The family of fallen Dallas firefighter David Leos held his "homegoing service" Thursday morning at Lakepoint Baptist Church.
Dallas Fire-Rescue provided full honors for one of the longest-serving Latino firefighters in the city, who died after a long battle with COVID-19.
The department said it was their first COVID-19-related death.
David “Super David” Leos was born on July 15, 1959 and joined the Dallas Fire Department in August 1981.
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The "engine driver" was remembered as a prankster who loved his family, the outdoors and cooking.
“David enjoyed cooking for the ‘bubbas’ and loved those he worked with,” Dallas Fire-Rescue Chaplain Elaine Maddox said. “He will be remembered as an excellent driver along with his calm, easy-going demeanor.”
Leos, loved ones said, was strong in his faith and service to others.
“He was the epitome of what a first responder should be,” DFR Chief Dominique Artis said. “He had a passion about this job and what it meant to be a first responder. How to respond to folks. How to love your brothers and sisters no matter what.”
The father of eight survived a battle with Leukemia six years ago.
“After he almost passed of cancer, I’ve never seen anybody who had faith as strong as this man,” friend and firefighter Tracy Landess said.
But it was his battle with COVID-19 that proved too much.
Leos contracted the virus in mid-July, according to his family.
Colleagues and loved ones gathered to pray outside Parkland Hospital last week.
The 62-year-old died the following day. His beloved wife Darlene was by his side.
According to his family, Leos had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
His passing has left a department grieving but grateful for its friend and mentor.
“As a family, we are very proud he was one of you,” his brother Frosty Leos told to members of Dallas Fire-Rescue.
Lt. David Leos Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps.
So did his brother, Lt. Marty Leos, who shared Leos’ final message on social media during the memorial service.
“’I wish I knew this was coming. There’s so much I would like to say,’” he read. "This is David Leos. 5292 signing off. If I don’t see you again in this world, see you in the next. Don’t be late."
Leos was laid to rest in the Garden of Honor at Restland Cemetery.