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1928 Leon 2022

Leon Malone

February 10, 1928 — November 1, 2022

Tupelo--C. Leon Malone, age 94, passed away Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the North Mississippi Medical Center following a brief illness. He was born February 10, 1928, in New Site, to Oliver Ward and Claudie Gilley Malone. Leon graduated from Marietta High School in 1947, but prior to that attended New Site High School where he was a member of the back to back Mississippi Boys State Basketball Championship Team in 1945 and 1946. He attended Northeast Junior College from 1953 through 1955 studying Business Administration. Leon worked with the Francisco Railway Company as a telegrapher operator in New Albany prior to his service in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. Following a few years in the grocery business in New Albany, he began his career what would become Hancock Fabrics in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1957. After holding a variety of positions and opening numerous retail locations throughout the United States, Leon retired from Hancock Textiles, Inc. as the Vice President of Retail Operations in 1984. Following this retirement, he spent many years operating the local Tupelo Hancock Fabrics retail store and subsequently assisted with the management of Warehouse Liquidators.
Leon loved the game of basketball and played on various teams throughout his lifetime, playing his final game of church league organized basketball at Harrisburg Baptist Church at the age of 85. He was the lone surviving player of the New Site Royals state title teams. They practiced on a dirt court at home and played all their games in other school gyms. While serving in the Army, he played with the United States Armed Forces “All Stars” in 1952 in Ikokkaivo, Japan. Leon was a charter member of the “SEC Roundball Sixers”, friends that traveled to Southeastern Conference basketball tournaments annually, beginning in 1979.
Leon was a man of great faith and was baptized July 31, 1955, at W.T. Bennett’s cow pond in New Albany, with Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. He became a member of Harrisburg Baptist Church in 1974, where he served as a Deacon for 35 years prior to his being awarded Deacon Emeritus status in 2019. As an active member of HBC for many years, he participated in numerous mission activities and trips. He openly shared his faith with others and truly exemplified his beliefs through his actions. He influenced the lives of many young men on the basketball court over the years with pick-up and league games in the church gym.
Leon loved and cherished his family. He was actively involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren and attended countless school, musical, dancing, and sporting events over the years. He routinely reminded them to keep God first in their lives, and through his words and actions, he set an example for them to follow.
Leon is survived by four children, Diane (Bob) Leopold of Germantown, Tennessee; Denise Malone of Collierville, Tennessee; Dana (Bill) Hamblin of Tupelo; and David (Tracy) Malone of Saltillo. He was D-Daddy to five grandchildren, Lauren (Chad) Leopold Wilgenbusch of Germantown, Tennessee; Carter Hamblin and Emory Hamblin of Nashville, Tennessee; Rachael Malone and Ryan Malone of Germantown, TN; and three great-grandsons, Hannan, Harris, and Palmer Wilgenbusch of Germantown, Tennessee. He also leaves behind his beloved sister, Bobbie Jean Malone McCluskey of North Little Rock, Arkansas, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members, as well as Katie Apple, a special family friend. His family is very thankful for the wonderful caregivers and friends at the Mitchell Center that loved him during his time there.
In 2016, Leon was preceded in death by the love of his life, Sara Ellen Carter Malone, whom he married upon his return from Korea in 1952.
Visitation will be 12 p.m. until service time Friday, November 4, 2022, at Harrisburg Baptist Church.
Services honoring Leon’s life will be 3 p.m. Friday, November 4,2022, with the Rev. David Langerfeld, Rev. David Smith, and Pastor Rob Armstrong officiating. Private family graveside services will follow at Tupelo Memorial Park. Pegues Funeral Directors has been entrusted with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Senior Adult or Men’s Ministries at Harrisburg Baptist Church, 4675 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo, MS 38801.
Pallbearers will be Frank Brinkley, Larry Durham, Carter Hamblin, Doonie Homan, Ryan Malone, Mike McCullough, Luke Prust, and Gary Thornton. Honorary Pallbearers are The Roundball Sixers, Tim Alexander, Paul Backstrom, Ben T. Baty, Bill Hamblin, Larry Hancock, Billy Haygood, Bob Leopold,
Chris McCluskey, Hamilton Smith, John Smith, Lee Stratton, and Chad Wilgenbusch

Expressions of sympathy and fond memories may be shared at www.PeguesFuneralHome.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leon Malone, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Friday, November 4, 2022

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, November 4, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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