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Son shares heartfelt tribute to UF Health Jacksonville CEO

Dr. Leon Haley Jr.
Dr. Leon Haley Jr. (Lisa Huff)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Grant D. Haley, the son of UF Health Jacksonville CEO Dr. Leon Haley Jr., paid tribute to his father on Thursday, remembering him as a “hero.”

Dr. Haley died this weekend in a personal watercraft accident in South Florida. According to FWC, Haley was operating the Yamaha WaveRunner on Saturday morning when he was ejected from the watercraft and was found in the water wearing a life jacket. FWC said he was taken to a hospital in West Palm Beach, where he died.

Grant Haley, a cornerback for the New Orleans Saints, posted a photo of his father on Instagram and wrote: “You set a standard and a legacy that a son can only hope to achieve. Daddy, you will always be my hero. You showed and taught me how and what it meant to be a black man in this life. There are no words that I can even begin to put together to let you know how proud I am to be your son. I will forever honor your legacy as a servant towards others. I promise you not a day will go by where you won’t cross my mind. I will take care of everyone down here because I know you will be watching me and guiding me every step of the way. I love you so much and can’t wait to see you again one day. Uncle LoLo is waiting for you with open arms. To my guardian angel and the greatest man I will ever know you raised two fine young men and a daughter that will change this world. I will do everything I can in this life of mine to make you proud.”

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Funeral arrangements have been made for Dr. Haley and will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Wesley Center AME Zion Church at 2701 Centre Ave.

UF Health Jacksonville said it will hold a memorial event at the hospital sometime next week.

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.