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Leon E. Schnitzspahn
April 5, 1943 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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After three years of courageously living with Stage 4 cancer, Leon passed away quietly at home on January 24, 2024, at the age of 80. He never let cancer get the best of him and continued to enjoy life, his family, and traveling, even during his final year. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Karen (Karine); a son Douglas Schnitzspahn of Boulder, Colorado; and his wife, Radha Marcum; their children Isa and Kieran; a son Gregory “Max” Schnitzspahn of Hamilton, Massachusetts; his wife Jaclyn; and their son Graham. He is also survived by a sister, Barbara Craig, and a brother, Russell Schnitzspahn, as well as two nieces, a great niece, and three great nephews. He was preceded in death by an older brother, Henry.
Leon was born in Somerville, New Jersey, and his family operated a well-known wholesale flower growing business in Middlesex, New Jersey, where they lived. He was active in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed summers at Beach Haven, New Jersey, where his family had a vacation home and he explored a lifelong obsession with fishing and boats. He graduated from Bound Brook High School in 1961. He was a top athlete on the BBHS wrestling team during high school. He attended the US Naval Academy Preparatory School in Bainbridge, Maryland, and received an honorable discharge from the US Navy. He later worked his way through college earning a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University.
In 1968, soon after Leon and Karen were married in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he began working at Marine Midland Bank in New York City. The bank was later acquired by HSBC and Leon continued to work as an officer in trust operations. Leon survived the horror of September 11, 2001. He often remarked, “I saw the twin towers go up and I saw them come down.” Leon and Karen raised their sons in Little Silver, New Jersey, where they lived for decades. They owned a part-time condo in Boulder, Colorado, for several years and then moved full time to Broomfield, Colorado, in 2016.
Leon’s many talents and interests included black-and-white photography, fly fishing, fly tying, running, baking, building model airplanes, and flying RC planes. He was very handy around the house and built custom bookshelves, replaced ceilings, and repaired whatever needed fixing. After retiring, he especially enjoyed his boat and fly fishing with friends and family as well as taking cruises with Karen.
A kind and gentle man, he cared deeply about his family and loved spending time with his grandkids.