Veneta Marie Leonard, 51 of Valparaiso, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, February 24, 2024. She was born March 31, 1972 in Hammond, Indiana the daughter of Donald & Cathy (Simmons) Novakovich, graduated from George Washington High School on Chicago’s Eastside, and received a B.S. in Business Management from St. Joseph College in Whiting. Veneta was a member of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Center in Valparaiso where her deep faith in God was nurtured. It was this faith in God and her dedication to her husband and children that propelled her life, always relying on her favorite saying of “It’s for the children” when deferring personal attention or care in favor of the next generation.

On April 1, 1995 she married Peter “Jeremy” Leonard who survives along with their fourteen children; Peter “Mason” (Zaina) Leonard, Noah Leonard, Jenna Leonard, Lauren (Cody) Carlin, Logan (Taylor) Leonard, Karter Leonard, Shayne Leonard, Rylee Leonard, Chloe Leonard, Lacey Leonard, Mary Leonard, Gabriel Leonard, Charlotte Leonard & Elliott Leonard, her mother, Cathy Novakovich, sisters; Debra (Frank) Roberts & Emma Novakovich, grandchildren; Serenity, Owen, Silas & River (with two more coming soon), mother-in-law, Kathleen (James) Barr, father-in-law, Peter (Nancy) Leonard, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Donald Novakovich.

A visitation will be held Friday, March 1st from 3 – 8 pm at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso, IN. A funeral mass will be held Saturday 10:00 am at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Center, 1511 LaPorte Ave., Valparaiso, Father Jacob McDaniel officiating with entombment to follow at Angelcrest Mausoleum.  In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the family for the benefit of the children.


My deepest condolences and heartfelt tears, prayers to the entire family. RIP Veneta! No more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. Nothing but eternal bliss with your savior, your dad, and all your loved ones that graduated to heaven before God called you home. Continued prayer for Your mother, husband, siblings and all your children and grandchildren. Lord Jesus, please uplift and comfort Veneta's family they need you more than ever right now.... -Kim Denison 

Heaven gained the most beautiful Angel. I was blessed to call her my friend. Sending you all my love and prayers. -Sheri Herald 

May the love of sacred heart of Jesus be with you in such difficult times. She is now in his presence enjoying peace and fulfillment of all desires. Count on my prayers for her soul and your comfort. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen. -Margarita Carreon-De Alba 

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