Louis Leonatti, Jr. passed away on April 9, 2013 at The Arbors in Columbia, Mo. after a multi-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
He was born on September 22, 1924 in Carlinville, Ill. His parents were Louis Leonatti, Sr. and Clara Bernardi Leonatti. Both of his parents immigrated to the United States from Italy. Lou graduated from Carlinville High School in 1942. He was a member of the High School's 1941 undefeated football team. He enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Philippines and the invasion and battle for Okinawa. He was wounded in the Battle of Okinawa, Missing in Action behind enemy lines, but successfully returned to the Allied Forces. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.
He married Eleanor Marie Schaefer on June 1, 1946 in Carlinville and they were happily married for 56 years until Eleanor passed away.
Lou entered Washington University on the GI Bill and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked briefly for General Electric and then began a long career with Standard Oil of Indiana which became Amoco Oil Company. He was an Electrical Engineer at the Wood River Refinery, and then Director of Safety for the National Headquarters in Chicago. After retirement, he and Eleanor moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. He was an avid bird enthusiast. He identified over 500 species of birds, was a member of the Audubon Society, and received the President's Award for Outstanding Service from the Hot Springs Village Audubon Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a sister, Teresa, a brother, Joseph and is survived by his brother William Dale Leonatti.
He is also survived by his five children: Louis John (Alice), Marsha ( Bill Boeck) of Walsenburg, Colo., Jean of Columbia, Mo.; Mary Beth ( Steve Seyler) of Omaha, Neb.; and Michelle (David Johnston) of Philadelphia, Pa.; 10 grandchildren- Christie Leonatti Anliker, Andy and Daniel Leonatti; Lainey, Allison, and Emily Seyler; Lucy, Caleb, Brigham, and Charlie Johnston; and three great-grandchildren, Taylor, Ethan, and Peyton Anliker.
Lou was an avid hunter, fisherman, tennis player, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a faithful, prayerful member of the Catholic Church.
A visitation will be held from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Monday at Arnold Funeral Home in Mexico with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. with Fr. Mark Porterfield officiating.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Apr. 17, at SS. Mary and Joseph Catholic Church in Carlinville, Ill. with Fr. Angel Sierra officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in New Calvary Cemetery in Carlinville.
Memorial donations may be made to the Mid-Mo. Alzheimer's Association, c/o Arnold Funeral Home, 425 S. Jefferson, Mexico, MO 65265.