Leonard E. Cherry (known as Len to his friends and family) was one of those rare people who was committed to making his world a better and more beautiful place, and by all measures, he succeeded. Born in Germany on an American military base and raised in Aiken, Len was kind and gentle, a self-made man of many talents—a Renaissance man—who formally studied throughout his life art history, architecture, and the decorative arts. He was a master of needlepoint and macrame handicraft. His talent and unerring eye for beauty in structures, interiors, and landscapes have graced many homes and gardens in and around Aiken. On any given day, Len could be found installing fountains, creating walkways, and planting trees and flowers in his own garden to create a magical place of serenity for him and his beloved husband of twenty-seven years, Tom Bossard.
Len’s commitment to beauty was surpassed only by his love for and generosity to the people in his life. An accomplished stylist who owned and operated Chesterfield Court in historic downtown Aiken since 1978, Len adored his clients and thrived in the hustle and bustle of his busy salon. Generations of women and men relied on Len’s talents—he made everyone feel relaxed, important, and special. One long-term friend recalls how gentle and patient Len was with his older clients. She also remembers how extraordinarily kind he was with her six-year-old daughter, who wanted her hair to be a different color. “Many women want that hair color,” Len reassured the child, “but only God can give you that hair color.” Len’s generosity with brides and girls going to their first prom is legendary—he refused to accept payment for making them beautiful on their special day.
Above all, Len cherished his relationship with Tom, the love of his life, and embraced Tom’s mother, Johanna, his father, Don, and brother, John, like they were his own. John reports that Len’s love, selflessness, and unwavering loyalty was the glue that held their family together through good and challenging times, creating family bonds that will endure for this lifetime and beyond.
Len Cherry died of cancer on Friday afternoon. He was sixty-seven years old. He is survived by his husband, Tom Bossard; his brother Jesse Cherry and sister-in-law Gabby; his goddaughter, Isabelle Igoe; his godson, Sean Igoe; his brother-in-law, John Bossard; his mother-in-law, Johanna Bossard; his three treasured dogs, Stella, Ava, and Audrey; and legions of friends, colleagues, and clients who loved him dearly—all of whom agree: the world will be a dimmer place without him.
The family requests donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, PO Box 1702, in Aiken, SC, 29802. (Online donations may be made at
Visitation will be held from 4:00 until 6:00 pm on Monday, August 22nd, at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at