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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
71
course in haute cuisine at the Cordon
Bleu School in Paris and put its lessons
to good use in her various homes over
the next 50 years, especially in the
many elegant events she hosted in con-
nection with her husband’s work.
In 1964, the couple returned to
Washington, where Mr. Leonard
moved through several positions in the
State Department, becoming the desk
officer for Korea in 1968. He was
charged particularly with finding a way
to free the crew of the USS
Pueblo
,
which had been attacked and captured
by the North Koreans.
In late 1968, it was one of Mrs.
Leonard’s ideas that was shaped into
what became known as the Leonard
Proposal. In December 1968 it was
accepted by the North Korean nego-
tiators at Panmunjom, and the crew
was released just before Christmas.
In 1969 the Nixon administration
sent Mr. Leonard as head of the U.S.
delegation to the Disarmament Con-
ference in Geneva, with Eleanor and
children more or less in tow. After
three years and two arms control
treaties, Mr. Leonard retired from the
Foreign Service, and the couple settled
in New York City. There he served as
president of the United Nations Asso-
ciation of New York for four years be-
fore accepting an offer to become
deputy permanent representative at
the U.N. under Ambassador Andrew
Young.
During their New York years, Mrs.
Leonard founded an international dis-
cussion group for diplomatic wives,
making a small crack in the wall of
masculine diplomacy. She volunteered
with the National Democratic Com-
mittee for presidential campaigns in
1968, 1972 and 1976.
When the Carter administration
sent Mr. Leonard to Egypt and Israel
in 1977 as deputy special representa-
tive under Ambassador Robert Strauss,
the couple returned to the Middle
East, where they had begun their State
Department service some 30 years ear-
lier. They retired in early 1981.
At this point, as her husband recalls,
Mrs. Leonard decided that it was “her
turn.” Drawing on her ability with
computers, she found a position in
1984 at the Environmental Protection
Agency developing ways to present
complex statistics in an intelligible for-
mat. After a decade at EPA, Mrs.
Leonard started a desktop publishing
business in 1996. At the same time,
she served as treasurer of the Virginia
Native Plant Society’s Piedmont chap-
ter, volunteered at several other or-
ganizations and welcomed many
friends and family at the couple’s
dream home, which they had built in
the wooded hills of Fauquier County.
Family and friends remember Mrs.
Leonard as someone who brought the
highest standards to every task she un-
dertook. An intellectual with a distin-
guished sense of style, she provided
perfect elegance to the many events
she hosted.
Survivors include her husband of 63
years, James F. Leonard of Arlington
County; a son from her first marriage,
A. Lee Thompson IV of Potomac, Md.;
four daughters from her second mar-
riage, Cindy Leonard of Arlington, Va.,
Val Leonard of Washington, D.C., Car-
olyn Leonard of Fairbanks, Alaska, and
Pamela Leonard of Arlington, Va.; two
sisters; and five grandchildren. A
daughter from her second marriage,
Diana Leonard, died in 1980.
Grant Victor McClanahan
, 93, a
retired Foreign Service officer, died
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