Bruce N. Leonard

Date of Passing:

March 31, 2021

Bruce Nelson Leonard, age 79, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2021 in Providence, RI.

Bruce was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey to Everett and Theresa Leonard. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, N.J. in and was President of the class of 1959. He was a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1963, graduating with a major in Government. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and was among the members of the first group from Bowdoin to participate in an exchange with Morehouse College. Following graduation, he was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps as a Lieutenant in the Infantry, serving for three years in Quantico, VA.; Okinawa, Japan; Vieques, Puerto Rico; and Camp Lejeune. After leaving the Marine Corps, he enrolled in Harvard Business School and received an MBA in 1968.

Bruce began what became a life-long career in advertising at Ogilvy and Mather as a media planner in New York working directly with David Ogilvy, who was known in the industry as the Father of Advertising. He went on to become Manager of Advertising for the Hathaway Shirt Company. In 1973, he relocated with his young family to Barrington, Rhode to begin a position as Vice President and Account Executive with agency Horton, Church and Goff in Providence. In 1978, Bruce partnered with two co-workers, Tom Monahan and Bob Saabye to create agency- Leonard Monahan Saabye, which became a national award-winning advertising firm. LMS, later known as Leonard/Monahan produced successful campaigns for marketers such as Polaroid, Keds, Sylvania, among many others, plus divisions of IBM, Nike, Fidelity and more.

Bruce was name Rhode Island Ad Person of the Year in 1982. In 1986, the agency was recognized as New England Ad Agency of the Year.

In recent years, Bruce taught Marketing as an adjunct instructor at Johnson and Wales University, and, later, at Roger Williams University, where he taught until spring 2020. He also continued his involvement in his field as a Partner at Talk to me Studios from 2009 until 2020.

Bruce was an avid sailor who caught the sailing bug in Puerto Rico. He drafted family members into service as crew for day sailing and racing events in Bristol, Rhode Island and owned a series of crafts during his lifetime. He enjoyed hockey and followed the New York Rangers.

He served as board member of Bradley Hospital and Rhode Island YMCAs.

Bruce is survived by his wife Christine Vanstone Leonard of Riverside, RI; his children with his first wife Elizabeth Hanks Leonard, Zachary and his wife Alice, Jessica and husband Orinbasar, Mathew and wife Katherin, and Ethan, and children of his second wife Christine Leonard, Brittany and husband Alex, and Kristen; stepchildren Jessica And Tiffany Vanstone; siblings Linda J. Glaeser, Jill Leonard Whittle, and Richard N. Leonard; ten grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Bruce was pre-deceased by his sister Brenda Wambough.

At Bruce’s request, the family will be holding a private memorial service in honor of his life; In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders (www.DoctorsWithoutBorders.org).

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11 Comments

  1. Rest in peace Bruce…you were a very caring and supportive step-dad…I will miss you so much…

  2. Bruce was such an amazing father figure to me for the last 22 years and loved my children, his grandchildren dearly. He was always proud of us while encouraging us to do our best. I have to agree with my Uncle David. The world really is darker now.

  3. Bruce was a gentle, brilliant soul. He didn’t found our agency but his DNA courses through it. He was a mentor and an inspiration and will be missed by all who who were lucky enough to cross his path.

  4. I know that Bruce will be missed greatly by all of those who loved him. I will miss him. For the last several years we had communicated by phone, mostly on holidays.

    There is a sad irony here. A year ago we were talking about staying fit as we aged. He talked about the high level of exercise that he found by riding his bike.

    R.I.P. Cousin Bruce Leonard

  5. Sincere condolences to the Leonard family. Bruce’s talents and insight were very much valued as part of the the Bradley Hospital oversight board. A great person who will be missed and fondly remembered.

  6. It was a privilege to get to know Bruce during our years together on the Bradley board. I learned from him and appreciated his creative take on things, his dry wit and his generous nature. Greg Fritz

  7. I was fortunate to work for Bruce and Tom at Leonard/Monahan in the early 90’s. Bruce allowed a kid like me to help build a design department with little experience and big ambition. He was a kind man who used his astute advertising knowledge to help me learn and blossom. Later on in my career, he visited at our new agency in Boston and told me how proud he was of me. I’ll never forget that moment. The last time I saw him was just a few years back when we held a reunion party for all of the wonderful people Bruce and Tom mentored at L/M. I know he was proud that night to have built a place that launched so many careers. My heart is with his family at this time.

  8. I was fortunate to work for Bruce and Tom at Leonard/Monahan in the early 90’s. Bruce allowed a kid like me to help build a design department with little experience and big ambition. He was a kind man who used his astute advertising knowledge to help me learn and blossom. Later on in my career, he visited at our new agency in Boston and told me how proud he was of me. I’ll never forget that moment. The last time I saw him was just a few years back when we held a reunion party for all of the wonderful people Bruce and Tom mentored at L/M. I know he was proud that night to have built a place that launched so many careers. My heart is with his family at this time.

  9. Bruce mentored me at an early stage in my career at LMS. The foundational learning and guidance formed my professional life. Many in the advertising industry in NE, NYC, LA and beyond credit Bruce as their ‘gold star’ during the early years. We thank you. We send our deepest condolences to your family ❤️

  10. As a valued member of the Bradley Hospital board for many years he shared his professional expertise and insights freely. So sorry to hear of his passing. A good man and friend.

  11. I’ll greatly miss our coffee chats – politics, military, and generl current events.
    The world is a little darker now.

    “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Frost

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