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Mrs. Joan Bulkeley Leonardi

Obituary for Mrs. Joan Bulkeley Leonardi

May 29, 1954 - February 25, 2020
Easley, South Carolina | Age 65


Joan Bulkeley Acton Leonardi, 65, most beloved wife of Jay Leonardi, most beloved mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister, passed away on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. She is mourned by her large family, in addition to everyone who had the good fortune to know her. Joan was faithful, selfless, wise, confident, and loved to laugh, just like her mother, Peggy. She lit up a room. She was a spiritual and pragmatic confidant and mentor to many.

Born in Kansas City, MO, she was the daughter of the late Marjorie "Peggy" Jane Brundage Bulkeley and the late William Worthington Bulkeley. She was raised in Wilmette, Illinois, the sixth child of nine. As a student at St. Francis Xavier, she was athletic and popular. She then attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois and Lakeside High School in Atlanta, GA. Having returned to Chicago, she worked as a legal secretary before marrying and having children. The young family moved to Grand Junction, CO and then spent 12 years in Houghton, MI, running a small hotel. Joan was an equal partner and was tasked with a difficult life that was brightened by her growing family.

In 1992 they moved to Easley, SC. Joan was an active participant in building the family home, an achievement of which she was very proud. She was a bookkeeper at BI-LO where she had many friends and close colleagues. The subsequent marriage to Jay Leonardi was the beginning for her of a beautiful new life. They married in November 2007 and the two embarked on a life of intimacy, love, family, and travel.

Joan loved planning RV travel adventures with her husband Jay, including a two-and-a-half month trip to the Southwest United States. Their trips took Jay and Joan to Maine, the Northeast states and Canada. She loved writing in her travel journal documenting all the wonderful experiences they shared. Joan loved hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Her hobbies included playing dice games, cards, crossword puzzles and building jigsaw puzzles with her grandchildren. Joan enjoyed talking on the phone with her large family and going to her grandchildren's many sporting events and activities.

Surviving in addition to Jay, are two sons, Matthew Acton and Danny Acton (Andrea); four daughters, Livie Turner (Jason), Chari Arnold (Derek), and Julie Agbaje (Sizwe); two stepsons, Adam Leonardi and Andrew Leonardi. She had 11 grandchildren: Jackson and Allie, Dane, Dylan, Brynn, and Drayton, Kaden and Luka, and Marlee, Kai, and Tyler.

She also leaves behind brother, Bill Bulkeley (Denise), and sisters Jan Polanski (Joe), Mary Eilleen Cleary (Gleaves Whitney), Laura Goldsmith (Mark), Chris Rawlings (Ted), Donna Evans (Joel), and Linda Cooper (Phillip).

She was welcomed into the Leonardi family by brother-in-law Bob Leonardi (Betty) and sister-in-law Susan Morris (Mike).

She was predeceased by a daughter, Taylor; and a sister Mary Lou Tarpey.

Funeral mass will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, February 28, 2020 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, of which she was a devoted and long-time member. A private burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 307 Gower Street, Greenville, SC 29611.

Visit or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory-Powdersville Road, Easley.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Memorials made by made to:
  • St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
    307 Gower Street
    Greenville, SC 29611

Arrangements By

Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory - Powdersville Road

1425 Powdersville Road
Easley, SC 29642
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