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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
Lynda Kelley

Lynda Kay Kelley

November 9, 1945 - January 19, 2021
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Lynda Kay (Altman) Kelley, 75, of Canton, beloved wife of Dr. Michael Heaton Leonard, died Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at her home with family at her side. She was born November 9, 1945 in Yonkers, NY, daughter of the late Kenneth James and Annette Jude (Williams) Altman and lived in Canton for the past 50 years. Lynda embodied old- fashioned values - decency, honesty, selflessness, and was a romantic at heart. She was fortunate to be lucky in love and marriage twice to two remarkable and brilliant men, and devoted much of her life to her family and her church, the 1st Church of Christ, Scientist in Hartford where she was a member for over 40 years.

Lynda was many things to many people-a loving wife and mother, and an advocate for those in need. She provided spiritual guidance for many. She loved travel, luncheons and long walks with friends, going to exercise classes at her gym, gardening, cooking, reading, and discussing politics. A life-long learner, she had a passion for “doing it herself” and was a shrewd investor, a gifted sewer and knitter, a skilled tile installer and wallpaper hanger, and a successful collector of Persian rugs. She was also talented in drawing/sketching and painting and she left behind many examples of her work and skill. She was a lover of the arts - and, along with her husband, was a member and regular supporter of Hartford Stage and the Hartford Opera Theater. She frequently went to see films with her husband and loved a good Alfred Hitchcock film (although her expertise at napping occasionally interfered with her ability to stay awake until the end). Lynda took frequent trips to New York City with friends and her daughters and boasted a stack of Playbills well over a foot high in her bookshelf. She knew her way around the Diamond District in New York, the Crown Supermarket in West Hartford, and Marshalls in Avon. As generous as she was with her family and friends, Lynda always loved a good bargain.

Above all, Lynda’s favorite activity was spending time with her family. She was a devoted and dedicated wife and mother to both her first and second families. A matriarch upon whom we all relied. We could always expect her house to be beautifully appointed, good food in the kitchen, blossoms inside and outside, and lots of hugs - a place considered to be home even after we moved away because mom was there.

In addition to her loving husband, she is survived by her eldest daughter, Kate Jordan Kelley, her husband Claud Cloete and their two children, Rhys Frederick Cloete (age 11) and Ceilia Elisabeth Cloete (age 7); her youngest daughter, Abigail Tansill Kelley and her two children, Henry Tansill Johnston (age 16) and Miles Frederick Johnston (age 11); eldest step son, William Gunerius “Gus” Leonard, his wife Denese Joyce Sanders and their two adult children, Emma Marie Strand and Sophia Rose Leonard; 2nd oldest step daughter, Anne Elizabeth Leonard and her husband Daniel Campo; and youngest step daughter, Katharine Gleason Leonard. She was predeceased by her first husband in 1987, former Superintendent of Canton Schools from 1971-1987, Dr. C. Frederick Kelley, to whom she married in 1969, and her sister, Mary Jane Weeks and her husband Robert.

Services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Church of Christ, Scientist, 235 Scarborough Street, Hartford, CT 06105. The Vincent Funeral Home of Canton is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Lynda’s “Book of Memories” at for online tributes.
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Michael Ignatowicz

Posted at 03:59pm
We were neighbors of Lynda and Michael on Uplands Drive. We are saddened to learn of their passing. It was always fun for me when finishing up one of my many bicycle rides to happen across Lynda and Michael while out on one of their walks. They were wonderful neighbors and just really nice people. Our condolences to the Kelley, Altman, and Leonard families.

Pam Altman

Posted at 04:35pm
With heartfelt condolences and love from,
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sally brown

Posted at 02:21pm
I first met Lynda in church, when she came down to the Sunday School, asking to be introduced to the individuals who might become Kate and Abby's Sunday School teachers. I'm glad I passed muster, as Kate Kelley kept me on my toes, as did many of the kids in that class of 13-16 year olds. And Abby was later to become our girls' favorite baby-sitter, as she played with them with such creativity! In thinking how to convey just what fun my dear, dear friend Lynda brought to every activity we ever shared together, and there were many: weddings, within her greater family and ours, including co-hosting a wedding shower for her, before her marriage to Michael; and going back earlier, when Lyn taught me the "how-tos" of lap swimming, at the Canton Ct. pool, when she and Fred, and Woody and I would enjoy a swim on a summer afternoon , after work. Later, after Woody and I had moved to Maine, Lynda and I spent an afternoon together, swimming at the Canton pool, she laughing so hard at something I said, we BOTH could hardly catch our breath--while treading water in the deep end! I recall my first lunch with Lyn, at her East Hill Road home, when she served homemade chicken soup which is, to date, the best I've had anywhere. As Lynda was in the kitchen I took a self-tour , noting an exquisite wall tapestry. Upon asking where she had purchased it, she responded, "Oh, I made that myself, Sal--do you like it? Self-effacing throughout, because I then went on to ask her method for applying stenciling to her living and hallway walls--she said she " just got a thought in her mind, and drew it." No mylar paper, templates, stenciling knife--which I was at the time employing for my diningroom walls--but far less artistically than my talented -in- all- home- arts friend! One night, just before we moved out of state, Lynda, Michael, Woody & I spent a lovely summer evening over dinner at a french restaurant, prior to a performance of "George M", at the Goodspeed Opera House, Ct. The restaurant was very pricey, with a waiter who felt he had to put on airs, which struck Lyn and me as humorous, until the roast lamb we'd ordered was brought RED, although we'd ordered medium rare. It took a political negotiation, diplomacy and calming of our waiter to convince him that Yes, we really would like our meat to be cooked more. Lynda shared with me how she grew to feel very close to her daughters, Anne and Katie Leonard. And, during the end of Lynda's time here, whenever Gus answered one of my phones calls I got to realize how Gus, Michael's son, so very much emulates his dad's quietly kind, compassionate and caring manners. Lynda's warmth, genuineness, compassion towards all, especially those most in need, are qualities furthering my dear friend's progress Spiritward. This quote from Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures conveys what I know Lynda believed happens for any sincere seeker for Truth...and Lynda IS just such a seeker: "Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming universe of Mind lead on to spiritual spheres and exalted beings. To material sense, this divine universe is dim and distant, gray in the somber hues of twilight; but anon the veil is lifted, and the scene shifts into light." with much love, sally brown, Yarmouth, Maine.

David Elliott

Posted at 12:17pm
It was with great surprise and sadness when I heard of Lynda’s passing. Lynda and my wife were good friends; socializing and getting together often. There are even ground cover plants in our front yard that they planted together. They are flourishing. Our children went to school with Lyndas and Fred’s and became good friends.
On behalf of my family and myself we offer you our sincere sympathy and condolences.

Veronika Westbrook

Posted at 11:39am
With loving memories of Lynda.
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