Known to many as Papa Smurf, Leo was loved and adored by his surviving family: wife of 28 years, Candace Knopf Hyman, his 6 kids Kevin, Lisa, Deb, Brian, Shayna and David and his 13 grandchildren Matthew, Amber, Sadie, Nick, Savannah, Mitchell, Tyler, Luke, Natalie, Taylor, Riley, Matthew and 6-month old Peyton.
Leo’s huge and genuine smile lit a room instantly and his boisterous personality made him a fantastic Naval officer, soccer coach and salesman. Leo never met a stranger, either professionally or personally; and you didn’t even have to share his love of the Dallas Cowboys. You might have met Leo at the Fair Park Music Hall, the local hockey rink, or his synagogue but he would treat you just the same, like you were the only person that mattered and you had known him for years.
But it was those lucky enough to call him family who were blessed to be led by a patriarch who not only knew how to have fun, and longed for that every day, but also knew how to teach his family to love each other constantly and unconditionally. Leo’s family was priority in everything he thought and did and every decision he made. And his moral center showed at every family gathering. As the oldest child in the family, Leo would be the one driving remote control cars, playing ping pong, or shooting baskets in the driveway, but whatever he did he did with an unquenchable desire to win tempered by honor, love and compassion.
How could anyone not love Papa Smurf? At 6’4” tall, bright blue eyes and a laugh that could be heard for what seemed like miles, Leo drew people to him and you became a friend for life. And those bright blue eyes, and that distinct contagious laugh... we will miss you so very much.
We Love you infinity and beyond Papa Smurf!