This morning was the first Sunday at St. Mary's without Leona. John has been dropping her off in the wee hours before he heads to play organ at another church. Leona and I got in the habit of chatting for a few minutes in the parish hall between services. She would often share funny memes from her phone, or stories about John's experiences at recent gigs (with perhaps a hint of embellishment).
Leona responded to the suffering she experienced from cancer with an even stronger determination to make everyone else's life happier. What a gift it was to know her. Rest in peace, dear Leona!
You have been my best friend for 46 years, and the godmother of my child.I cannot begin to describe how much we miss you. Godspeed your journey to the next dimension and we will join you presently.Love you times infinity!
I enjoyed singing with Fiona at GHT, beginning as a soprano in her section Her soprano voice was a perfect sound for John’s preferred choral sound.
She sent me many amusing memes, and never neglected to send a double digit calendar day email. I will send one on 9/9 in her memory.
I will miss seeing her at many musical performances. I attend many, but Fiona was award winning attendee and supporter.
How strongly I miss you dear Leona. For over 30 years you gave me inspiration and advice.
I'll miss you dearly 💔
So many years & so many memories. You - and your sometimes acerbic humor - will be immensely missed!! Rest in peace!!!
Charlie and I were sorry to hear of Leona's passing. We always looked forward to seeing both her and John at AGO meetings and sometimes at Kauffman Center. Blessings of peace to all whose lives she touched.
What a wonderful and outgoing friend was Leona, also tireless promoter of great music throughout the entire Metro. Sincere Blessings of Peace for John, and for all who knew Fiona
A light that burned so bright! She brought joy to people with her presence, her humor, her caring, and her insights. My life was enriched by knowing her.
John and Leona were among the first to welcome me to Kansas City when I moved here over nine years ago and were a much needed warm, encouraging, and friendly support as I started to establish myself as a teacher, singer, actor and music director here. I will miss Leona's sense of humor and open heartedness very greatly. Rest in peace dear, lady.
I always enjoyed seeing and greeting Leona at many musical functions around the city. She always seemed to enjoy seeing Ann and me. She had a way of making you feel important and good. Her pleasant smile and conversation was a special joy. She will live forever in my memories of special people who meant a great deal to me,
Leona was still making people feel special with her cards just a few days before her death. It was great traveling with her on choir tours; she kept all of us laughing. I am grateful that she was my friend! John could not have had a better support person!
Leona knew me from a very young age, and was unfailingly encouraging when I was a young musician and singer, and more so as an adult. She also continued to foster that love into my growth into becoming an Episcopalian.
May light perpetual shine upon you, Leona.
Leona was always a willing participant in my culinary adventures. John and I will continue to explore various cuisines and think of her.
Leona (Fiona) was always a good sister and member of our extended family. She often drove alone for long hours to attend important family occasions in Ohio. She was loved by all who were fortunate to know her. Her health battle is over, so now she'll sing praises on high.
Leona and I sat together through all our school years in Marysville. She was funny and very smart. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.
Oh, Sweet Friend! You taught me so much and how could I ever forget how you and Jerry and I laughed so much in those early hours of a Sunday when it seemed like no one else was even awake. I hope you knew how much we all loved, treasured and appreciated you! Pray for us as we pray for you. Lord, grant our Fiona an eternal and peaceful rest <3
Condolences to the family. Rest in peace
In gratitude for Leona's ever present and endearing friendship, we pray blessings and peace for all her friends and family.
I think of Leona first as a mentor, with John, of our sons Peter and Steven Thomas, when they were members of the Grace & Holy Trinity Boys' Choir. Through the years I have admired your team-work in all aspects of your lives, which have enriched me and my family beyond measure. Rest in peace, dear Leona/Fiona.
This dear lady was perhaps the most important friend in my life. She was with me during the worst and best days, always bringing humor and boundless love with her. I will miss you more than I could ever express, Leona. Rest in peace.
Although I did not know Fiona for a long time like many others, she was kind and welcoming to me when I moved here. I appreciated that. She was also very entertaining. And I will remember some of her stellar quotes in the weekly e-mails.
