HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- The family of a Hasbrouck Heights Hall of Famer has turned their loss into something positive.
Robert Leckie graduated Hasbrouck Heights High School in 1963. The four-time varisty letter winner was co-captain of the football team his junior and senior years. In 1960 through 1962, he was named to the All Bergen County Scholastic League (BCSL) Team. He was named First Team All State in 1962. After graduating, he attended the University of Maryland on a football scholarship, and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
Leckie was drafted during the Vietnam War and served in the U.S. Army First Calvary Airmobile Division from April 1968 to 1969, in ground and air operations, according to his widow Lorraine Leckie. He was awarded the Bronze Star for merit and the Air Medal, according to his Hall of Fame biography.
He and his wife Lorraine raised their family in Ridgewood, and they continue to live in Bergen County. They have five grandchildren. He was the owner/president of Leckie Bus Company, which the children continue to oversee.
Leckie was inducted into the Hasbrouck Heights Hall of Fame twice, as an individual in 2003, and with the the 1962 Football team.
When he passed away in December 2018, Lorraine, and her grown children Patrick, Sarah, and Timothy, along with their spouses, Alba, Matt, and Krissy, wanted to do something to give back the community and school he grew up in. The family reached out to head football coach Nick Delcalzo.
"The family wanted to do something nice for a student of Hasbrouck Heights," said Delcalzo, who knew Bob because he was a Hall of Famer. "He was a great player."
"We enjoyed his stories from Hasbrouck Heights from high school, even more than college," recalled Lorraine. "They really turned the program around at that point. They were a great team, all of them. And it was a team. They respected each other and played well as a team."
To honor her husband and their father, the Leckie family awarded its first scholarship to a Hasbrouck Heights athlete. Jasiah Purde recevied the award at the Hasbrouck Heights Scholarship Night in early June.
They met for the first time that evening. Purdie didn't know he was to receive it.
"I didn't know this was going to happen, to be honest," said Purdie, who will put the award to college expenses. "This is a blessing."
"He just seems to have a good head on his shoulders," said Lorraine. "He made a great choice of school, and then eventually going to Division I. And the coach spoke so highly of him. And I said, "Ok, this is the one that we want to help out."
Leckie checked out news stories and video highlights of Purdie. There's even talk that they'll go catch one of Purdie's games at Lackawana this fall.
"Right from the start, I was so excited," she said. "I looked at all his clips, his YouTube, his write ups," she explained. "And now meeting him, it's even better, and we're more excited."
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