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 www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.