JOHN LEONARD JR. was a "big teddy bear" of a man who was known among family and friends for his generosity, but he also had a flair for business.
He could sell anything, and often did.
"John knew how to get and manage a dollar," his family said. "His motto was, 'Everything must go.' "
He would take various wares from city to city on the East Coast, and eventually opened his own car dealership in South Philadelphia.
All the while he was making a living as a corrections officer for the State Correctional Institution at Chester.
"He was a hardworking man," his family said, "putting in '24 hours a day.' "
John died Tuesday of a massive heart attack. He was 42 and lived in Germantown.
He was born in North Philadelphia to Delores and John Leonard Sr., and graduated from William Penn High School. He later received an associate degree in applied science from the Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate of Penn State.
At age 17, he embraced the religion of Islam and continued to be an active member of the local Islamic community. He took the name Abdus-Samiy.
"To know him was to love him," his family said. "He embodied the true meaning of 'friend.' He was a big teddy bear who was warm and had a beautiful smile.
"He was always willing to lend a hand if he could. He was the example of what a man should be."
John had a restless mind that was always digging into books for knowledge and inspiration.
"John got the impossible done," his family said. "If it appeared that it could not be done, he would somehow find a way to get it done."
"His infectious smile and his giving spirit were free to all he came in contact with. At the end of the day, he was a father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. He had an impact on many."
He is survived by three sons, Amiyn, Sidiyq and Abdul-Samiy; three daughters, Aaida, Samiya and Kai; two sisters, Vanessa Lewis and Donna Leonard, and two grandchildren.