Obituary: Leonhard McLain Myers
Professor emeritus, storyteller, inspirational educator, devoted family man
Leonhard McLain Myers, a resident of Claremont for the last 57 years, died February 24 at his family home. He was 90 years old.
Leonhard was born in 1930 to Mildred and William Myers in the heavily German area of south St. Louis, Missouri. A veteran of the Korean War, he served in the United States Navy as a corpsman. After being discharged from the war, he returned to the University of Missouri to finish up his degrees in industrial engineering and experimental psychology. In addition to his academic activities, he was an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, where he was the social chairman and planned parties and other events for the fraternity.
While attending college, he worked at the Anheuser Busch brewery and for Coca-Cola. During his time at the university he met his future wife, Margaret. They were married in 1957 in an evening ceremony at the university campus Lutheran church. Both were students at the time.
He went to work at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas following graduation. In 1961, he and his wife, accompanied by their infant daughter Margaret Eileen, packed up for a new life in Southern California. They drove across the country, marveling at the sights along the way.
In California, he worked for General Dynamics in Pomona before settling into a long and highly successful career as a tenured engineering professor at Cal Poly Pomona, from where he retired as professor emeritus in 1992.
A devoted family man, he and his wife raised three daughters: Margaret Eileen, Lynn Ann and Kimberly Linn.
“Leonhard always took time to be with his family and made sure his family knew that he loved them and was proud of them,” his family shared.
He was an early owner of a VW bus, and while his children were growing up they enjoyed family camping trips to Death Valley and other national parks in their red bus. His family has many fond memories of the time spent together on family trips.
He was a charter member of Claremont’s St. Luke Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and remained involved in the church until his death. He led the congregation as president for many years.
He was active throughout his life in the Claremont art scene, and was a lifelong member of the Pomona Valley Art Association. He and Mrs. Myers created a successful ceramics business and sold her artwork throughout the country. He was also an admirer of modern kinetic sculptures and designed many unique mobiles and art pieces.
Mr. Myers embraced technology both new and old. He was an active member of the Claremont Senior Computer Club and a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. He had a large and varied collection of clocks, numbering in the hundreds, and enjoyed creating his own clock designs.
Possessing a prodigious intellect, he loved books, education, engineering and the arts. He was an amazing storyteller, a good listener and an inspirational educator. During his time as a professor, students would line up to get into his classes. He was able to talk to anyone and everyone.
He is survived by Margaret A. Myers, his wife of 64 years; daughters Margaret Eileen, Lynn Ann and Kimberly; grandson Gabriel; and granddaughter Claire.
He was laid to rest with military honors on March 11, at a private graveside ceremony at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont.
Donations to a memorial fund in his name may be made to St. Luke Lutheran Church at http://www.st-luke.info/donatetostluke.html, or by check to 2050 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711.
The family sends a special thanks to pastor Tim from St. Luke Lutheran Church for his spiritual care and guidance, “and to the Visiting Angels, including Marguerite, Linda, Virginia, Rose and all the other Angels, for the loving care they provided to Leonhard.”