Family, friends gather to say goodbye to World War II veteran who passed away on September 11th

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A World War II veteran died on one of the nation’s saddest days — September 11.

Thursday afternoon, friends and family said one last goodbye at a funeral fit for a patriot at Johnson County Chapel and Memorial Gardens.

“He was the package of a man who was a man’s man,” said daughter Loretta Yates.

Leon Fox enlisted in the Army at 19 years old, fought in WWII, and loved his country to the very end. He died on September 11th, 2016, the day the entire nation was in mourning.

“The last time he was in the hospital, we were saying goodbye to him for the evening. Loretta was saying, ‘goodnight daddy, I love you.’ I walked up to Leon and said I liked him on Tuesdays. It was the last time I saw him grin and heard his rough laugh,” said son-in-law Andrew Yates.

Loretta wanted the service to be a celebration of life. The taps and color guard were a nod to just how much Fox loved his country.

“He wanted to believe that the miracle after World War II would continue and in some ways it did,” she said.

Fox was married for 68 years; he’s been without his high school sweetheart for the past five.

“He just wanted to go home to mom, that’s what he kept saying,” Andrew said.

He’s leaving behind family and friends here on Earth, but they said he’s joining his love where he belongs.