William W. Leopold (1928 - 2012)

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Son of Rensselaer, William W. Leopold, passed away Nov. 20, 2012 in San Diego, Calif.
William was born Dec. 23, 1928 in Rensselaer to Glenn H. "Peach" Leopold and Pauline (Wolf) Leopold (of Hammond). William graduated from Rensselaer High School, Class of 1946, and attended Indiana University. He began his career in business with his father at the Home Finance Company on North Cullen Street. Later, he worked with the federal Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. He was active in the Republican Party locally and nationally.
As a fourth generation member of the Leopold family in Rensselaer, Mr. Leopold continued his family's passion for civic, business, and philanthropic work. Among his charitable works is a trust giving scholarships to RCHS students pursuing technical or vocational careers so that they might contribute to Rensselaer in the future. He was always humble about his generosity and few knew the extent of his contributions to his community.
The Leopolds in Rensselaer have been integral in the building of this community. Mr. Leopold is the great grandson of early businessman Abraham and Emilie (Etzlbacher) Leopold. Both were immigrants to this country from Germany in the mid-1800s. The Leopold Building on West Washington Street, which houses Abraham's early dry goods and real estate business, is now part of the designated Historic District. Streets in the Leopold addition carry the names of Abraham and Emilie's nine children. Son Benhardt Leopold and his wife Fannie (Rosenthal) were well-regarded in the local area and are Mr. Leopold's grandparents.
Modest, loyal, and caring, Mr. Leopold honored his family legacy as a devoted son, friend, and family member. He remained in touch with relatives and friends throughout his life. Always gracious, he had many close friends throughout the country and always included visits with them in his many travels. Generations of us are honored to have known and loved this true gentleman.
Mr. Leopold, known to most as "Bill", was a long time member of Prairie Lodge #125, F&AM and Shriners. He served in the U. S. Army at the end of World War II. He loved to travel around this country and the world. An avid patron of the arts, he appreciated concerts, musical reviews, and theatre, particularly those at the Kennedy Center in our nation's capitol.
After retiring, Mr. Leopold moved to San Diego and enjoyed the amenities of southern California. There, he had many friends who were also retirees from the Midwest and was very active socially.
In recent years, Bill was the dear friend of Marie Madison, also of San Diego, who cared for him throughout his illness and the hospitalization which preceded his death.
Mr. Leopold is survived by Mrs. Madison, and his foster sister's daughters, Nancy (Richard) Kreiser of San Ramon, Calif., Mary Stafford (Douglas Lindsay) of Burr Ridge, Ill., and Polly (S. Eugene) Johnson of Cameron Park, Calif. as well as his lifelong friends and their families.
He was predeceased by his parents and his foster sister, Anne (Ford) Stafford.
In accordance with his wishes, no funeral services are planned at this time. Local arrangements for an internment service will be forthcoming through the Jackson Funeral Chapel of Rensselaer.
Published in the Rensselaer Republican on Dec. 7, 2012
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