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Leonard J. A. Atherton

October 25, 1941 - April 1, 2021

MUNCIE – Leonard J. A. Atherton, 79, peacefully passed away on April 1, 2021.

He was born October 25, 1941 in Harrow On The Hill, Greater London, England, to Jim and Peggy (Haines) Atherton.

Before moving to Muncie, Leonard was the Canadian Director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra Programs which included orch…READ MORE

MUNCIE – Leonard J. A. Atherton, 79, peacefully passed away on April 1, 2021.

He was born October 25, 1941 in Harrow On The Hill, Greater London, England, to Jim and Peggy (Haines) Atherton.

Before moving to Muncie, Leonard was the Canadian Director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra Programs which included orchestra, chamber music and choirs.

Leonard earned his MM from Oxford University, England; Honorary; Director Emeritus of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and the Director of the Ball State University Symphony Orchestra; As a Professor of Music at Ball State University, Leonard challenged his students in conducting and Music History. He was an advisor to East Central Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra. During his career, Leonard guest conducted orchestras and choruses in Japan, Bolivia, Argentina, Taiwan, U.S.A., Canada, Thailand, and Mexico.

Mr. Atherton was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by the governor of Indiana in 2003.

He was a founding member of CODA; Choir Director of Grace Episcopal Church Choir in Muncie for 10 years; Director of Youth Choir Program in Tanglewood, Massachusetts from 1979-1986.

He was an avid soccer player for Oxford University, and played with Muncie Recreation until he was in his 70’s, and a coach for youth soccer for a short time.

Leonard is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Susan; son, Malcolm Atherton; daughter, Patricia Travis; sister, Jane St. Clair-Smith (Chris) of England; brother, Rev. Lionel Atherton (Jenny) of England; Beloved grandfather (Baba) to, Amy, Olivia, and Alex.

He was always known as a kind and creative mentor specifically for his students. Leonard had a dry sense of humor that everyone enjoyed.

“If music be the food of love, play on.” 12 Night Shakespeare.

Memorial contributions can be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 50 E. 91st St., Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240, www.alz.org ; Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, YSOECI, PO Box 1463, Muncie, Indiana 47308; or Grace Episcopal Church of Muncie, PO Box 1732, Muncie, Indiana 47308.

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com

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