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Leo E. Persselin


1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Leo E. Persselin Obituary
October 26, 1924 - August 2, 2016
Leo Persselin, born in Fargo, North Dakota, on October 26, 1924, lived in Rancho Palos Verdes with his wife, Jean Persselin, from 1963 until the time of his death at home on August 2, 2016. Leo grew up in Fargo and was the eldest of four sons born to Harry and Lena Persselin. Leo served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a combat infantryman in the Battle of the Bulge. He graduated from the University of Illinois, School of Journalism in 1949 and went on to earn a Master's in Film and Television at Syracuse University in 1952, and a PhD in Communications from the University of Southern California in 1967. Leo and Jean met in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and married in Los Angeles in 1958. They raised their three children, David, Ruth and Sara in Rancho Palos Verdes. Leo worked in radio, television, filmmaking and instructional technology for the U.S. Air Force and the aerospace industry, and developed training programs and educational materials for the deaf. Leo finished his career as a contract proposal specialist for Hughes Aircraft. He particularly enjoyed developing and teaching a writing class at Hughes for aerospace engineers. Leo was passionate about film, photography, writing, theater, books, music, language and education. In his retirement he enjoyed travelling with Jean and volunteering at the Norris Theater and Palos Verdes Library. He was also an active and involved member of Congregation Ner Tamid for many decades. A dedicated husband and father, Leo immersed his family in the cultural activities he loved and enthusiastically participated in his children's activities. He found teaching opportunities in every moment. Quick of wit and with a glint in his eye, he would be the first to toast, "Here's looking at you, kid." Leo was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Saul Persselin. He is survived by his wife Jean; son David Persselin and daughter-in-law Stacey Acton of San Jose, California; daughter Ruth Persselin of Petaluma, California; and daughter Sara Persselin and son-in-law Steven Honnold of Kodiak, Alaska; grandchildren, Emma and Ella Persselin and Theo Honnold; and two of his brothers, Nate and Gerson Persselin. A graveside service was held at Green Hills Memorial Park on August 5, 2016.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 26 to Aug. 27, 2017
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