"He told me being a barber is like being an artist. You are sculpting someone's head," Rosema said.
And while he had a different day-job, Leunissen never gave up his true passion.
Rosema selected some of the hundreds of framed and unframed paintings scattered around his home and arranged them inside an upstairs room Leunissen converted into an in-home barber shop.
"It's an exhibit of his work, a shrine" said Rosema, who plans on displaying some of his work at the funeral service on Saturday, April 6.
Rosema said, following his retirement, Leunissen would use the room to cut his regulars' hair, even though a knee replacement surgery made it difficult to get around.
And while getting around was once a regular part of this native Indonesian, adopted Parisian, Dutch Naval veteran and New York artist's life, Rosema says he wasn't planning on going anywhere any time soon.
"He loved being in Columbia, he would go back and forth to New York City, and he had family in the Netherlands. But he was very proud to live here," Rosema said.
"His heart was here."