Leon Haskins Death, Obituary – Our hearts are breaking. Leon Haskins, Marcus’ father, died unexpectedly at his home in Maryland. We’ve spent the last week trying to understand out why and how this happened, but no solutions will bring him back. When you first met Leon, you could tell he was special; his physical presence was commanding. He was always well groomed and put together, standing at 6’5 and never seen without pleated, pressed pants in public.

He wasn’t just a beautiful man; he was also a caregiver. As the stories have revealed, he cared for many people throughout his life; for some, he was a mentor or a trusted colleague. Others thought of him as their oldest and closest friend, the guy who always remembered their birthday, sent them a card, or called to check in. The uncle that would always have your back if you needed something, but then would push you to fix the problem. He was a tough love man; if he didn’t agree with you, he’d tell you so you knew where you stood, but it was always from a caring place.

God, his country, his mother, his siblings, nieces and nephews, numerous close friends and colleagues, and, of course, his son and granddaughters were all important to him. His house and phone are covered in pictures of the kids, and he pamper them in ways that only grandparents can. Sloan’s first Christmas, he gave her the whole Fisher-Price catalog—his child had “deserved it all,” he said. When we arrived to his Maryland home, it was filled with gifts for the daughters that he would never see open.

Leon was never quick to answer when you texted him. It was three paragraphs lengthy, addressed, and signed every time. He was a meticulous planner with a strong work ethic. He was also a terrific athlete who would have gone pro if it hadn’t been for his military obligations. His former coach even told us that NBA teams like the Denver Nuggets were interested in him. A letter from the Dallas Cowboys expressing interest in an old scrapbook was uncovered. Such a talented man who was still observing/refereeing collegiate games till his death.

He was unique, and most all, he was loved, whether you called him Dad, uncle, brother, boss, buddy, Sonny, Colonel, or Grandpa Leon. Please express your best wishes and prayers to Marcus, his girls, and his entire family and friends. More information will be provided as it becomes available, but the wake will take place on January 6th from 6-8pm at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the service will take place on Saturday, January 7th at 2pm at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. The service will also be live webcast.