Daniel M. Leon

Oct 13, 1967 - Sep 2, 2020

Beloved Father and Brother, Nutley Chamber of Commerce President

Daniel M. Leon, 52, of Nutley, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Visitation and a celebration of Dan’s life will be held at the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley, 540 Franklin Ave on Wednesday, September 9 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. There will be a funeral mass celebrated at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 60 Byrd Ave, Bloomfield on Thursday, September 10 at 9:30 a.m. The cremation will be held privately.

Daniel was born in Teaneck and has resided in Nutley for many years. He is a graduate of Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University). He spent most of his years employed in the banking industry but found his true calling in working with students at Eastwick College, Nutley, as the Director of Career Services. He saw promise in every student and was committed to helping them reach their full potential. Dan served as President of the Nutley Chamber of Commerce and was strongly committed to the small businesses in town. Dan also coached the Bogata Baseball Youth Organization, the Fair Lawn Youth League, International Youth Leagues and he also coached baseball at Bogata High School.

If you knew Dan, you loved him. If you knew Dan and did not love him, you were the problem (and this comes from his former wife).  Dan made you feel special because he believed everyone was special. Dan was funny without trying to be. When the family cat was lost, Dan went out at night, dressed in camouflage (including dark makeup), and lied down in a neighbor’s yard, covered himself in twigs and leaves, and held onto the end of a huge net that he hoped the cat would walk into. Dan waited patiently for hours and gave up after a close encounter with a raccoon. 

Dan enjoyed buying new tools for home improvement projects that challenged him. After buying a very sharp tool to trim tree branches, he tried to escape one that snapped. Directly in the path of a direct hit, Dan not so gracefully jumped off the ladder or fell (there are no known witnesses) and was injured by both the tree limb and the gardening tool. With injuries to his face, head, arm, and legs, and well over 100 stitches, his injuries looked more like a knife attack. Dan’s wife was absolved of blame after doctors discovered mulch in his wounds. Dan thought he looked badass with the jagged scar on his jawline, and sometimes left people wondering how he got it. 

Daniel is survived by his beloved daughter, Rachel Leon, who is his greatest gift. To say he would go to the ends of the earth for Rachel is an understatement. He is survived by his dear brothers Anthony Leon and his wife Michele (nee Monaco) and Charles (C.B.) Leon and his wife Sandy (nee Bussi). Dan leaves behind a loving “second” family, Ish-Paul and Rose Peres, who were like parents to him; his cherished nieces and nephews Alexa Leon, Anthony and Sophia Leon and Paul-Michael Peres. He is also survived by his dear aunts and uncle Bernadette Ghibesi and Daniel and Gail McNamara and their children and grandchildren. Dan’s former in-laws are also grieving his death: Terence, Barbara, Mark, Kelly, Jamie, Jillian, Daniel, Michael, and Glaucia Kelly. Dan has several beloved Godchildren, who all held a special place in his heart. Dan is survived by his former wife, Maureen Kelly, who he met in college. Dan has a wide circle of friends who he treasured.

Dan is predeceased by his loving parents, Anthony and Rosemary (nee McNamara) Leon, both of whom also passed away too young. 

In consideration of COVID-19, Dan would not want to put anyone in harm's way. If you are not comfortable attending services, the family knows you will be there in spirit.  

Dan was one of a kind. A toast for Dan Leon, the richest man in town (from “It’s a Wonderful Life”).