September 15, 1925 - January 23, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Leroy was born Sept. 15, 1925, in Minneapolis, MN. Leroy passed away peacefully Jan. 23, 2013, with family by his side. He lived each day of his 87 years to the fullest. At 17, Leroy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the height of WW II. He fought for his country aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga that was fiercely engaged in many battles across the Pacific. When the war ended, he returned to Minneapolis and attended college. When the Korean War broke out, Leroy re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and once again fought for his country. He was briefly stationed at Fort Sill in Lawton, where he studied and tested new artillery technology. While stationed in Oklahoma, he met his first wife, Betty. In 1952, he received his second honorable Marine Corps discharge and began his career with the City of Oklahoma City as a Forester. He became the Director of Safety and Civil Defense during the Cuban missile crisis and went on to develop Oklahoma City's first Emergency Response Plan. In 1975, he married his second wife, Barbara. After serving as Assistant to the City Manager, Leroy was appointed Director of Airports. While Director of Airports, he oversaw numerous expansion projects at Will Rogers, Wiley Post, and Page Field. One of his most cherished projects was the awarding-winning Aerospace America Air Show. After Leroy finished his 40-year career serving the citizens of our great city, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame. He was also a recipient of the Oklahoma Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Wiley Post Commission. Leroy loved his extended City, Airport, and Air Show families. He was a community leader, mentor, and true public servant, who believed in leading by example. Leroy loved his Lord and Savior and guided those around him to do the same. In 1962, he was instrumental in establishing Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Leroy is survived by his sister, Joan; his son, Jon; daughters, Norene and Kathy; son-in-law, Randy; grandson, Cory; granddaughters, Annie and Jill; and his extended Norwegian family. We miss Dad now but know we will see him again! We would like to offer a big thanks to all our relatives, friends, and fire service family. We want to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Community Hospital doctors, nurses, and staff as well as the Integris Hospice Center for their kind compassion and excellent care. Services will be Tuesday, 10 a.m., LifeChurch, I-35 & 2nd Street, Edmond. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256, in support of our returning wounded heroes!
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Published in The Oklahoman on Jan. 27, 2013