Promoted to Glory: Major Helen Leonard
Helen Virginia McIntire was born in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1931. Only later did it seem unique that she was born in an apartment above The Salvation Army Corps in Southeast D.C.
A depression-era baby, Helen always expressed her grateful love to her grandparents who raised her, instilling high morals and abiding love. She met The Salvation Army when she was 14 years old and called to full time service at age fifteen.
Helen entered The Salvation Army’s Training College as a member of the Ambassadors session of cadets, and was commissioned a Salvation Army officer in 1951. It was in Training that she met the love of her life, Cadet Preston Leonard, and they were married in Lakeland, Florida on May 7, 1955.
God richly blessed their lives with five children: Major David A. Leonard, Cynthia Leonard, Karen Leonard Evans, Kathleen Leonard Yesso, and John Mark Leonard. Especially dear to them are the children brought into the family, David’s wife Geraldine, Karen’s husband Tony, Kathleen’s husband Tony, and John’s wife Julie.
Helen is also survived by eight grandchildren: Angel Leonard Reed, David Alan Leonard, Jr., Daniel Wayne Anglin (Tiffany), Tony Anglin, Christopher James Wooten (Lisa), Justin Ayers Proctor (Megan), Kaitlin Nicole Marsh (Ross), and Preston Leonard. Helen also has twelve great-grandchildren, Hannah Grace Reed, Noah Leonard, Charlie Leonard, Charity Elizabeth, Avalynn Faith (Anglin), Allie Grace Anglin, Cooper Hayes Anglin, Christopher James (JR) Wooten, David Preston Wooten, Charlotte Reese Proctor, Jude Curtis Marsh, and Josie Monroe Marsh
Helen’s father was what she referred to as “a really, really good prevailing, polished, professional a-l-c-o-h-o-l-i-c.” She often added that she didn’t remember being around him without the “waft of booze.” When he finally sought help at the Men’s Social Service Center in Washington, D.C. and was prayed into the Kingdom of God, it was then that God opened the door to a special ministry for Preston and Helen, and they applied for work in Recovery, a calling to which they never retired.
One of Helen’s favorite Scripture verses is found in the Third Epistle of John, Chapter 1, Verse 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” It gave her much comfort to know that all her children and grandchildren had committed completely to Christ.