Cover photo for Roberta C. Leonard's Obituary
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1937 Roberta 2023

Roberta C. Leonard

August 27, 1937 — March 23, 2023

Roberta C. Leonard (nee Gilliam), age 85, of Abingdon, Maryland passed away on March 23, 2023 at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Born in Biddeford, Maine, she was the daughter of Edward and Pauline (Wyman) Arsenault. She lived in Connecticut, Maine, Washington DC and Maryland during her long life and brought her love of people with her wherever she went. Roberta was employed over the years as a bank teller, executive secretary, interior designer and police dispatcher...before enjoying a long and fulfilling career with the Paralyzed Veterans of America in our nation’s capital. Thanks go out to her many friends there, including Edith Lim, Tom Stripling, Teresa Boyd…and the many others there who were a part of her PVA family. A skilled oil painter and charcoal sketch artist, Roberta had an astounding ability to bring her visions to life on the canvas. She was an avid reader, jazz aficionado and loved watching golf. Her book collection is quite extraordinary and her eye for design was something wonderful to behold. She loved thunderstorms, animals and ... the underdog. Those she was close to were never just “a friend”, they were “family”.


Roberta is survived by her son, Gregory L. Gilliam and his wife Suzette K Gilliam; daughter, Amy L. Gilliam; granddaughter, Jordan S. Copeland and a sister, Patricia Arsenault Owen.


Roberta was loved by many! Her dearest friend and confidant - Steven Ross, Sandy Lazzari, Patricia (PAR-PAR) Ross, Spencer Ross… were some of the people she considered the greatest joy to be around! She cherished her relationship with family member Karen Dortche! One of the absolute highlights of her time on this earth was her last visit this summer with Karen and Jessica Dortche. She wished Jamie could have made the trip! Roberta loved her fur babies Buddy, Neo, Zeke, Cato and Chip with all her heart and soul. Love to Marie Spivey, Leslie Jones and Kellie Conover, and to Nancy White and sons William, Wade and Thornton. Gayle Brown…she was so happy she got to facetime with you and Marilyn!!! You were all huge parts of some of the happiest times of her life. Special thanks to friends and caretakers June Caraulia and Genene Brown and to her friends from Harborside - John, Chastity, Karen, and so many others there for "lookin' out".


In addition to her parents, Roberta was preceded in death by her sisters, Rowena and Sheila Arsenault.


Please feel free to add your remembrances of Roberta to the guestbook.



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