Leon T. Mingo was a former long-time resident and homeowner in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.
Mingo died of complications of pancreatic cancer on May 12, 2012, at Suburban Mercy Hospital in East Norriton, Pa. He was 72.
“When I knew that my husband needed to be hospitalized and could not be cared for at home, I chose to have him around the corner from where we lived. In that way I could see him every day. He would send me home before dark each time,” said his wife of 50 years, Della Mingo.
He was born Feb. 21, 1940, in Trenton, N.J., to the late Tony and Betty Mingo. He was educated in the Trenton public schools, graduating from Trenton Central High School in 1958.
“My friend, Mingo, was such a gentle giant. He gave so freely to everybody. He was so intelligent, too. He did not have the college degrees but certainly had a command of information that was highly respected by all who knew him. He was so well-rounded, so he enjoyed sports and was a master chess player,” said Machel Taylor, a long-time family friend.
After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Mingo served on several ships before commissioning the John F. Kennedy in Norfolk, Va. He was scheduled take part in a tour but he sustained an injury. His neck was broken as the result of a fall that left him paralyzed on the right side. Mingo was hospitalized for a full year in Bronx, N.Y., at the James J. Peterson Veteran Hospital. He was honorably discharged and retired with full disability,
“Despite his disability, my husband led a full life,” said Della.
“He cherished his daughters and was a pushover for the grandchildren.”
The couple traveled often and opened their home to family and friends that needed a place to stay.
Mingo’s wife described him as someone who knew how to be a friend. He enjoyed playing poker every other weekend with his friends.
“There is so much I could say about my soul mate, but most importantly, I was able to pray with my husband before his death to lead him to the Lord. That was the icing on the cake for our fifty years together,” said Della.
Mingo was pre-deceased by his sister, Michelle, and brother, Larry.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Ada Williams and Earlene Bond; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; sister, Toni Williams of Trenton, N.J.; three brothers, Walter and his wife Carol of Clayton, N.C., Robert and wife Delores of Detroit, Mich., and Bruce of Trenton, N.J.; sister-in-law, Eunice Williams; “adopted” son, Eric Nelson; and other relatives and friends.
Burial at sea will be held in Norfolk, Va.
Sabbath Funeral Service handled the arrangements.