A Mass of Christian Burial for Dr. Leon Lenoir, 89, of Greenville will be celebrated on Friday, February 12 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church. He passed away Monday, February 8 at his home. Burial will be in the Greenville Cemetery.
Dr. Lenoir was the oldest of four children born to Leon and Verda Labondera Lenoir. He was born on February 10, 1926 in Lumberton, Mississippi. He was raised in Kiln, Mississippi, Ferriday, Louisiana and Barth, Mississippi where his father was involved in an operations site for Edwards Hines Lumber Company. A 1942 graduate of Hattiesburg High School, Dr. Lenoir continued his education at Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College in Starkville, now known as Mississippi State University. His intent was to study agriculture and be a dairy farmer. World War II changed his plans as he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 where he served as a Hospital Corpsman. Upon being discharged in 1947, he enrolled in Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where he graduated from medical school in 1952. Dr. Lenoir completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and a Cardiology Fellowship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 1956.
On August 23, 1953, Dr. Lenoir married Martha Kimbrough in Jackson, Mississippi. They moved to Greenville in 1956 where they raised their five children. Married for 52 years Dr. Lenoir was a devoted and loving husband. Together he and Martha supported each other as they raised their family. They were truly best friends. He and Martha were kind and caring parents who taught by example compassion and love to their children. Their home was one of welcome; a warm, comfortable and caring atmosphere prevailed. The two were an unassuming and humble couple, an inspiration to all who knew them and their family. Dr. Lenoir’s faith and love were evident as he met life’s challenges with courage and hope. His sense of humor, his story telling, and his love of music made him special and always enjoyable company. Dr. Lenoir’s daily life of abiding faith in God was evident as he was a devoted Catholic attending 6:30 Mass every morning. He had his own special parking place and pew. The “regular” 6:30 attendees always enjoyed his dry wit and wisdom as they gathered afterward on the sidewalk outside the entrance of the church.
Dr. Lenoir unselfishly and devotedly served the Greenville community for over 60 years. In 1956 he opened his Internal Medicine practice in the May Building in downtown Greenville. He and his cousin Dr. Robert E. Lee opened Lenoir and Lee Clinic in 1961. The partnership of Lenoir, Lee and Cirilli was formed when in 1986 Dr. Michael J. Cirilli joined the practice. Dr. Lenoir was loved and respected by all and his passing leaves a huge void in the community.
Dr. Lenoir’s legacy lives on in his service to the Delta community. He and Martha were founding members of the BonVivant Dinner Club of Greenville. He was a member of the Highland Club of Glen Allen, Mississippi, board of the former First National Bank, a member of the Board of Trustees of the King’s Daughters Hospital, former Chief of Staff of King’s Daughters Hospital, member of the Delta Medical Society, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, Delta Council and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Lenoir’s leadership in all aspects of his life served as a role model for his children, granddaughters, family and friends. He will always be an inspiration for those honored to have been a part of his life.
Dr. Lenoir’s survivors include his children: Mary Elaine Lenoir, Jim Lenoir, Kim and Gary Taylor, Elizabeth Lenoir and Tom Lenoir all of Greenville. Dr. Lenoir will be missed by his four granddaughters who lovingly called him Papaw. His grand girls, whom he cherished and of which he was so proud, are: Lenoir Taylor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Sarah Taylor of Jackson, Mississippi, Mary Elizabeth Taylor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Anne Taylor of Greenville. Dr. Lenoir is also survived by his sister Fay Cozort of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Dr. Lenoir is preceded in death by his wife, Martha who passed away on March 16, 2005. Also he is preceded by his parents, a sister Elaine Murphy of Shreveport, Louisiana and a brother Larry Lenoir of Gulfport, Mississippi.
Dr. Lenoir was a faithful and a generous member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Greenville. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the St. Joseph Catholic Church Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 1220, Greenville, MS 38702-1220.
There will be a visitation on Thursday, February 11 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church with the Rosary to follow at 7:00 p.m.