CEDAR RAPIDS - Leo Louis Greco, 89, of Cedar Rapids, died Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011 at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House, surrounded by his family.
Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 at St. Matthew Catholic Church by the Rev. David Beckman, Rev. Mark Osterhaus, Rev. Gerald Condon, Rev. Frederick Fangmann, and Rev. Steve Rosonke. Entombment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery. A visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. and after 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.
Leo was born and raised in Oelwein, Iowa to Dominic and Mary Napoli Greco on Nov. 1, 1921. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School. He served proudly in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the USS Luce on May 4, 1945 when the ship was sunk by Kamikaze planes off the coast of Okinawa. He married Louise Dugger of Oran, on Aug. 5, 1945, at Sacred Heart Rectory and they lived happily together until her death in January 2008. They had five children, Larry (Judy), Linda Greco-Sanders (Michael), Lou Ann Heng (Frank), Lisa Rehman (Jeff), and Lance (Liesa), 9 grandchildren, Ben (Jen) Greco, Andy (Sandy) Greco, parents of great grandchild Aaron, Kati and Daniel Heng, Alex and Leo Rehman, and Callista, Gabriel and Asa Greco.
Leo began his lifelong career as a musician and entertainer at age 15, playing for local bands in the Oelwein area. In 1948 he formed Leo and the Pioneers. Sponsored by Kent Feeds, they traveled 10 states entertaining people with a wide variety of music for more than 20 years. Leo began working at WMT radio in 1971. His radio program, Variety Time, has been on the air for 38 years.
"Service to others" was his motto. An honorary board member of Camp Courageous, he worked faithfully to promote their mission, as a recreational facility for individuals with disabilities. He also helped initiate the collection of pop can tabs to raise significant funds for the Shriner's Transportation Fund. He was an avid mall walker and cribbage competitor at Lindale Mall and had a close group of friends there.
In addition to Louise, he was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Arlene and Theresa, and brother Lou. Surviving siblings include his sister Rose Ratchford of Waterloo and brothers John (Ella) of Oelwein and Pete (Mary Lou) of Maynard.
He was a friend to everyone he met, and will be dearly missed by those who loved him. Memorial donations may be made to Camp Courageous of Iowa in Monticello or to St. Matthew Church, Cedar Rapids, IA.
When asked to sum up his life, Leo said, "Say he served the Lord well and wants to thank everybody who has been so nice to him over the years."
The Greco family would like to thank the compassionate caregivers at Hospice House of Mercy, the many doctors and staff at Mercy Medical Center and Dr. Tim Sagers and his staff.
An online tribute to Leo is at www.wmtradio.com
and online condolences may be sent to www.cedarmemorial.com.