Rex Jackson Leddy IV stood as a man dedicated to all he did in life and shined in every aspect — whether in the Marines or with his three sons as a father, he humbly served as a role model for many and challenged people to be the best they could be.
Rex spent the majority of his early life in Tomball, Texas, and grew up with two brothers, Austin and Alex. He later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 2000 to 2005, and became Staff Sergeant within five years of service. He met Terri Leddy, his wife of 16 years, in Pensacola, Florida, where he was stationed at the time. They have three sons, Cameron, 23 years old, Jackson, seven years old, and Warren, two years old. Rex studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern Alabama, and then transferred to Texas A&M and attended school with his brother, Austin, who is studying civil engineering.
Rex had many hobbies like riding dirt bikes, sport bikes, mountain bikes, wakeboarding, martial arts, surfing and camping with his and Austin’s families.
“It was more of his everyday attitude to me,” Terri said. “We’d have the typical beach trips, and the camping trips and all those things, but to me the everyday was what was special.”
Terri said her husband loved his country.
“He was extremely patriotic,” Terri said. “I think it all just goes back to him. He was very honorable … He just did what was right and he stood up for what he believed in, and that carried in his everyday life.”
One of Terri’s favorite moments with Rex and their kids was when he and their oldest son, Cameron, shared one of his favorite activities together — riding dirt bikes.
“With our oldest son, teaching him how to ride his dirt bike. He bought him a dirt bike and taught him how to ride,” Terri said. “That was a pretty good time. We were in California and we were out in the desert.”
While Rex exuded a solemn disposition most of the time, he wasn’t as somber in front of his wife and his sons. She said she will miss holding his hand and saying, “I love you.”
“He was always kind of serious I guess, except with me,” Terri said. “So I guess that was kind of my favorite thing — how he was not as serious with me and the kids as he was some other times.”
Austin described his brother as a stoic man, with his family as his top priority in life.
“His family was the most important thing to him,” Austin said. “[Terri] had a job but Rex was the leader of their family, if she asked for anything, she had it. He made sure that she had everything she wanted in life in general.”
Even though their childhood was difficult growing up, Rex didn’t allow his experiences to hinder how he chose to live his life.
“We had a hard life growing up when we were kids,” Austin said. “[Rex] took all the bad examples that we had growing up and completely ran his life the other way. He always had a goal, he was always working towards something … There was nothing in life that I ever saw him try that he didn’t have some degree of success in.”
While Austin was in the Marine Corps from 2009 - 2014, he said Rex was a good fit for the military and always excelled in any endeavor he encountered.
“Rex, even though he was in the Marine Corps, was always there for me,” Austin said. “He’d always call, he’d sent presents for birthdays and Christmas and all that, he was always available for advice … he influenced my life the entire time pretty much since I was born, so for 30 years.”
After his time in the Marines, Rex worked in Corpus Christi as an aircraft mechanic for L3 Vertex Aerospace, and was promoted to a managerial position. The company went through a period when they had to lay people off, and Rex handled the situation selflessly, looking out for the lives of others.
“He didn’t like that aspect of having to manage,” Austin said. “He liked being able to help out guys underneath him and guide them in their careers, he didn’t want to be the one to have to take their jobs away from them. So he told them that they could just take his salary and split it up and try to save as many guys’ jobs as they could, and he was going to go back to school.”
On behalf of their family, Austin thanked Colonel Smith and the Texas A&M Veterans Resource Center for helping plan Rex’s memorial service at All Faiths Chapel, even in the midst of tragedy.
“We all really appreciate what Texas A&M has done since this happened, it’s really been incredible how much they’ve helped,” Austin said. “He was really proud to be an Aggie.”
Austin said he never gave him a reason not to look up to him, Austin saw Rex as his role model, best friend who never ceased to give advice no matter the circumstance.
“I can never say enough about the man that Rex was,” Austin said. “I lost my brother, and his sons lost their father, and his wife lost a husband, but the whole world lost Rex … And everyone he met was better off for having met him, and everyone who didn’t get to meet him really missed out.”