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LeRoy August Ellerbrock

LeRoy August Ellerbrock Obituary
Ellerbrock, LeRoy August

LeRoy August Ellerbrock, 72, died unexpectedly at his home on December 12, 2014 after a brief illness. Roy grew up on his parents' family farm in New Cleveland, OH. There he did the usual chores, helped to tend his father's large truck garden, and organized baseball games with neighbor boys in nearby fields. He attended New Cleveland Grade School. Roy went on to graduate from Miller City High School where he was captain of the basketball team and president of the Class of 1960. Roy studied Russian and botany at The Ohio State University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. His studies were interrupted by service in the US Air Force, stationed at Fliegerhorst Army Air field near Hanau, Germany. Roy received his PhD in Plant Pathology from Cornell University. He worked in Chicago as a plant pathologist for the USDA and Santa Fe Railway before returning to Ithaca to teach in the Department of Vegetable Crops at Cornell. His long career included research and extension work with onion growers across New York, as well as teaching classes in vegetable crop production. He retired in 2003 and devoted his time to his many passions. He was a genuine steward of the land, working from dawn to dusk at his home, known as Honeyberry Hill. He built wooden fences, digging every 1-meter posthole by hand, restored two barns and a D&H caboose, and raised fruits, vegetables and flowers, as well as sheep and chickens. He pursued his love of travel by visiting dozens of minor league ballparks, and every state capital in the 48 contiguous states. His travels also took him to visit his children while they studied and lived abroad, as well as on trips with his wife Eileen, and friends Roger Lammers and Tom Dobmeyer. Roy is survived by his wife of 32 years, Eileen Bach; his beloved children, Tanya (Jacob) Bitterman of Rockville, MD; Robyn Ellerbrock of Urbana, IL; Bryan Ellerbrock of Ithaca, NY; and his adored granddaughter, Leah Bitterman; as well as his brother, Gary (Linda) Ellerbrock; sisters, Eileen (Roger) Koepp, Carol (Stephen) Rieman, and Ruth Ann (Dennis) Cochran; along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Louis and Marie (Lammers) Ellerbrock. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, December 17, from 5-7 p.m. at Bangs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cornell Plantations.

Published in Ithaca Journal from Dec. 15 to Dec. 16, 2014
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