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.