Dec. 19, 1922 - Jan. 6, 2009
Louis E. Leopold, 86, Hollidaysburg, died at home Tuesday after an illness of more than two years. He was born in Altoona, son of the late Louis Einstein and Jean (Hoover) Leopold. He married Anna Shaefer June 12, 1947.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years; a son, John W. Leopold and his wife, Joan, of Reseda, Calif., and London; a daughter, the Rev. Louise Leopold of Van Nuys, Calif.; a granddaughter, Ellen and her husband, Luis; and two great-grandchildren: Miguel and Andrew of Ventura, Calif.
Lou was a gradate of Altoona High School, class of 1940. He earned a B.S. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1943, along with his ensign's commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and did graduate work at the University of Chicago, the School for Asian Studies (N.Y.), and The Hague Academy of International Law (Netherlands).
He served as communications officer aboard LST 551 in the Mediterranean Amphibious Forces during World War II, taking part in the invasion of Southern France.
For two decades, he was a partner in the Leopold and Hoover Real Estate and Insurance Brokerage in Altoona. Following this, he was a political scientist at Penn State Altoona until his retirement in 1985, his students including many of today's attorneys and office-holders. From 1987 on, he was an industrial heritage volunteer. For the past decade, from 1997 through 2006, with Anna Leopold, he wrote and photographed more than 40 articles for the Wayfinders column of Westsylvania, a regional heritage/lifestyle magazine.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania, American and International Political Science associations and five other political science associations, a 60-plus year member of the U.S. Naval Institute, a member of the Society for Industrial Archeology, the Pennsylvania and American Canal associations and the International Visual Sociology Association. For most of these, he served on committees, wrote articles and gave papers, including presentations in Moscow, Edinburgh, Rio de Janeiro and the island of Malta.
For Lou, photography was fun. Whether to tell a story, record a memory or to serve as a teaching tool, the challenge was to see, capture and perhaps refine the fleeting image. He was a lifetime member of the Altoona-Blair County Photo Society, serving as president and exhibition co-chairman, and was named its Photographer of the Year 12 times. He was a two-star exhibitor with the Photographic Society of America and belonged to the International Center of Photography in New York.
He was a life-long member of Temple Beth Israel, Altoona. Mr. Leopold was named a charter member of the Blair County Advisory Council of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in 1967, taking emeritus status in the 1980s. In the 1970s, he was elected to the Altoona Government Study Commission, of which he was vice-chairman.
Lou served on various advisory groups to the U.S. Department of Interior Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Commission, and co-chaired the Allegheny Ridge State Heritage Park Task Force, seeing it named a park in 1992. He was a board member of the Allegheny Ridge Corporation, the park's manager, from 1992 to 2000, and was the long-time chairman of the Blair County Heritage Committee.
He held elected and appointed political posts since 1969, including National Convention Delegate in 1976. He chaired John F. Kennedy's New Jobs and New Growth initiative for central Pennsylvania in 1960, and was a radio and television election analyst from 1980-87. One of his duties at the Altoona campus was to represent the Harry S. Truman Foundation, and the campus was successful in gaining a Truman Scholar. Mr. Leopold is listed in "Who's Who in American Politics," 21st edition (2007).
Other memberships include: Altoona Area High School, Penn and Chicago alumni associations; Altoona Kiwanis Club (50-plus years); Blair County Arts Foundation (festival photo chairman for 14 years); Art in Common; Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum; Friends of the Altoona Area Public Library; Horseshoe Curve Chapter, National Railway Historical Society; Blair County Historical Society; Friends of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor; Pennsylvania Heritage Society; Pennsylvania Historical Association; Pennsylvania and United States LST Associations; Rails-to-Trails of Blair County and Altoona Council, Navy League.
He especially appreciated family time, including:
n Summers at the family cottage, and writing about them in 1997 in "Remembering Lind's Crossing: Charles Lind's Summer Home Farm."
n Service at sea in WWII, and organizing ''D-Days Around the World,'' a mixed media program on invasions from Attu to Zambonga, with a live roundtable of local veterans who took part. This drew a standing-room-only crowd at the Altoona Area Public Library in 1994.
n Exhibiting his photographs in the United States and abroad, including ''Water Abstract,'' a large format print used to symbolize water policy at Penn State's Ag Progress Days and the 1987 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
n Honors from more than a dozen organizations, including the 2002 Ken Kuhn Memorial Award for Artistic Distinction at the 2002 Blair County Arts Festival, the 2003 Blair County Historical Society's Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2007 Altoona Kiwanis Citizen of the Year, and being named to the University of Chicago Phoenix Society for support of the university's mission.
Services will be private, at the convenience of the family, with interment at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Those who wish to pay their respects may do so from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, 2009, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona (www.stevensmortuary.com). Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.