Washington, D.C. where he became a Metropolitan Police Officer. He was assigned to the White House Executive Protection Service where he personally attended to 5 U.S. Presidents from Eisenhower to Ford and to the Mayor of Washington, D.C. He knew many world-famous celebrities and dignitaries on a first-name basis. In addition to those duties, Officer Reynolds established the first motor-scooter division with the Metropolitan Police Department and became a member of the Special Operations Division. He was present at the 1963 March on Washington and drove the lead car in President Nixon’s first Inaugural parade.
In 1977, he returned to Florida via his yacht that he, his wife, and son piloted from Anne Arundel County, Maryland to Cedar Key, Florida, through the intracoastal and intercoastal waterways of the Southern U.S. Upon docking in Cedar Key, he settled upon 40 acres in Levy County, in the area known as Rosewood. They homesteaded that land for 27 years. During that time, he was named “Black Farmer of the Year” for his agricultural pursuits. The urban officer had become a country gentleman. In 2004, he relocated to Ocala where he resided until his death.
Even though Mr. Reynolds had a fascinating and adventurous life, he would tell you that his greatest accomplishments had little to do with his occupation. He was proudest of his family and what they have accomplished under his tutelage and influence. Leonard Reynolds leaves to cherish his devoted wife Mary who was by his side for nearly 66 years of marriage. They have 3 children, Marya (John) Latson, Tanya Harden, and Leonard Reynolds, Jr.; 14 grandchildren including Kenneth (Christine) Gunthorpe whom they raised from infancy; and 14 great-grandchildren. Leonard also has 2 sisters, Carmen Smith and Michelle Lamb, who mourn his passing along with a host of other relatives who will miss him greatly. Mr. Reynolds was a man whose love extended beyond his biological family. He was influential in the lives of many others including Dirk Thompson of Washington, D.C., Rick Melvern of Orlando, Florida, and Larry Donald of Chiefland, Florida, whom he claimed as sons.
A Celebration of Life for Mr. Reynolds will be held 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, 2018, at the Belleview SDA Church, 5051 SE 112th Street Road, Belleview, FL 34420. This service will be live-streamed broadcast on www.YouTube.com at the Belleview SDA Church channel for viewing by individuals who cannot attend the service. The family will have a private funeral/burial on July 23, 2018, at 11 a.m. with viewing of the body prior to the service at the Good Shepherd Memorial Gardens Chapel, 5050 SW 20th Street, Ocala, FL 34474.
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