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Leonard Arthur "Pinky" Stern September 5, 1931 - September 13, 2019

Leonard Arthur “Pinky” Stern of New Orleans, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas passed away, peacefully and surrounded by family, on the morning of September 13, 2019, just nine days after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Buddy, as he was known to his grandchildren, was born on September 5, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Sol Arthur and Alva Stern (nee Plonsky).  He was an only child.  As a boy, he loved playing with his friends, raising his German Shepherd “Boy,” and learning to drive, working-on and street-racing cars.  However, his first love was music, and he became an accomplished coronet player, even making records.  Buddy graduated from Fortier High School in New Orleans in 1949 and attended Tulane University.  There, he pledged to, and became a member of, Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.  He remained at Tulane until he entered the United States Air Force in 1951 during the Korean War, becoming stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Shortly after Buddy received his honorable discharge in 1953, he learned that his father had terminal cancer.  In order to take care of his mother and grandmother, he assumed his father’s business of selling lines of shoes for Craddock-Terry until 1957, when he began a long sales and management career at National Chemsearch Corporation, now called NCH.  There, Buddy ascended into executive management in 1969, when he and his young family moved to Dallas, where the company is headquartered.  He remained at NCH until 2001, when he retired as a vice president.

On August 5, 1956, Buddy married the love of his life, Joel Strauss Sugar, in Monroe, Louisiana.  They remained married for over 63 years until his passing.  Leonard and Joel had three children and six grandchildren.  He is survived by his wife, Joel, his son, Sol Alan Stern and his wife, Carole, his son, Leonard Arthur, II (Hap) and his wife, Fonda, his daughter, Patricia Gruber and her husband, David, and his grandchildren, Justin and his wife, Karen, and Sarah, Lauren, Kate, Shelby and Jordan and his wife, Prithika, all Sterns.  Buddy’s mother passed in Dallas in 1987.

Buddy was a loving father and wonderful grandfather, and a true friend to too many to count.  He was strong, loving, caring, and had a terrific sense of humor.  He was fiercely patriotic, enjoyed performance cars and all things automotive, as well as marksmanship and hunting, music and art, food (especially Creole and Cajun) and all desserts, which may explain his sweet and infectious personality.  Above all else, even his gregarious and fun-loving nature, he was a man of impeccable character, decency and integrity, dedicated to personal responsibility and deep devotion to his family and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El (8500 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, TX 75225) officiated by Rabbi Kimberly Hertzog Cohen.


  1. REPLY
    Bob Queyrouze says

    I met Leonard about a year ago after joining the Nomad luncheon group that meets every Thursday. From the time that I met him I found him to be very engaging, humorous, knowledgeable and a truly “sweet” human being. Always optimistic, joyful and positive about life. I enjoyed many discussions about guns, hunting, cars and his childhood and family life. I will sincerely miss his presence and have high regard for his legacy to us all. Please accept my sympathy during your time of grief.

  2. REPLY
    Nick Day says

    I only had the honor of meeting Mr. Stern a few times, but I can only describe my impressions of meeting him in remarking that he was a true gentleman of the highest order. I cannot give higher praise than that.

  3. REPLY
    Jo-Anna Clements says

    In one of the stars he is living and laughing and showering us with his love forever. So when you look at the night sky you will see his shining smile. Sending you my love and prayers always. Love you, Dad Stern, forever.

  4. REPLY
    Joan Hoffman says

    Len – Joel were very dear friends of ours.
    Hal & I enjoyed our times entertaining with the Stern’s. Our friendship will always be treasured.
    Len will be missed. Take care of yourself Joel.

    Love,. Joan Hoffman
    Hal deceased 2013

  5. REPLY
    Mike Burton and family says

    With his sharp mind, his sincere, understanding, and loving heart, Leonard “Buddy” Stern is an easy role model for this life and forever. He will be greatly missed with many fond memories treasured.

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