San Francisco

Neighborhood Homeless Man Dies

Many people will remember Barry LeBlanc as the homeless man who leaned on his shopping cart most mornings near Peet's, sipping his coffee, watching people walk by, and offering a smile to those who were willing to make eye contact. He was a talented illustrator, a friend to many, and a gentle soul. 53-year-old LeBlanc was found deceased around 3am the morning of Saturday, January 18th. No word yet on the cause of death. A collection of flowers, mementos, and illustrations by Barry have started to collect at a memorial spot behind Books, Inc. on 16th Street.  A wake will be held in his memory at the memorial spot Saturday, February 1st. No time is set yet, but info will be posted near the memorial and we'll update this post when we hear a time. Feel free to share your memories and any information you had about Barry in the comments section.
Update (Jan 23): I previously reported that Barry became despondent and took to the streets after his partner died of AIDS, however, after several discussions with community members I found this was not the case. The reason he took to the streets is still unknown (or known to very few people, not including myself), but it happened nearly 3 decades ago after a career at Macy's as an illustrator. I apologize for getting it wrong and for any confusion. Also, the memorial has a new date: February 1st.

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