Anthony Leounes, III Profile Photo
1980 T 2024

Anthony Leounes, III

September 4, 1980 — February 17, 2024

Philadelphia, PA

The summer night hummed in anticipation. The boy child would soon be here. And then there was T. And no one could remember what it was like before.

His parents and sisters were thrilled. They doted on him like a little prince. Everything he did — every move and every sound — was adorable and hilarious. Had there ever been such a perfect creature? They knew he had something very special. Everyone anxiously delighted in him, hoping his gifts would not become too great for a mortal to carry. 

Music! From the beginning, he obsessed over it.  His thoughts were notes and he spoke in melody like it was his native language. When he took up guitar, he became its master. The instrument bent to his will, its voice his own. He could play like Jimi or Eddie, summoning sounds of the past masters and becoming a master himself. It was the source of his super power, to share his talent with those who made music with him and with those who loved to hear him play. 

Music was not his only talent. He was naturally funny — quick to crack a joke or make observations laced with wit and humor. He bonded easily and made lifelong friends over comedy and absurdity. He loved living life out loud, and those who loved him, loved that volume. He was always “on”.  Always joy. Bold as love. The hero many of us never knew we needed.

But as the boy grew into a man, his villains approached. He allowed the vices to come along for the ride. Sure, he could master them as he had the guitar, and use them to make life more colorful and become an even larger vessel of creativity. He kept playing the music that was in him. He sang and roared and everyone sang and laughed with him. He was mighty. And memorable. He was T.

He tried to navigate the mundane world of work bullshit and following rules, but those obligations didn’t suit him. How could they? They didn’t respect his power. His spirit was too free for a 9 to 5 — too great to live so far from a song.  And so the struggle grew. The bad guys visited too often. They stayed too long. They wouldn’t let go. He fought back, finding relief in his imagination — Batman, Elvis, guitars, fast cars, James Bond, and ideas for things that didn't exist but should because they'd make the world so much cooler. He fought back with music and humor. He fought a valiant fight. 

He loved and was loved so profoundly by his parents, Tony and Cathy; his sisters, Sonia and Nicole; the apple of his eye, his niece Sophia; the Alfred to his Bruce Wayne, known only to many as simply “Godfather”; extended family and best friends, and he will be indescribably missed.

Knowing T, though, it is entirely possible that this is all just a masterful ruse. So keep looking up in the sky for his bat signal. Keep listening for a masterful lick of a blues guitar solo. He may be out of sight, but we know he can still see us, making sure we never stop singing, never stop laughing, never stop living life as loudly as we can. It’s the least we can do. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

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