T. Leone Sr.
Gerard T. Jerry Leone Sr. of Franklin, baseball player, football coach and father of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Gerry Leone Jr., died Thursday at Kathleen Daniels Living Center in Framingham. He was 72.
Born in Boston, Mr. Leone was raised in the Whiskey Point section of Brookline and was a longtime resident of Franklin. He attended St. Marys of Brookline, where he starred on the baseball, football and basketball teams, graduating in 1955. He was a 1955 Herald Scholastic All Star Team member and New England All star who played in Fenway Park [map] as a 16 year old.
He attended Kimball Union for a year of prep school where he played baseball and football and attended Boston University, where he played baseball for four years. As a second basemen, he captained the 1960 B.U. team and was named a New England All Star, again playing at Fenway Park.
After graduating, he was signed by the Kansas City Athletics as a professional baseball player. He ended his career playing alongside future Red Sox [team stats] Ken Harrelson and Jose Santiago.
Mr. Leone began his coaching career at St. Marys of Brookline, then moved on to Franklin High School where he taught and coached baseball and football for close to two decades and was the athletic director for several years.
His team won 32 straight games from 1969 to 1972, breaking the previous record, won three straight Hockomock League championships and became state champions. He retired briefly but returned to lead the team to the 1982 State Division Three Super Bowl Championship.
On the one hand, he was known as tough and demanding football coach, and on the other he was a man with a big heart who just loved helping people, said Gerry Leone Jr. With him, it was all about his friends, his family and his faith, right until the very end.
In 1982, Mr. Leone won many Coach of the Year honors. He was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991. A Boston Park League player, he was inducted into the leagues hall of fame in 1991 and was recently inducted into the Boston University Baseball Hall of Fame.
After his retirement from coaching as head coach 1984, Mr. Leone worked in the office of State Auditor A. Joseph Denucci in the records department before retirement in 1988.
He was a great leader, a great American, and a great coach. Hes a legend, said Paul Oxford, chief of investigations for the Department of Correction, who played on Mr. Leones team from 1971 to 1974. He instilled that pride, the discipline, the hard work that you take into whatever field you go into.
In addition to his love of sports, Mr. Leone enjoyed food, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Mr. Leone is survived by two sons, Gerard Jr. of Hopkinton and Barry of Rutland; two daughters, Debra of Westin, Fla., and Sheri of San Diego, Calif.; a sister, Linda Sotnick of Winter Springs, Fla.; and his former wife, Patricia J. (Erwin) Ossen of West Barnstable; six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at St. Marys of the Assumption, Brookline Village.
Burial will be private.
Arrangements by the Bell-ODea Funeral Home, Brookline.