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LeRoy N. Schneider

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LeRoy N. Schneider LeRoy N. Schneider, 86, one of the few remaining U.S. Marines who fought in the defense of Wake Island in December 1941, passed away after a long illness Aug. 18, 2007, in his home in Barrington. A funeral Mass with celebrant Father Tom Bishop was held at St. Anne's Church in Barrington on Aug. 22, 2007. He was buried in the veterans' section of Evergreen Cemetery in Barrington with Father Bishop leading the prayers for his interment. Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7706 and American Legion Post 158 provided honor guards at his wake and burial, ending with a 21-gun salute and Taps. LeRoy had joined the Marine Corps in June 1940 and participated in the 16-day battle in December 1941 to defend Wake Island against the Japanese, who attacked Wake just four hours after they had attacked Pearl Harbor. The defense force consisted of 430 Marines and a few Army and Navy personnel, and unarmed civilian construction workers. Greatly outnumbered, the defenders were captured and LeRoy spent the next three years and nine months in Japanese slave labor camps. Within his first year in captivity he lost 100 pounds. For his participation in the defense of Wake Island, he and his comrades were awarded the First Presidential Unit Citation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also was awarded nine medals, including the Purple Heart. After the war, he worked in the concrete industry until he retired in 1980 due to health reasons. He had been the first manager of the Concrete Pump Division for Meyer Material Company in Des Plaines, which was instrumental in introducing concrete pumping, (an innovation in placing concrete) to the greater Chicago area. He was admired and respected in his business world and totally loyal to his employers. He was greatly loved by his family, including his large extended family. He was a spiritual man with a strong faith. He was a peace-loving man and throughout his life he prayed for peace in the world. He was an honor to his family and to all who knew him. LeRoy is survived by Cecilia, his devoted wife of 61 years; sons, Philip Schneider and James (Colleen) Schneider; daughters, Mary Jo (Joseph) Heyen, Patricia Schneider and Joan (William) Bell; grandchildren, Anne Marie (Robert) Sweet, Kristen (Jason) Dolan, Andrew (Sarah) Schneider, Jessica Schneider, Christopher Schneider, Melissa Schneider, Emily Anderson, Anna Anderson and Laura Anderson; great-grandchildren, Austin Sweet, Courtney Sweet, Jake Dolan and Lauren Dolan; his brother, Ervin Schneider; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Tiffany Schneider; his parents, Philip and Catherine Schneider; and brother, Willard Schneider.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Aug. 30, 2007
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