John Benjamin Leonard


John Benjamin Leonard, 79, of Dalton, Georgia passed over peacefully Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Hamilton Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family. John was born December 24, 1940, in Chatsworth, Georgia, to Kate and Ike Leonard and was the surviving son of their eight children. He was preceded in death by his parents, seven siblings and granddaughter, Kate Leigh Chapman.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Buna Annette Leonard; daughters and sons-in-law, Julie and Kent Chapman and Jill and Blake Adcock; grandchildren, Fields Benjamin Chapman, Emily Lauren Adcock and Sarah Ann Adcock; and multiple nieces and nephews who he loved as his own.

John graduated from Murray County High School in 1958. Every fall, he attended many Indian football games with his lifelong friends. After graduation, he began working at the Georgia Department of Transportation and retired after 34 years of service in 1993. He spent every Friday morning at the Cracker Barrel with his GDOT buddies. John was a proud veteran, serving in the United States Navy aboard the USS Everglades during the Vietnam War. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1975. John was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Dalton and attended the Martha and Dewey Hughes Sunday School Class.

John began selling real estate part-time in 1976. Once he retired from the DOT, John’s focus was his real estate career. He was involved in all aspects of residential, commercial, and developmental real estate. For the last 15 years, John was a Top 5 agent companywide. He was known by all that knew him as an encyclopedia of North Georgia real estate knowledge, and he loved to talk about it.  He held the profession in the highest regard and always offered to lend a helping hand or encouraging word to his colleagues at Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty. He was excited about beginning another project with Bryan Spence developing houses on Chattanooga Ave. across from The Mill.

John is remembered for always being on the road and waving to everyone he passed. Family and friends always looked forward to “Paw Paw’s” homemade Milky Way ice cream. He was always generous and dedicated to his family and the community. He never missed an event for his grandkids or special occasion for a family member. He started every day with 100 consecutive push-ups and a positive outlook.

His family would like to thank Dr. Stephen Carson, the nurses, and staff in the SICU at Hamilton Medical Center for providing care for John in his final week of life. We also would like to thank Dr. Eric Turner and the staff at Peeples Cancer Institute for providing treatment for his recent diagnosis of AML.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to either the John and Buna Leonard Donor Advised Fund established through the Community Foundation of NWGA (P.O. Box 942, Dalton, GA, 30722-0942) or First Baptist Church of Dalton (311 N Thornton Ave, Dalton, GA 30720). His family encourages donating blood at Blood Assurance or your local blood bank in his memory.

A private family memorial service will be held. An online guestbook is available at