Leon Franklin Smith Jr. was born on January 15, 1947, the only child of Leon Franklin and Helen Smith, Sr.. Leon accepted Christ at an early age at Mt. Zion Methodist Church in East Chicago, Indiana. He was later baptized at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana.
Leon attended the East Chicago public schools and graduated from Washington High School in 1965. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Calumet College in 1976. While obtaining his degree, Leon became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Following the Alpha motto “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All”, Leon decided to serve and protect his community by joining the East Chicago Police Department, where he served for 20 years. Early in his career he joined the “Officer Friendly” group and visited schools to inform young students about pursuing a career in law enforcement. In 1983, Leon was awarded a commendation by the Board of Public Safetyfor averting a potential tragedy by rescuing three people to safety during a house fire. Known as tough but fair, everyone spoke highly of Leon even after retiring from the police department.
Leon went on to become a truant officer at Central High School for 18 years. With his magnetic personality, Leon endeared himself to the staff and students whose lives he touched during his long career of service.
Upon retiring for good, Leon and his wife Annie decided to take up their roots and relocate to Henderson, Nevada. Always taking pride in having a beautiful home, Leon enjoyed home improvement projects and welcoming visitors to his home. He enjoyed hosting parties, playing cards and traveling.
Leon leaves to cherish his memory: his loving and devoted wife Annie, his children Kimberly (Charles) Kelly, Leon F., III (Teresa) Smith, LaKetra (Anton) Williams, Adrian (Anika) Muhammad and Della Muhammad; grandchildren Leon IV, Anthony, Tiara, Sydrick, Malik, Na’im, Fard, Tahj, Sophia and honorary grandchild Kamryn and a host of other family members and friends.