Leonard Northway (Veteran)

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Leonard Ellis Northway Jr., age 87, of Racine, Wis., died Friday, January 15, 2010, at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints Hospital Racine. He was a retired businessman as well as longtime sales manager and over-the-road salesman. He was born November 1, 1922, at Hartsburg, Mo., in rural Boone County, the son of Leonard Ellis and Ruby Faye (Vaughn) Northway, both of whom preceded him in death. A Baptist, in his youth Northway attended Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, near Hartsburg. He was a student at New Bloomfield (Mo.) High School, excelling in athletics and graduating in 1941. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1942, completing basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center and advanced training (including aircraft mechanics) at Navy Pier, Chicago. Assigned to the Air Corps and rising through noncommissioned officer ranks, he was based in Pensacola, Fla., and San Diego, Calif., before serving as a crew chief on the Navy's version of the B-24 bomber (the PB4Y) in the Pacific Theater of World War II. After the Japanese surrender he served in the Philippines before his honorable discharge in 1946. During the war he also competed in cross country and was a Navy team boxer. He was married to the former Mary Kleszewski on April 26, 1947, at St. Casimir Catholic Church, Kenosha, Wis. He worked in a variety of capacities as a salesman and sales director across the Midwest and South. He was also proprietor of Northern Draperies, Waukegan, Ill.; Custom Draperies by Len, Jefferson City, Mo.; and Racine, Wis.-based Northern Fabrics. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, in 1992. He was briefly married to June Jagla. For many years until his death he and June Greenberg, Laud by Sea, Fla., were devoted friends. He is survived by a son: Martin Ellis Northway, Fulton, Mo.; three daughters: Cynthia Ann (Omer) Long, Wonder Lake, Ill., Debra Lynn (Marc) De Jarlais, Union Grove, and Shelly Marie (Don) Christian, Racine; nine grandchildren: Heather Lynn Northway (Mrs. Michael Bailey), Ypsilanti, Mich., and Andrew Ellis Northway, Evanston, Ill.; Jason Long, Yorkville, Ill., and Sarah (Mrs. Darren) Boundy, Long Grove, Ill.; Rochelle De Jarlais, Whitewater, Wis., and Ross De Jarlais, Union Grove, Wis.; Donny (Jenny), Travis and Kyle Christian, all of Racine; and eight great-grandchildren: Harmony, Montrez, Lawrence, and Lamar Bailey-Northway; and Emma and Jackson Boundy; Nathan and Ethan Christian; and a brother, Emery Lee Northway, Jefferson City, Mo. A military service will be held Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 2 p.m. at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove, Wis. A family memorial celebration of his life is planned for spring. The family requests donations to the Veterans Nursing Home in Union Grove, Wis. Arrangements provided by Miller-Reesman Funeral Home, 620 - 15th Avenue, Union Grove, WI 53182. (262) 878-2500.

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