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Office of News & Public Affairs

Obituary: Long-time BC Employee Rita L. Leonard

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (February 2011) - A memorial service for Rita L. Leonard, systems program administrator in the University’s Information Technology Services division and a Boston College employee for nearly 44 years, will be held on campus later this semester. Ms. Leonard died of lung cancer at her home in Littleton, Mass. on Feb. 3. She was 61.

Born in Somerville, Ms. Leonard grew up in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Roxbury in the spring of 1967 and immediately began working as a payroll clerk in the University Treasurer’s office. In 1974, she was promoted to financial systems supervisor and joined the staff of the University’s new computer center in 1978.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Woods College of Advancing Studies, and held various administrative and supervisory posts in the expanding IT department. Ms. Leonard was named IT’s systems program administrator in 2001.

“Rita was very proud of Boston College,” said Vice President for Information Technology Michael Bourque. “That was very evident in her commitment and contributions to the University. She took a special pride in doing things that were related to students and spent a huge amount of time through the years working on projects such as the student orientation programs, move-in weekend and graduation. She was incredibly hard working and very much focused on the ‘customer.’”

“Rita was a good mentor – for me and for everyone who worked for her,” added IT Director of Systems Management Leo Chaharyn. “She also organized and oversaw the department’s ‘pot luck’ Christmas celebration every year, even in recent years when she became ill. She mobilized the department around those types of things.”

Ms. Leonard was well-known for her dry sense of humor, co-workers said. She was also an avid quilter and seamstress.

Ms. Leonard is survived by her husband, Raymond Bresnick and her sister, Jean E. Leonard, both of Littleton.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Lung Cancer Society, Boston College’s “Light the World” campaign or Nashoba Nursing Service and Hospice.

--Reid Oslin is an associate director in the Office of News & Public Affairs.