ESCANABA – Another World War II hero was lost Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 when Leo J. Neubauer, 93, of Escanaba, went to serve with the highest command. His most recent home was the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette.
Leo was born in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 26, 1921, the son of Leo John and Josephine (Wardzinski) Neubauer.
Leo served in the Army from Jan. 7, 1943 until his honorable discharge Dec. 3, 1945. Leo was a rifleman in the 1st Division 16th Infantry Regiment. His military service included tours in Utah Beach, Normandy, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Metz and Verdun, France. He was awarded a European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II and Four Overseas Service Bars.
Leo married Marie L. DeLoughary on July 8, 1950 at Sacred Heart Church in Schaffer, Mich. They raised nine children at their home in the Chemical Plant Location.
Leo spent his career as a crane loader for Harnischfeger until his retirement in 1983. He was an usher at St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Parish and a member of the Wells Lions Club. Leo was a chaplain with the DAV. He was honored as Disabled Veteran of the Year in 1999 and received the Wells Lions Appreciation Award in 2006. Leo proudly received his high school diploma from Escanaba High School in 2001.
Leo was often surrounded by family and friends. He was known lovingly as Grandpa-Great to his 20 great-grandchildren. Leo spent his time playing cards, fishing, doing yardwork, and going to Kamp Whiskey Jack. Later in life Leo could be found walking down Ludington Street with a pocket full of Wells Lions Club Raffle tickets, scratchers and Tootsie Rolls. He was an avid Chicago Bears and Cubs fan and was known for his quick wit, love of children and contagious laughter.
Leo is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Marie; daughters, Chris (Larry) Stan of Sault Ste. Marie, Rose (Joe “Buckshot”) Potvin of Bark River, Sue (Tom) Brown of Escanaba, Jo Neubauer (Dick Larson) of Escanaba, Florence “Boopie” (Clay) Diebert of Texas, Cathy Smith of California; son, Dick (Sharon) Neubauer of Iron Mountain; grandchildren, Michael Kroll of West Virginia, Meghan Stan of Nevada, Marcel Potvin (Anne Chouinard) of Oregon, Jenelle Potvin of California, Lynette Potvin (Matt Manders) of Houghton, Nick Brown (Mara Couillard) of Kalamazoo, Emily (Enrique) Towry of Ellsworth AFB South Dakota, Athena (Matt) Phillips, Malinda Diebert (Matt Moreland), and Travis Diebert (Emily Lester) of Texas, Steve Smith (KeriAnne Murphy) of New York, Jeff (Rochelle) Smith of Fort Gordon Georgia, Ross Neubauer (Trang Danielson) of Iron Mountain, Ryan (Shannon) Neubauer of Marquette, Robin (Jason) Lieburn of Houghton, and of Escanaba, Leona Brown, Jaimee (Andrea) Tourangeau, Becky (Zach) Ericksen, Art Tourangeau, Brian (Jenny) Tourangeau, Kelli Tourangeau and Corey Tourangeau; and great-grandchildren Stephen, Avian, Louisiane, Lily Rose, Adelyne, Layla, Cecelia, Layla, Ethan, Natalie, Ben, Mary Kate, Jacob, Ella, Reed, Andrew, Noah, Ada, Lucy, and Jack and numerous nieces and nephews.
Leo was preceded in death by his sons, Harv and Dan Neubauer, in 2003, his parents and siblings.
Visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 27, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba. The Delta County Veterans Council will have military rites at 2:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Church in Escanaba at 4 p.m. with Leo’s nephew, Rev. Al Mott, and Rev. Eric Olson officiating. A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
Burial will be in the Bark River Cemetery in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Harv Neubauer Scholarship Fund, Perspectives Adult Day Care, or the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Leo’s name. Envelopes will be available at the visitation.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Neubauer family.