Obituaries » Leon James Haskins

Leon James Haskins

October 2, 1952 - December 13, 2022

Retired Col. Leon “Sonny” James Haskins of Fort Washington, Maryland, passed away unexpectedly at his residence on December 13, 2022. He was born on October 2, 1952, in Lynchburg, Virginia, to the late James Bradshaw Haskins, Sr., and Etta Mae Stratton Haskins. In addition to his parents, Leon was preceded in death by his brother, James Bradshaw Haskins, Jr., and four sisters, Peggy Jones, Joyce Ware, Janie Brown, and Eldridge Brown. He was succeeded in death by his sister, Barbara Ann Harris, just five days later. Leon’s untimely death has deeply saddened and shocked the family. Leon joined the Marine Corp in 1972 serving 30+ years before retiring as a Colonel in 2005. In 1981, he began his 30 year career with the Department of Defense (Department of the Navy) where he was the Director of Logistics for Ships, Boats, and Targets and the Special Operations Acquisitions Office. Military and professional alike, he was known for his incredible work ethic and attention to detail. He was meticulous, thorough, and took the time to mentor those around him. Well respected by all who worked with him -he encouraged everyone to do better, and led by example. Leon was an exceptional athlete. In high school, he played football, basketball, and track and field earning all-district and regional honors. He would continue his athletic career at Mansfield State College earning seven varsity letters as a student-athlete in basketball and track and field from 1973 to 1976. A four-year letter winner in track and field, and a two-time All-American, he finished fifth in the triple jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in 1976 with a leap of 48′ 9″, which is still the current school record. He also lettered three years in basketball, earning Honorable Mention All-Conference honors in 1976. In 1996, Mansfield State College inducted him into the Mansfield State College Sports Hall of Fame for basketball and track & field. Post college, Leon’s love for basketball continued as he was selected to play for the Marine Corp basketball team. He later went on to play for a competitive adult league with a close-knit team of guys affectionately referred to as the “Doowops”. Eventually, Leon replaced his jersey for a whistle excelling as a referee in both high school and college for the next 40+ years, leveraging his attention to detail and high basketball acumen. Leon would remain close with many of his teammates, coaches, and fellow referees for the remainder of his life. Sonny had a commanding presence about him, standing at 6’5 he was charismatic, and confident, some may even say intimidating. However, below the tough exterior he was a caring man who built countless meaningful relationships that spanned decades. He loved God, and has been a devout member of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church his entire life. He loved his family dearly and worked hard throughout his life to ensure they were always loved and cared for. In his later years, the Colonel took on a new role, one he was made for- grandfather. Never have you seen a grown man so smitten and proud of his 2 granddaughters Sloan and Londyn. Leon is survived by his son, Marcus White (Stacey) of Midlothian, VA; brothers, Houston Gary Haskins (Yolanda) of Evington, VA, and Bobby Stratton, Sr. (Mary) of Lynchburg, VA; sister, Norma Jean Gilbert (Lewis), Rustburg, VA,; two grandchildren (Sloan and Londyn); and a special friend, Deb Madkins; a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives; and an abundance of friends who will miss him more than words can say.

Always Loved….

Forever Missed…..

Never Forgotten….

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Col. Leon Haskins can be made to The Marine Corps. Association or to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Lynchburg Va.

The family will receive friends on January 6th from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg, VA. The funeral service will be conducted at 2 pm Saturday January 7th at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. With burial to follow in church cemetery.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Leon's life with a short message, photo or video!

I was Leon’s roommate at TBS in Quantico,VA Oct 1975 to Spring of 1976. I did not know of his passing until today. I wish I could have connected with him a few years back. Like you say “never forgotten “

Posted by Tom Hayhurst on August 19, 2023

My deepest condolences to Leon's family. I met Leon many years ago when he was stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico and I was attending undergraduate school nearby. May the family find strength and comfort in God during this difficult time and always. Peace, blessings and love.

Posted by Cynthia on January 29, 2023

Condolences to Leon's son, grandchildren, siblings, family and friends. Leon was an Alpha male and will be missed. God bless you and keep you.

Posted by Bridget McClerking on January 12, 2023

Our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Leon Haskins, an honorable, respectful and God fearing man. Great friend who will be missed especially during the MEAC tournament in Norfolk, VA. Fred & Maxine Colston

Posted by Fred & Maxine Colston on January 9, 2023

My heartfelt condolences to the whole family on the loss of a great man. I will always remember Leon for the love, service, friendship, and respect he gave to others and his country. Rest in Peace, Leon.

Posted by Tim Roberts on January 7, 2023

My sincere condolences to Marcus and the Haskins' family. Leon and I have been friends for over 30 years. We shared many stories, political views and lively conversations over the years. He was especially fond of his granddaughters and family and had expressed he missed from going home recently - well, he's home now, he's at peace. I still cannot believe that he's gone as I had just spoken to him a few days prior to the news of his passing. May God grant you and the Haskins' family comfort, peace and strength at this difficult time. You will be dearly missed. Sincerely, Lenerer Baker

Posted by Lenerer Baker on January 5, 2023

I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Leon's family. May God grant you peace furing this difficult time.

Posted by Jean Yvonne Johnson on December 28, 2022

My heart is so saddened to hear of Leon’s passing, and my thoughts are with you and your family. Rest In Peace my friend!!

Posted by Anonymous on December 24, 2022

I would like to express my condolences to the family and loved ones of Leon. Leon was a fellow Marine who was so willing to give advice and assistance. Semper Fidelis! I pray that God will provide for your strength and comfort in the days ahead.

Posted by Kenneth Jackson on December 23, 2022

So very sorry for your loss. May the Lord keep you keep you. Leon was an old friend.

Posted by Anonymous on December 22, 2022

May the peace and love of God comfort you in the passing of your loved one. He and Barbara Ann are now resting in God's care. Rest in peace!

Posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2022

Your absence will be felt deeply by your family and those who have had the honor of knowing you. We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of a great man who meant so much to so many people. Rest in Peace.

Posted by Anonymous on December 16, 2022

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