Leo Obstbaum, the creative mastermind behind the designs of the Vancouver Olympic Games, died suddenly in his home of natural causes in the early hours of Friday, 21 August 2009. Leo was just 40 years old, and left behind his beautiful wife Monice and young daughter Dakota. Leo was admired and respected by everyone who knew him, as was demonstrated by the hundreds who attended his funeral and remembrance celebration.
Mark Busse has written a moving and beautifully illustrated tribute to Leo here, and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) has awarded Leo with posthumous professional membership (MGDC). A poignant description of Leo comes from one of his colleagues at VANOC, designer Ben Hulse:
“The brightest of eyes. The biggest of smiles. The warmest handshake. The proudest father. The cool hunter. The king of design. The king of the party. But most of all a dreamer. He helped each of us realize a dream, and how fortunate that the biggest dreamer realized so many of his. He remains an unstoppable inspiration to all of us. Leo, you are an icon. You will be missed dearly, but through us your dreams live on.”
Rest in peace, Leo… forever young!