Cover photo for Leo L. Weber's Obituary

Leo L. Weber

September 26, 1929 — December 4, 2023

Charleston

Leo L. Weber

Leo Weber was born September 26, 1929, and joined his heavenly father December 4th, 2023. 

He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1953, beginning a storied career.  From a humble electrical engineer, he advanced to running the Automotive Group of United Technologies.  Then on to be President of Bosch Original Equipment Group.  After retiring, he served many years on the boards of Gentex, GMI (now known as Kettering), and Bergstrom. People loved working for Leo and with Leo.

Engineering and innovation were his vocations, but his real love was his family.  Married to Betty for 71 years, they raised five boys, who gave them 16 grandchildren and, so far, sixteen great grandchildren.  They began married life living in a tiny trailer with no hot water.  From those humble beginnings, there was a period of many years where they owned three homes - Seabrook, Clear Lake, and a condo in West Bloomfield.

Leo’s career took up more than the normal 40-hour week, so he made a career out of finding ways to spend great family time.  They began camping, water skiing, sailing, and snow skiing; all of which are great ways to spend a lot of fun family time together.  The ski trips moved to Colorado, renting a house where we would spend a week or so together every year.  This continued as the grandkids came along and even great grandkids.  

One week or so a year wasn’t enough, so mom and dad expanded their Clear Lake house so we could all converge there every summer holiday weekend.  The phrase “Jungle Room” has a special meaning for every grandchild and great grandchild.  Many of those weekends were 30+ people three weekends every summer.

How many 70+, or 80+ year old people are up to having 30+ family members stay at their house for a three-day weekend even once?  Leo and Betty did it three times a year, every year, until Covid hit.  They did it because they love being with their family, but also because they knew the magic of cousins spending time together.  This was a lesson the five sons all knew well from their childhood spending vacations and holidays with their Weber and Coyne cousins.

Mention the phrase “Weber Week” and all the grandchildren will assail you with more stories than can fit in a book.  For 22 years, Leo and Betty took any of the grandchildren that could come for a week each summer.  As many as twelve and as few as three were the groups. 

Tennis, water skiing and tubing were a big part of Weber Week, but spending a week with cousins and grandpa and grandma was legendary.  Epic tales from the tennis courts, tubing, and all the places they visited are visited upon anyone who will listen.

Okay, so there is more.  They built their dream retirement home on Seabrook Island in South Carolina and invited all the family to come anytime.  Easter was the big event as that is when the kids were off school.  With only three extra bedrooms, it was overflowing most every year, so they would rent an additional house nearby. 

Seabrook seems like a fairy tale when told to strangers. Every day the dolphins would occasionally swim by the house in the tidal creek.  We would fish for crabs, walk the beach, swim in the pools, and take their boat out to the uninhabited island for the best shell hunting on the planet.  We would kayak in the tidal creek to follow the dolphins and occasionally brave the surf heading out to the ocean.

Christmas is another legendary tale.  Leo and Betty kept an apartment in the Detroit area for years so they could be here for Thanksgiving through New Years.   Perhaps that seems like a long time, but here is why – they took every grandchild on a Christmas shopping trip which included lunch or dinner.  They would have each family over for dinner and hope to have many other dinners with family and friends. 

Then came their milestone anniversaries – for their 50th, 55th, and 60th, they took the entire family on a cruise.  After three cruises, they took the entire family to stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island for their 65thanniversay.  Of course, Covid ruined plans for their 70th, but could not diminish the memories and the stories from four epic celebrations.

Leo’s career is worth having a book written, but what he truly enjoys talking about is his family, the 50+ people who love him and love spending time together.  Most importantly, Leo and Betty are faithful Catholics as are their sons because of the example lived by Leo and Betty.

Leo is survived by his wife Betty, their sons Leo Steven wife Sandy, David wife Marilyn, Jeff wife Marilyn, Greg, Brian wife Molly, and 16 Grandchildren, and 16 Great Grandchildren and counting, and his brother Dean Weber.  He was preceded in death by his father Lee Weber and mother Evlyn Weber.

Services will be at The Church of the Nativity, 1061 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412 on Saturday, December 9, 2023, Visitation beginning at 12:00 PM and the Mass of Christian Burial at 1 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity or Our lady of Mercy Outreach Center.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation – James Island, 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412, 843-614-8494.

 

 

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, December 9, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass

Saturday, December 9, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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