Industry saddened by the loss of Jim Leonard, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles/Apparel and Consumer Goods
Obituary: Jamestown, N.C. James Cleveland Leonard III (Jim) died December 25, 2017 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim was born May 24, 1939 in Winston-Salem to James C Leonard, Jr and Ruby Hodges Leonard. He graduated from James A Gray High School in 1957, and from NC State University in 1961. Upon graduation from NCSU, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Jim and another Lieutenant were selected to lead the advanced party to Thailand to work with and train the Thai army on the use of long range communication equipment. After a year in Thailand, Jim returned to Fort Gordon, Georgia, and was discharged from the Army. He worked a year in the Washington, DC area before returning to Graduate School at NCSU., where he earned the Master’s Degree in Mathematics. Jim then accepted a position with Burlington Industries in Greensboro, NC and was with them for 34 years in various positions. He then became Manager of Economic Analysis and Manager of Burlington’s Lobbying Office in Washington, DC. For 20 years, he was an adviser to the US Government, and delt with textile/apparel trade agreements with many foreign countries. In 2001, went to Washington, D.C. and lead the Committee he had previously advised. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, having responsibility for Textiles/Apparel and Consumer Goods. His last year in Washington, Jim was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in a very favorable article with his level of responsibility at the US Department of Commerce. He felt his time in Washington made a difference. When he returned home, he consulted for the College of Textiles at NCSU and the NC Department of Commerce. He was known as a “credible” person with only a hand shake needed to close a deal. He returned to NC at the birth of his first grandson. Family was so important to him that he did not want to miss a moment in the lives of the grandchildren. He was active in the Jamestown United Methodist Church. He enjoyed being a Stephen Minister and was closely involved with several Care Receivers. His great joy in later life was being able to visit and care for his grandsons. Before they reached school age, he helped to provide daycare one day a week. His sorrow is not being able to see them become adults. His hope would be that he and CeCe have instilled in their two sons, as their parents instilled in them. i.c. Christian values that will lead them through life. Jim is survived by his wife of 50 years, Cecelia Fulmer Leonard; sons, James IV (Courtney) of Raleigh and John (Caitlyn) of Raleigh; and grandsons James V and Benjamin; brothers Ralph (Lib) Leonard of Mocksville; Donald (Joanna) Leonard of Winston-Salem; sister Carol (Calvin) Cobb of Houston, Texas. and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be conducted at the Jamestown United Methodist Church, 403 East Main Street, Jamestown, NC 27282 January 13 at 11:00 am. The family will receive family and friends in the Fellowship Hall after the service. In lieu of flowers, Memorials be made to the Jamestown United Methodist Church for the music program; or Building a Firm Foundation; Hospice Home at High Point, 1803 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262; or Jamestown Historical Society, 603 W. Main Street, Jamestown, NC 27282.