US – The steel band fraternity in Brooklyn is mourning the passing of Trinidadian “Iron Man,” Hansel B. Leon, Sr., who died in his native land on March 25. He was 77.
Leon’s daughters, Krishanda Leon-Jemmott and Natasha Leon-Craigwell — both residents of Brooklyn — told Caribbean Life on Sunday that their father died at Couva Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago.
“As a family, it is still unclear of how he died,” they said in an interview.
But Herman Hall, the Grenadian-born publisher of the Brooklyn-based, Caribbean American magazine, Everybody’s, posted on Facebook, on March 26, that Leon, who resided in Flatbush, Brooklyn, was “a victim of COVID-19.”
He said that Leon – who promoted steelpan music in the US for almost four decades and “was once married to (the) popular Jean Leon, well known Trinbagonian-New Yorker and former Director of Nursing at Kings County Medical Center – made his annual pilgrimage to Trinidad & Tobago carnival on Feb. 5; he remained in his birth country to avoid wintry New York.”
Hall said Leon, who was a welder by occupation, “fell ill on March 13 and (was) admitted at Couva Hospital.
“Based on his early departure from NY, he may have contracted the deadly virus in Trinidad & Tobago,” Hall wrote.
Jean Leon, who was actually a chief executive officer at the sprawling Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life that she and Leon were divorced 23 years ago.
She referred the paper to Leon’s elder daughter, Krishanda, for more information about her ex-husband’s passing.