You are greatly mIssed, dear, sweet Leona. I love you so much. You are a beautiful angel in heaven. Love, Liz
I knew Leona from 1964 through 1972. From everything I read, it certainly seems she really grew and blossomed in Kansas City. John, you must have been greatly instrumental in this. I will always remember great times the three of us shared.
I was sorry to hear of Leona's passing, I looked forward to seeing and talking with her and with John at Welsh Society gatherings and music events. She was a very bright person with a good sense of humor. She will be missed by many.
Leona was a bright spot at sol many of the concerts I've attended through the years, always a pleasure to talk with. She will be sorely missed by so many of us.
Oh How you will be missed. What are John, the choristers and kitties to do. There is a major void in the hearts of all at GHTC and St Mary’s.
Keep smiling. Come sit on our shoulders. Keep us in tune.
We will deeply miss you, Leona. Prayers for comfort for John and all who knew and loved you.
Leona always encouraging and making people laugh and think. Many people love you(in the present) because love never goes away. You will be missed.
I have known John and Leona for many years. I remember Leona as a very caring person. As I moved through life, I encountered difficulties, but Leona only encourged me with her positivity. I may not be able to attend her service, but I will be there in spirit. John, my thoughts are with you at this time.
Paul and I remember when John and Leona married. We feel it was a match made in heaven. We praise God for her ever loving personality, as she aimed to make the world a better place to the very end. We will remember her when we wear purple.
Leona was a motherly figure to me in my younger years, when I convinced John to let me join the youth choir at the age of 9. She and John were staples in my church life and I learned so much from them both. She was always steady, and ready to give me the perfect glare to get me to behave. When my brother died she was a warm hug and soft voice of comfort at my side. Her music and love of music and art (and very fat cats) was a beautiful thing. You could always see how much she cared. Her love for her husband and friends will always be remembered. As will the positive influence she had on many of those around her.
The first time I met her, I liked her. I really enjoyed running into her at work, she always made me laugh. Such a wonderful, kind person, I will miss her.
Leona always brightened whatever occasion she attended. Her sharp observance of detail, her humor and playfulness, and her dedication to music will be remembered fondly. I’m sorry I waited too late to register for the service but I’m not surprised that it will be attended by so very many who loved her. RIP.
I am grateful to have known Leona and, remember always her kind, positive, and uplifting influence and effect on me and all around her.
Leona, you changed my life. Thank you for always including me.
Our Kansas City Arts community, which you and John have nurtured so brilliantly together, mourns the loss of your good will and your voice, and I, like so many, mourn the loss of my friend.
We met at a choir party at Bill and Laura Baker's home, and when I was introduced to Fiona Schaefer my mind immediately recalled the excellent email list of concerts I had received a day earlier, so I asked if you were The Fiona of Fiona's List. Yes, you were, you said. You told me I was the first person to express appreciation for your new endeavor, and we were close friends ever after. May your spirit be received with infinite tenderness as you ascend into His loving embrace, and may you dwell in joy, peace, and love forever.
You will be missed by all who knew you - counted on your beautuful smile at all things musical! Loved your infectious humor .Thank you for Courage and Positive Presence.
Leona and I were best friends throughout high school I have so many happy memories of her and the fun we had during those years. Even though we were not able to be together very much once we went to college and, especially, once she moved out of Ohio, I have always considered her a special friend.
Rest in peace, my dear friend. I will remember you always.
My first, and only, memory of Leona was at my Grandpa Schaefer's funeral. To my 10 year old self, she was this larger than life, blonde, high energy force that filled every room that she entered. She was clearly devoted to John and John was head over heels toward her. 49 years later, it's clear that this was a match for the ages.
I appreciate Leona for her love for John, the people around her, and her God. Well done!
I am so grateful for knowing you, Leona! The support you and John have shown of my musical journey has meant so much to me. I will miss slipping into the pew next to you after concerts, slipping into your sweet, funny, generous aura for a few moments! We will all miss you Leona-Fiona-Loveliona. May the Blessings Be!
What a dignified and magnificent mass for Fiona, a dignified and magnificent person
Such a beautiful service, and perfect for remembering the joy of Leona's life. I only wish I could have been there in person. I know she is now resting in her Lord's arms with nary a care, singing beautifully with the angels!