Obituary of LeRoy K. Englebrecht
In Loving Memory of LeRoy K. Englebrecht.
LeRoy Englebrecht, 99, passed away peacefully at home in Gilbert, AZ, on Thursday, October 5, 2023, with his family surrounding him with love.
LeRoy, born October 2, 1924, just celebrated his 99th birthday with a party for family and friends on October 1st, and dinner, cake and festivities with his three children and their spouses on October 2nd. LeRoy was the eldest son of Otto and Ella Englebrecht. He was born in Harvard, IL, and grew up in Walworth, WI, and surrounding areas. He was proceeded in death by his brother, Donald Englebrecht, and parents.
LeRoy joined the Army on December 18, 1944. After training, he was sent to the Philippines in June 1945. September 1945, he was stationed in Fukuoka Japan. From May to August of 1945 LeRoy played the saxophone in a special Service Band with Gary Moore. He left Japan September 17, 1945, and was honorably discharged from the Army as a Technical Sergeant of the 32nd Signal Company. He earned the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, one bronze Battle Star, and a Victory Medal for Good Conduct. He was qualified as a sharpshooter with the M1 rifle.
After his service, LeRoy returned to Walworth where he was re-acquainted with a high school friend. Eventually, he and Elinore Clift married on September 7, 1946. Together they raised two daughters, Jacqlin and Jeri Lyn, and a son, James LeRoy. They lived in Walworth, Wisc. and both Jaci and Jeri were born in the same hospital in Harvard, IL. as LeRoy. LeRoy was a member of the Walworth Volunteer Rescue Squad for many years (much like today’s EMT’s) and saved many lives and attended several disasters. They moved to Simi Valley, CA, in 1960, and James was born in Oxnard. They later moved to Ramona, CA. After 25 years, they felt the need to downsize and went on to retire to Gilbert, AZ, living in the Trilogy community. Wherever they lived, LeRoy and Elinore were engaged in church activities and volunteered extensively at Simi Valley United Methodist Church, Romona United Methodist Church, and First United Methodist Church of Gilbert.
LeRoy was the best-known auto mechanic around! He could and did fix anything! He worked for several auto dealers and repair shops and even owned and operated a Shell Gas Station in Simi Valley. People came to him to get their cars fixed just as much or more than to purchase gas! After leaving Simi he went to work for the Poway School District where he was a mechanic at the school barn. Again, with his knowledge, back ground and expertise, he was able to fix anything in the bus yard and the mechanics came to him for help and advice. He was known in all his homes as the neighborhood “fix-it man” and even after all his retirements, he was still fixing cars, trucks, and lawnmowers. If the toaster quit working, he would take it apart and fix it up, even if it should have been thrown out! LeRoy and Elinore were very frugal and believed in fixing rather than buying new, and helping out anyone rather than being paid. They were the most honest, generous and giving people on this earth! LeRoy had many stories to tell of his life history and everyone was eager to hear and share their stories with him. He loved his neighbors, especially the last years in Gilbert. They would sit on the back patio to visit, out in the street or wherever they were to chat and catch up. This was still true with his birthday celebration and all of his neighbors were there to wish him well and enjoy the afternoon with him.
He was the gentle soul of the family, close to all three of his children and always anxious to see or get phone calls from the grandkids and great grands.
LeRoy was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Elinore on May 15, 2023. He leaves behind his daughters, Jacqlin (Dan) Schroff, Jeri Lyn (Neil) Horowitz, and son James (Kathryn) Englebrecht, as well as 5 grandchildren, 8 great-grands, 3 step-great grands and numerous nieces, family members, church friends, neighbors, and old friends in various states with whom he has remained in contact.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 10:30 at the First United Methodist Church of Gilbert, 3331 S Cooper, Gilbert
A private family urn interment will be on Nov. 17, 2023, at the National Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek where LeRoy will be laid to rest next to Elinore.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in LeRoy’s name to the First United Methodist Church of Gilbert or American Legion.org (you can give online or get a donation form there to mail contributions).To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of LeRoy Englebrecht, please visit Tribute Store