Leroy Washington left a great legacy
Gigi Tinsley | 2/13/2014, 9 a.m.
Leroy Washington was born in Greenville, FL on May 1, 1925 to the parentage of the late George and Leanna Stevens Washington. He was the youngest of five children and graduated from Greenville High School.
Washington served two active tours of duty in the military—one in the Army and in the Air Force. From 1944 to May 1946, he served in the Army where he became a First Lt. of “B” Battery 598th Field Artillery Battalion. He was decorated with the WWII Vic Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the American Theater Medal.
After leaving the service and being inactive for four years, Washington re-entered the military and made the rank of 2nd Lt. He served from May 1950 to December 1952 and received numerous certificates, commendations, and badges until he was Honorably Discharged.
Washington late attended FAMU and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Drama and a minor in English. There he honed his craft in Drama and Speech and was a member of the internationally known FAMU Playmakers Guild.
Washington taught four years in the public school system in Charlotte, N.C. at West Charlotte High School and helped to expand high school drama in North CArolina.
In Miami, Washington accomplished much. He was the host of the Amazing Grace TV Gospel Show that premiered on WPLG-Channel 10 for approximately 15 years. He instructed Les Brown, a noted internationally known motivational speaker; Anthony Sweeting, Ph.D who became a celebrity starring in several TV series based out of Los Angeles, CA. Sweeting also authored , produced and starred in the play
The Soul of Nat Turner, which played throughout the country, under his directions. Washington directed the production at the Joseph Caleb Center in Miami.
Several of his students won the Silver Knight Award in Drama. One of the recipients was Reginald Burton — BTW Class of 1965. Washington also had three students who won First Runner-up in the Silver Knight Award presentations.
In 1964-65, two of his thespians, Arlene Knight and Reginald Burton went to FAMU to star in the play Fear. The play was written, produced and directed by Washington and won first Place and the Championship.
Washington was one of the founders of PAVAC arts Program at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.
The PAVAC’s Program ‘blueprint” was used to establish The New World School of the Arts.
In 1982 Washington received a Proclamation from Metro Dade County Mayor Stephen P. Clark saluting him for exemplary service in training and teaching the youth of the community and named May 23, 1982 as Leroy Washington Day. Washington also received a Letter of Appreciation from then Governor Bob Graham.
“Daddy. went to sleep peacefully at home on January 20, 2014 after the Martin luther King Parade," said Monese, his daughter.
In addition to Monese, who said, “don’t forget his dog Lady,” Washington leaves to enjoy his legacy and the memories: Edith Williams Washington, his wife of 60 years; Nikki and Clayton, sons; Ann Oliver, daughter; Virnell Washington, sister; three grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives, friends and students.