Remembering Dr. Edith Earle Leonard

Elizabeth Edwards wasn’t the only inspiring woman who died yesterday. Dr. Edith Earle Leonard, one of the first women podiatrist in the state of Maryland, also died yesterday. She was my neighbor and one of the first people I met on moving to Annapolis in 1984. She was 86 years old.
According to her family, Edith arrived in Annapolis at the age of five and graduated at age 16 from Annapolis High School. She had three younger brothers, and her family ran a grocery store. Her father was determined that his oldest child went to college, it didn’t matter whether that child was a girl or a boy. Edith attended Temple University, Podiatry College, and graduated at age 20. She was too young to practice medicine. She had to wait until she was 21. So in the meantime she taught at Howard University and interned with a podiatrist in Washington D.C.
At Temple University, she met her future husband, Nathan Leonard, another podiatry student. They were married for 60 years and had two children; Sandy and Ellen.
Prior to the start of their family, Dr. Earle and Dr. Leonard worked side by side. Their second office, which I remember, was located on Cathedral Street, around the corner from 49 West Cafe. Edith continued practicing medicine part-time while raising a family. She also did volunteer work which included tutoring immigrant children to learn English.
A very thoughtful and kind individual, she always was sending over little packages of goodies to my children to celebrate the holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Easter. I think she liked all the holidays, regardless of being a practicing Jew and an active member of the Kneseth Israel Congregation. She also liked every kind of food including pizza, ham. crabcakes– but yes she was renowned for her molasses cookies.
Edith was devoted to her husband Nate, and to her entire family who she nursed through various illnesses. I enjoyed hearing her stories about the way Annapolis used to be years ago and her descriptions of the Murray Hill neighborhood when there were several nearby pharmacies, stores and barbershops now no longer in operation. She was always cheerful and witty and I’ve heard, an excellent bridge player. She was a classy lady and lived a rich, full, life. We’ll miss her.

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Author: Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, in charge of three magazines: "What's Up? Annapolis", "What's Up? Eastern Shore", and "What's Up? Weddings", former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

3 thoughts on “Remembering Dr. Edith Earle Leonard”

  1. I had the “pleasure” of using their podiatry services, and quickly we became friends. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Dr. Edith Earle.

  2. I received the following comment from a facebook friend…
    Hi Nadja,
    Kathleen commented on your link.
    Kathleen wrote: “Dr. Leonard was a good friend of my fathers for many years–he knew her when she was Edith Earle and I remember both Dr. Leonards since I was a little girl.”

    Reply to this email to comment on this link.
    Thanks,
    The Facebook Team See Comment

  3. Dear Nadja,

    Thank you SO very much for sharing this lovely article about our darling Aunt Edith Earle Leonard.

    Everyone who knew our Aunt Edith could share a beautiful story &/or FAB memory about her! We would also have numerous fun &/or funny ones!!! Here’s to our darling Aunt Edith as we ~celebrate her life~!!! 🙂

    Aunt Edith was the oldest of four children. Our dear Uncle David (“Dave”) Z. Earle is still living in Annapolis, MD. Our darling Uncle Theodore (“Teddy”) Earle passed away in January, 2010 at age 79. Our (Michael’s & Sally’s) darling dad, Dr. Harold (“Harry”) Fred Earle passed away after battling CLL in 1997 at age 67.

    It was extremely thoughtful of you to honor our dearest Aunt Edith with your kind words. She would have been greatly touched!!! I have shared this link with many of our relatives and friends this eve.

    Here’s hoping all is well with & for you, Peter, your kids and Aunt Edith’s other loving neighbors. Please give everyone our warmest wishes and tell them we’ll miss getting to see them while visiting our Aunt Edith!

    Most sincerely,
    Sarah (“Sally”) Earle Armstrong

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