Robert E. Leard III
Dr. Robert E. Leard, III, beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and friend, went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday morning, February 17, 2021, at the age of 73 after a courageous battle with Lewy body and Parkinson’s disease.
Affectionately known as Bob, Bobby, Daddy, Pawpaw or Dr. Leard, his impact on our lives is profound and immeasurable and we will miss him dearly.
Bob was preceded in death by his father, Robert E. Leard, Jr., his mother, Clarice Ice Leard, and his brothers Rick and Wayne.
He is survived by many whom he loved including his wife Franca, son Robert E. Leard, IV (Ginger), daughters Danna Mooney (Todd), Kayce Rourke (Patrick), Casandra Rose Nobles (Robert), grandchildren Melanie Alyssa Barksdale (Logan), Jonathan Robert Leard (Lacee), Samantha Brooke Leard, Lane Rehms, Ruby Nell Mooney, Lilly Rourke, Virginia “Ginna” Rourke, and Hayden Faye Nobles.
Born July 28, 1947, in Hattiesburg, MS, Bob grew up in a close community of family on and around Eva Street. He enjoyed many sports but excelled in baseball and loved being outdoors with his brothers doing just about anything. Bob’s father “Tweet” took the family to the Gulf Coast as often as the weather was favorable to go out on their boat fishing or shrimping. Bob loved the ocean and the beach and reminisced about these family outings often-he was seldom as happy or at peace than when the sea breeze was blowing on his face and the smell of the ocean filled the air.
Dr. Leard graduated from Hattiesburg High School and then went on to the University of Southern Mississippi to complete his undergraduate and Ph.D in organic chemistry. He was a man who was passionate about helping others to achieve their full potential and, in his forty-two years as a chemistry professor at Alcorn State University, he was known as a tough but fair instructor who expected greatness of his students, regardless of their individual circumstances.
Bob was a leader in Boy Scout Troop 161 in Natchez and was recognized as a Vigil Honor Member by the Sebooney Okasucca Lodge of the Order of the Arrow for his unselfish service and devotion to the welfare of others. The ever-ready teacher, Bob could always be found on camp outs instructing Scouts on how to find dry firewood, cook in a Dutch Oven, put up a tent, or properly tie a clove hitch.
Daddy had a tremendous appreciation for God’s creation. Some of his favorite pastimes were gardening, bird watching, spending time with his dogs and simply being outdoors observing the beauty and majesty of nature. Always wanting the wind in his hair and beard, he loved being on his motorcycles riding through the country. He truly respected all of God’s creatures, as was particularly evident in the dedication and true love he showed taking care of his many very special canine companions. Through his example, he taught us both the value of hard work in his incredible work ethic, and the importance of slowing down and enjoying life.
Visitation for Dr. Leard will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from noon until 1:30 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at 2 p.m. at Highland Cemetery.