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June 1919 - February 2013
Resident of Walnut Creek
LEO S. BACH, aged 93 years, died peacefully February 26, 2013 in Walnut Creek, CA of respiratory problems.
Leo was born in Brooklyn, NY in June 1919, the second son of Abraham and Lena. He grew up in the rough Jewish Brownsville district of Brooklyn, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941, and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. He was present at the Pearl Harbor attack, Dec. 7, 1941, and also was shot down over Germany in a B-17, April 1944. He was then captured and confined to a Prisoner-of-War camp in Germany for 13 months.
In August 1945, Leo married Sylvia Dubro and had two children, working as a NYC taxi driver, salesman, printer, and cafe owner. He would often say, "if you don't have a job, make one up."
He was the owner and founder of Berkeley Free Press, Berkeley Graphic Arts, and the Campus Copy Center chain. Leo was a Berkeley City Council Member, 1981-85, then a political columnist for Berkeley Voice, Rossmoor News, also Member of Rotary Club, Berkeley Breakfast Club, and the Rossmoor Writers Group.
His political views drifted across the spectrum over time from Marxist, to 1960s radical activist, to conservative Democrat, and finally to staunch Republican.
Leo was a decorated soldier from WWII: Purple Heart, Victory Medal, Prisoner of War Medal. His novel/memoir "Going Home" is about his prisoner-of-war experience.
His interests included painting, writing, and politics. He leaves behind dozens of canvases, two complete books, and many columns and speeches. His residences included Brooklyn NY, Pittsfield MA, Fresno, Berkeley, Rossmoor and Atria Senior Living, Walnut Creek CA. He will be remembered as a loving husband and father, general trouble-maker, bad joke purveyor, and everybody's uncle.
Leo is survived by his children: Emily Murdock (husband Jim Murdock) of Piedmont, Daniel Bach (wife Patricia Leitner) of Oakland, grandchildren: Aaron Murdock (wife Renée) and Andy Murdock (wife Maggie), and great-grandchildren: Max and Peter Murdock and Cleo Frantz. Predeceased by wife: Sylvia Bach (née Dubrovsky, died March 1994), brother Benjamin Bach, and sister Jean Levine.
There will be a private memorial/life-celebration in late April; friends and family can e-mail for time and place. Your comments about and memories of Leo can also be sent. firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in Contra Costa Times on Apr. 21, 2013