The world has lost a really good man. LeRoy Guido Gilsdorf died May 17 in Stockton, California.
LeRoy was born March 13, 1930 in Lawrence, Nebraska. He was the first child of George Henry Gilsdorf and Jeanette Lena L'Heureux Gilsdorf. He graduated from Hastings St. Cecilia HS in 1948. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served honorably for 4 years. After his military service he attended the University of Nebraska and Hastings College.
He was married to Jennie Joan Hyde on June 11, 1955 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Hastings. The family moved to Merced California in 1957. LeRoy enjoyed a 31 year career with Merced County retiring in 1989 as the Merced County Auditor/Controller/Recorder and continued working with the Merced County Retirement Association for a total of 50 years of service with Merced County. LeRoy led an honorable life of volunteerism and community service serving on many local and State committees and boards both with professional organizations and with service clubs. LeRoy's greatest joy was serving his church. LeRoy has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 61 years, has been Grand Knight and District Deputy. He was a member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Finance Committee and served on the Diocese of Fresno Finance committee. Pope John II bestowed the Benemerenti Medal to him in 1996 for outstanding service to the Catholic Church. In 2003 LeRoy was named Outstanding St. Cecilia Alumnus. He was very proud of this recognition.
In addition to his many years of service to his community and church, LeRoy enjoyed multiple hobbies. He was a lifelong philatelist and coin collector. He enjoyed restoring classic cars, gardening, bowling, and card playing. He followed his father's footsteps by doing multiple woodworking projects. He always enjoyed dancing and music. Perhaps his most enjoyable hobby was golf. He played throughout California and Nevada in multiple charity tournaments. He played all over the United States as well as in England, Scotland and Mexico while traveling with Joan in their retirement years. He was most pleased when he was selected to play The Old Course in Scotland during one of their trips. He played golf well into his 80's.
He is remembered as a man of generosity with his time, talent and treasure, a man of fidelity and love for his family and community and a man of kindness. If you would like to honor LeRoy's life please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org) in his memory or to a charity of your choice.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father; brother, Gary and wife Bonnie; brother, Dale; and niece, Susan Fisher.
Survivors include his wife of almost 64 years, Joan; his daughters, Jane Lopez (Sal) and Gail Basham (Fred Selzer); his grandchildren, Sarah Basham and Justin LeRoy Basham, all of California; and his brother, Eugene and wife Betty of North Platte, Nebraska. He leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews who he loved very much.
A memorial service will be held in Lodi, California on June 25th and a funeral mass and rosary will be held in Merced, California on June 27th. Condolences for the family can be sent to Joan Gilsdorf, 10711 Thornton Road, Apt. 216, Stockton, CA 95209.