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Veteran of the Month – Leonard W. Stephens

Leonard W. Stephens was born in 1943 and was the oldest of three children, of the late Leonard Lee Stephens and the late Ida Knowles. Leonard attended schools in the Philadelphia school system and graduated from West Philadelphia High School in 1961.

He knew he wanted to travel, so after graduation joined the United States Air Force, where he served for four years. After coming out of the service with an honorable discharge in 1965, Leonard decided he wanted to serve and protect his community, so he joined the Philadelphia Police Force.

While on the force, Leonard decided to go back to school to further his education. He attended LaSalle University where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees. He was promoted to detective and served in that position for over 21 years.

During his career on the Police force, he received a commendation for bravery in 1986 when he apprehended an armed bank robbery suspect while he was off duty and unarmed.

After retirement from the force, he changed his occupation and joined the Philadelphia school system. He served as a long-term substitute teacher for 10 years at Henry R. Edmunds Elementary School at Large and Dyre Streets in Northwood.

Leonard loved food, people and challenges in life. His mother Ida was his best friend and he called her every day. Everyone he met admired him for his humor, wisdom, jokes, and friendliness.

Leonard was well versed in many subjects and a Jack of all trades. His hobbies were playing cards, performing magic tricks and writing poetry. For several years, Leonard tutored many Korean children in English as a second language.

He lived on the 1600 block of Kinsey Street for over 30 years and had many friends along Frankford Avenue that he made over the years. He was a fixture and made the rounds greeting his friends with his trademark phrase, “Dilly Dilly”.

On Tuesday January 29, 2019 God called Leonard home. He leaves to mourn his brother Raymond Stephens (Helen), sister Gloria

Stephens Frazier-Green, a niece Lisa Kim Frazier (preceded), 4 nephews: Jerome Frazier Sr. (Shanel), Michael Frazier, Damien Stephens, Quincy Stephens (Kia), 10 Great nieces and nephews and one Great-Great–Niece Lisa Nichole West and many family and friends.

He is also mourned by his Friends on Frankford Avenue who feel the loss of his friendship and good humor. Thanks to Gil Pons and Stephen at the video store with helping with the preparation of this story.

Leonard W. Stephens –thank you for your service!!!