Obituary: Leone Knickerbocker Brockman


Leone Knickerbocker Brockman was born July 10, 1931, in Phoenix, Arizona. As a child, her family lived in Belmont Shores, Bellflower and eventually ended up in Santa Ana in 1940. Leone attended Santa Ana High, where she met the love of her life, Leonard Brockman at the Senior Breakfast. Leonard and Leone graduated together, the class of 1949. Leone enrolled at Whittier College and graduated with a degree in education. Upon her graduation, Leone Knickerbocker married Leonard Brockman on July 8, 1952. She soon began her first teaching position at Ocean Beach Elementary School while Leonard was stationed in the Navy. During their time in San Diego, she gave birth to their first son, Daniel, in 1954. Leone and Leonard moved back to Orange County, where they had their second son Jon. Leone was a substitute teacher in the local elementary schools and also provided curriculum and support for students in the hospital setting for the next few years. The family landed in Laguna Beach in the summer of 1961, living on Thalia Street. Their third son, Tom, was born during the move. Leonard owned the local sporting goods store, Sports World, and Leone was busy with the three boys. In 1963 they were happy to welcome a darling little girl, Jan, into the family. Outgrowing the home on Thalia Street, the Brockman family built a new home on San Remo in 1965. This is where they welcomed their fifth and final daughter, Beth, to the family. 

With a house full of kids, Leone went back to teaching full-time for Laguna Beach Unified School District. She began at El Morro Elementary. She was instrumental in opening Top of the World Elementary School in 1967. Leone had hundreds of students pass through her classroom over the next 34 years, where she continued to teach until she retired in 2001. Mrs. Brockman was known for her excellence as a teacher. She was fun, dynamic, loved to sing and enjoyed teaching both kindergarten and first-grade students to read and love learning. Mrs. Brockman loved God and was also very involved in her local church, where she taught Sunday School and hosted home Bible studies for youth groups. Since retiring, Leone has enjoyed traveling, boat trips to Catalina Island, and time with her friends, colleagues and large family.  

Leone passed away peacefully in her home on June 26, 2023, surrounded by family at the age of 91. She is survived by her five children; Danny, Jon, Tom, Jan, Beth, and their spouses, as well as 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. 

Leone K. Brockman will be laid to rest next to her husband of almost 70 years, Leonard Brockman at Miramar National Cemetery. A service will be held on July 15 at 11 a.m. at The Little Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach. Please join us in honoring and remembering the great life of a lifelong Laguna Beach resident, teacher, colleague, friend, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. 


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